Losing your teeth is a common phenomenon. This may happen because of various reasons, including but not limited to damage, decay and injury. A common and practical solution to this problem is dentures.
Dentures can not only help you with replacing missing teeth and allow you to eat well, but they can also improve your smile and mantain the shape of your face. If you do not have all your teeth, it can often age you prematurely because of the way the facial muscles adapt around the missing teeth area. Dentures can help you to avoid this as well as helping you to carry out other daily functions like chewing and smiling normally.
Types of Dentures
A denture is a set of artificial teeth used to replace teeth that are missing. You can get dentures that replace all of your teeth (called complete dentures) or to only replace some of your teeth when you haven’t lost all your natural ones (called partial dentures).
Complete dentures can further be classified into two categories – conventional and immediate. A complete conventional denture is placed inside the mouth after the natural teeth have been removed and the gums have completely healed, which usually happens within twelve weeks. A complete immediate denture, however, can be placed the same day that the teeth have been removed. In a comparison between the two, immediate dentures have the advantage replacing the extracted teeth immediately but tend to have a less ideal fit over time as the gums will shrink as they heal. Because of this, immediate dentures are often considered an interim device that would eventually need to be replaced by a conventional denture.
On the other hand, partial dentures are made by fusing a base, which is generally an acrylic material that matches the colour of the gums, and holds the false teeth and a framework usually made of metal that holds denture in place in the mouth.
There are two major benefits of partial dentures, one is that it fills the empty space left by missing teeth; and two, it ensures that the remaining teeth stay in place and do not drift, They can also be removed.
Dentures are not the only option to replace missing natural teeth. Dental Implants are becoming an increasingly common alternative The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they feel like real teeth. However, they have two disadvantages, they are not really suitable for every situation, and they are more expensive than dentures.
There are many reasons why dentures are preferred:
Aesthetics: Dentures greatly enhance your appearance and your smile by filling in the space of your original teeth. They also prevent your face shape from drooping and inspire greater self-confidence.
Function: Dentures help you carry out everyday functions whether it is chewing, smiling or speaking. Dentures are a long-term solution, lasting anywhere between 5 to 15 years.
Affordable: Alternatives to dentures are more expensive and take longer to complete. Of course, if expense is not a consideration, there are certain benefits that alternatives like dental implants can offer over a denture.
Disadvantages of Dentures
Although dentures provide a lot of benefits, they do have some disadvantages when compared to the alternatives.
Fit: Dentures do not instantly feel natural. In fact, in the beginning, almost everyone new to a denture feels strange. It can feel like there is something foreign in the mouth. However, in a matter of time people get used to the new feeling.
Irritation: Dentures can cause mouth sores or gum irritation sometimes by something as simple as a stubborn food particle getting stuck underneath the denture, or from chewing on something too hard. Although often this discomfort is only mildly painful, these problems can become frustrating at times.
Sweet or sticky foods: If you have a sweet tooth, you will find that although you can eat most food with ease, sweet or sticky foods still tend to cause problems when chewing them with dentures. This problem could apply to crunchy foods as well.
Care: Dentures need a lot of care, and a three-step cleaning process is recommended on a regular basis. Apart from this, you must also keep an eye out for any signs of stubborn stains developing which require professional cleaning to manage.
Speech: Getting used to speaking with dentures can take some time for most people. In the beginning it can be awkward and you may even produce sounds and noises resembling clicking or smacking. Over time the mouth adapts and these issues resolve on their own.