DenturesThe benefits of dentures cover both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you’ve lost some or all of your teeth, dentures can boost your self-regard by restoring your smile while enabling you to speak and eat with confidence.

Dentures support your facial features, avoiding sunken cheeks and other issues associated with tooth loss. Another key benefit of dentures is that nowadays they look so much like natural teeth that people rarely notice when an individual is wearing them.

Thanks to technology, dentures1 are now much more comfortable, and there are more options than ever before, including dentures supported by dental implants.

Dentures are typically removable appliances consisting of a plastic or metal plate onto which artificial teeth are attached. These teeth are created to match your natural teeth in size, color, and shape.

Dentures come in two main types:

• Full dentures, which are used when all the teeth are missing. They are either “conventional” or “immediate”. A conventional denture is placed eight to 12 weeks after teeth have been taken out. Immediate dentures are fitted as soon as teeth are extracted, and this avoids the issue of being without teeth during the healing process.

• Partial dentures, which are used when some teeth are remaining. They typically consist of prosthetic teeth on a base attached to the natural teeth.

Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

Many middle-aged adults (45-65) in the U.S. have lost at least one tooth through gum disease, decay or injury. More than 35 million people are missing all their lower or upper teeth, or both. One in four people aged 65 or over is missing all their teeth.

Teeth are a crucial part of our anatomy, maintaining the structure of the mouth. Leaving gaps if you lose teeth can have serious repercussions. Missing teeth can result in a shift of your bite pressure onto remaining teeth. With time, these teeth can encroach into the space left by a missing tooth.

If missing teeth are not replaced, the bone that used to surround them can begin to weaken. Tooth loss can also result in an accumulation of bacterial plaque, which can cause gum infections that can lead to the loss of more teeth.

The loss of even a single tooth can adversely impact both the appearance of your smile and the function of your mouth. If you’ve lost multiple teeth, the physiological and psychological effects can become much more serious.

You may feel embarrassed or even ashamed by your appearance and try to avoid doing anything that draws attention to your mouth. You might also have to restrict your diet, eliminating some of the foods you enjoy while being unable to maintain a nutritious diet.

Fortunately, dentures can overcome the debilitating effects of tooth loss.

Why Dentures Are So Popular

Dentures offer a broad range of advantages, which makes them one of the most popular options to replace lost teeth. Benefits of dentures include:

• Speech improvement. When we form words, the tongue pushes against teeth to help make the sounds. If you have missing teeth, you may find it difficult to pronounce certain words. Dentures help to restore your natural speech.

• Restoring the function of your mouth. Dentures are designed to work just like natural teeth, so they can reinstate the full function of your mouth. You’ll be able to eat and speak as normal.

• Restoring your self-esteem. The increased self-esteem that comes with dentures can enhance your personal and professional life.

• No dietary restrictions. Dentures allow you to eat most of your favorite solid foods.

• Durability. Dentures can last ten years before they need replacing.

Dentures with Dental Implants

Dental implants can enhance the benefits of dentures. Dentures are designed to fit over a ridge of soft tissue and bone but the bone undergoes constant deterioration with time, leaving dentures little to hold onto. Implants to retain dentures provide a better fit and a greater degree of functionality.

Combining dentures with implants (overdentures) entails two or more implants being installed to secure your denture in place. This gives you the robustness and stability of permanent implants alongside the simplicity of a conventional denture. Because the overdenture is fixed to the implants, you don't have to worry about them slipping out when you're eating or talking.

Dentures can result in bone loss in the jaw. This occurs because without the stimulus of a tooth root, bone can deteriorate, just as muscle can atrophy without use. Implants address this issue because they are an artificial tooth root that fuses with the bone and other tissue and becomes a permanent part of your mouth.

Dentures supported by implants can be less costly than getting individual implants throughout your entire mouth. They also eliminate the need for dental adhesives and impact positively on your speech function.

An increasing number of people are opting to have lower dentures secured with mini implants, which can be fitted with a minimally-invasive procedure, after which recovery is virtually instantaneous.

Taking Care of Your Dentures

Dentures generally last five to ten years before a replacement is necessary. How long your dentures last will depend on how well you take care of them.

Taking good care of your dentures entails:

• Leaving them to soak overnight in a cleansing solution or cold water.

• Brushing them every day to get rid of food particles and prevent an accumulation of plaque.

You should bear in mind that dentures are relatively fragile and may break if dropped. If your dentures become cracked or chipped, you need to see your dentist.

Want to Know More About the Benefits of Dentures?

Historically, the main factor in creating dentures was their function as an aid to eating, but today they’re also designed to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Most people who are missing some or all of their teeth can benefit from dentures.

Dentures remain a popular option for replacing missing teeth because they can improve appearance while enabling you to eat and speak properly. While dentures can tend to shift in your mouth, most people get accustomed to wearing them over time.

If you’re considering taking advantage of the benefits of dentures in conjunction with dental implants, talk to a dentist2 with experience in fitting overdentures.