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 the oral health aspect of your teeth but also help keep your smile and the shape of your face intact. If you don’t have all your teeth, it can often give you a falsely ageing look because of the way the facial muscles adapt around the missing teeth area. Dentures help you avoid this as well as carry out other daily functions like chewing and smiling normally.
Types of Dentures
A denture is a set of artificial teeth replacement if you have a dead tooth or have your tooth extracted. You can get dentures for all of your teeth (called complete dentures) or for some of your teeth when you haven’t lost all natural ones (called partial dentures).
Complete dentures can further be classified into two categories – conventional and immediate. A complete conventional denture is set inside the mouth after the natural teeth have been removed and the gums have begun to heal, which usually happens in a period of twelve weeks. A complete immediate denture, however, can be placed as soon as the teeth are removed.In a comparison between the two, immediate dentures do have the advantage of immediacy but tend to compromise on custom fit, especially as gums tend to shrink over time. Therefore only conventional dentures should be seen as a permanent solution.
On the other hand, partial dentures are made by bringing together a base, which is generally the colour of the gums, and a framework (often metal) to hold the denture in place in the mouth. If you have real teeth still remaining, upper or lower, partial dentures are often prescribed.
There are two major benefits of this kind of denture – one, obviously, is that it fills up the empty space between teeth; and two, it makes sure that other teeth stay in their place too. There is a version of partial dentures, called precision partial dentures, that looks much more real and can be removed and inserted at will.
Of course, dentures are not the only option in case you don’t have your natural teeth anymore. Dental Implants – put in by permanently cemented bridges – are increasingly becoming a well-known alternative. The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they feel much closer to your real teeth. However, they have two disadvantages – they aren’t really suitable for every situation, and they can often be expensive.
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 stop your face shape from drooping and inspire greater self-confidence in the person.
Functionality: Dentures help you carry out everyday functions normally – whether it is chewing, smiling or speaking. Dentures are also a long-term solution, lasting anywhere between half a decade to several decades.
Affordable: Alternatives too dentures are not only more expensive, but also need longer treatments. Of course, if expense isn’t a consideration, there are certain benefits that alternatives like dental implants offers, over more of a natural feel and a better fit.
Disadvantages of Dentures
Although dentures provide a lot of practical benefits, objectively viewed, they have some disadvantages when compared to alternatives.
Fit: Dentures don’t instantly feel natural. In fact, in the beginning, almost everyone constantly feels strange and it feels like there is something in the mouth. It is a matter of getting used to the feeling over time.
Irritation: Dentures may also cause mouth sores or irritation by something as simple as a stubborn food particle that got stuck or chewing or grinding too hard. Although often only mildly painful, these problems can be quite 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 food still tends to cause chewing problems with dentures. This problem might apply to crunchy food items as well.
Care: Dentures need a lot of care, and a three step cleaning process regularly. Apart from this you also have to keep out a watch for any signs of a permanent stubborn stain developing so that you can get a professional cleaning done.
Speech: Getting used to speaking with dentures can take some time for most people. In the beginning it can be quite inconvenient and even produce sounds and noises like clicking or smacking. Over time the mouth adapts to the same.