Most of us, as we grow older, loose teeth; they need to be replaced for normal oral function to continue and one of the quickest ways to do this is with the use of dentures and partials. Dentures are full dental implants – they are prosthetics of all the teeth and they can be removed and inserted as desired. Partials are smaller – they replace a few missing teeth and they are also removable. Dentures and partials have been with us for a long time. Today, however, improved technology has provided us with better dentures and partials than there were many years ago.
How are dentures and partials made?
The process is rather simple. The dentist will start by examining your mouth to determine if you are a good candidate for either dentures or partials. If, for example, you are missing lots of teeth partials may not work – the best recommendation may be to pull out the remaining teeth so that your gums can support full dentures. If you are only missing a few teeth in one place the dentist will fit you for partials. If you are missing teeth in several places dentures or partials may not be the answer – you will be served better by something like dental bridges.
Once the dentist determines that dentures are right for you he will use a block of wax to get a model of your gums so that he can determine how to fit the teeth in properly. Once he is sure he has a good wax model he will insert wax teeth that are best suited to your jaw line and your smile. You will be asked to try on these wax teeth to see if they fit comfortably. If they don’t the dentist will make adjustments until you feel comfortable. Using the wax mold that he has created he will then create dentures or partials out of acrylic. Once your dentures are ready you will try them on. The dentist may make a few adjustments to make sure that they fit properly.
What are the benefits of partials and dentures?
Dentures and partials come with many benefits. The most important is that they give you back your smile – socializing can be very difficult when you don’t have teeth. You will be afraid to talk and laugh with others and this can have a huge impact on your life. Dentures and partials look very much like your natural teeth so your face will be restored. There are additional benefits of getting dentures and partials:
• You will be able to enjoy a normal diet. When people lose their teeth there is a wide range of healthy foods that they are not able to enjoy. They will mostly have to eat pureed foods which can be boring and eventually lead to health problems. Dentures ensure that you can eat anything that you like.
• Dentures are a good way to retain the shape of your face after you lose your teeth. One thing that many people don’t realize is that missing teeth affect the natural shape of the face – the cheeks sink in and one looks much older than they actually are. If you want to keep looking your age and maintain a shapely face, whether you are a man or a woman, you should think about getting dentures in case you loose your teeth.
• Dentures and partials are easy to take care of. They can be taken out to be cleaned, and all you need is a soft toothbrush and some denture solution. Each night before bed take them off and leave them soaking in the solution and then brush and rinse before you put them on in the morning. If your dentures or partials suffer any damage your dentist can easily fix them in a short time. You shouldn’t use very hot water on your dentures as it can lead to warping and breakage. Avoid dropping your dentures as they are made of materials that can break or chip.
• Both dentures and partials are affordable – they cost less than many other dental prosthetics.
Drawbacks of dentures
While it is true than dentures and partials have many benefits, they also come with some drawbacks that you should be aware of:
• They are not a permanent solution – they can get lost, in which case you will be stuck until your dentist can provide a replacement. So long as you are not missing too many teeth it is best to seek other dental treatments that are more permanent.
• Dentures can pop out – as many seniors will tell you, dentures can cause embarrassment when they suddenly fall out of the mouth as one is laughing or speaking.
• They can cause irritation to the gums. The reason why dentists advise that you leave dentures soaking overnight is so that you can give your teeth a chance to breath. If you have them on all the time you may develop irritation and even sores on your gums that can lead to complications.
Those are the only drawbacks of having dentures or partials. If you compare them to the benefits you will see that overall, it is better to have dentures and partials that to have no teeth at all. The cost also makes them an afofrdable option for many people.
How long do dentures last?
Most dentures are made to last a long time. They will need to be realigned and readjusted every once in a while but so long as you take good care of them your dentures should take care of you for a few years. Eventually because of wear and tear they will need to be replaced or re-based – this means that the base on which they sit will have to be replaced. It is, however, important to make sure that you see your dentist at least twice a year – they will examine your dentures for damage and also check your gums to make sure they are in good health.