No one wants to imagine life without any teeth. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, there are that 36 million Americans do not have any teeth. Patients are left without any teeth for many reasons including: periodontal disease, dental decay, or injury. These circumstances can mean that it may be time to consider having dentures made. Dentures can help prevent facial sag that occurs when teeth are lost and can closely replicate or improve your existing smile.
Types of Dentures:
1.Conventional dentures: These dentures are typically made when someone has been without teeth for a while or if patients choose to have remaining teeth removed and then heal for 3 months before the dentures are made. The benefits of this method are that healing is often optimized and may result in fewer adjustments because the bone has already remodeled. The cons are that if the patient needed to have teeth extracted, they would likely have to go approximately 3 months without dentures while their bone healed.
2.Immediate dentures: If any teeth are still in the mouth, this method is often used for fabricating the denture. On the day the remaining teeth are extracted the denture is delivered to the patient. This method allows the patient to have their denture immediately and they will not have to spend time without teeth. The biggest con of this method is that the dentures may need to be relined or remade following full healing of the patient’s bone. This is because as the bone remodels and heals, it may shrink from the size that it was immediately following tooth removal.
3.Overdentures: This method if often employed if the patient has a couple of healthy teeth left or implants placed. Overdentures help provide stability and support of the dentures and are of especially beneficial with lower dentures. Implant supported and retained dentures is a topic for another blog, but are an excellent option for restoring a jaw without teeth.
New dentures may be challenging at first. This is because of the need to train your muscles to keep the dentures in the place and use them for chewing. There may also be sore spots that develop where the denture is rubbing on the gums. These adjustments are easily made by Dr. Johnson or Dr. Long at follow up visits.
One thing to keep in mind is keeping realistic goals in mind. You likely won’t be able to eat a steak the first night having your new dentures. As mentioned above, it will take some time to train your muscles to be able to master denture control. If you got a new pair of boots you wouldn’t walk 100 miles the first day, would you? No! You’d break them in first and get used to them.
Everyone’s favorite topic we like to repeat over and over is good hygiene and home care. Just because a denture is placed, doesn’t mean you can ignore keeping your oral cavity clean. Brushing your gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and tongue will help limit plaque build-up that still occurs. This will help prevent bad breath and potential tissue irritation.
As far the as the denture goes, it is best to take them out every night before bed and brush them under running water to keep them clean. Store your dentures in a covered container filled with water when not wearing them. This will help prevent warping of the dentures and prevent them from developing unpleasant odors.
Some denture wearers may need to use denture adhesives, especially with lower dentures. Denture adhesive comes in many forms such as pastes, powders, liquid, etc. Make sure you buy adhesive with the ADA seal of approval and follow the directions exactly as they are presented.
Dentures are a great option for restoring function to a patient without any teeth. If you are considering dentures please give us a call at 317-535-7141 to setup a consultation with Dr. Johnson or Dr. Long. We are happy to help you reach your oral health goals. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!