If you’ve lost several teeth – or even all of them – you’re likely a good candidate for dentures. Restoring missing teeth can improve the appearance of your smile, make it easier to eat and speak, and even boost your self-esteem. Talk to your dentist today about your denture options.
There are three types of dentures available for patients missing their teeth.
Complete dentures are for patients who are missing all their teeth. Synthetic teeth are attached to a customized plastic/resin base. The top denture covers the roof of your mouth. The bottom denture does not cover the floor of your mouth as it’s too soft to support the denture.
You may experience jawbone recession as time progresses because there are no teeth to anchor the bone into place. When this happens, your dentures may feel loose. Thankfully, your dentist can reline the dentures as needed for a bitter fit.
These are complete dentures that fit over dental implants. Your dentist or oral surgeon will place at least four implants into your jawbone. Once the implants have integrated into the bone, an abutment is attached to the implants. The dentures have opposite connectors in the base that allow the dentures to snap into place.
Implant-supported dentures are more secure than traditional dentures and are a permanent tooth replacement option. They also preserve the strength and density of the jawbone, which helps preserve the structure of your face and jawline.
If you’re missing a few teeth, your dentist can restore them with a fixed dental bridge or a removable partial denture.
A partial denture consists of synthetic teeth attached to a plastic and resin base, a metal base, or a combination of the two. Since you can remove a partial denture, they’re easier to clean than a fixed bridge.
A fixed or permanent bridge is cemented into place, making it feel more secure. Because it’s not as easy to clean as a partial denture, though, you might be at increased risk for dental decay and gum disease if you aren’t able to clean around the bridge thoroughly.
Some people don’t care that they’re missing some (or all!) of their teeth. But aesthetics aren’t the only reason to replace missing teeth with partial or complete dentures.
Living without teeth can adversely affect the proper function of your mouth. You’ll find that it’s harder to chew or even to speak. If it’s harder to eat, you’ll likely skip eating some of the healthier choices – like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Remaining teeth can shift into the empty space, and that can cause misalignment. Some teeth will endure excess pressure and can break down because of it. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your face, as well as your jaw joints, will experience strain that can result in chronic pain.
Replacing missing teeth can also help prevent gum disease and dental decay in the remaining teeth.
Caring for removable dentures is relatively straightforward. Use a denture brush with soft bristles and a non-abrasive denture cleaner. Avoid using toothpaste as it’s too abrasive and will scratch your dentures. This weakens your dentures and is a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in bad breath and soft tissue irritation or infections.
It’s advisable to soak your dentures in a denture solution at least once a day to help prevent stains and bacterial growth.
If you have implant-supported dentures, your dentures stay in 24/7, so you won’t need to soak them. You will need to floss under the dentures around each implant to keep the gum tissue and jawbone healthy.
Replacing missing teeth is a great way to restore your beautiful smile. It’s also better for your health. Dentures can balance your occlusion, thereby protecting your jaw joints and any remaining teeth. Full and partial dentures can also help you chew your food more thoroughly to help with nutrient absorption. Talk to your Providence, RI dentist today if you’re ready for a healthier, more beautiful smile.
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