Missing and decayed teeth are not just an aesthetic issue. Without teeth, we cannot properly chew and digest our food. Moreover, decaying teeth can ultimately lead to gum disease, which has been linked to other conditions throughout your body. If you are suffering from missing or decayed teeth, it might be time to consider wearing dentures.
Dentures are not the only option for those who want to replace missing teeth, but based on your financial situation, oral health, and overall wants for your smile, they may be your best option.
Read on to see the pros and cons of dentures, different types that are available, and how they compare to alternatives.
Reasons to Consider Dentures (and Avoid Them)
Modern dentistry has fixed many of the problems that come along with dentures, and there are a number of great reasons to consider them when compared to the alternatives. That being said, dentures are not without some drawbacks.
Pro: Dentures are an aesthetically pleasing way to restore full rows (or full mouths) of teeth. They look cohesive throughout your mouth, allowing you to smile with confidence. The presence of dentures can even affect your whole face. Without them, your face can sag. Additionally, dentures are cost-effective, and do not require a surgical procedure.
Con: Dentures will wear down and need to be replaced over time. However, replacing dentures is an easier process than replacing bridges or dental implants.
Pro: Even if your teeth or jaw are in pretty bad shape, dentures are still an option. Bridges, in contrast, require the presence of healthy teeth, and dental implants require a strong jaw and healthy gums for a secure connection.
Con: There are multiple procedures involved with getting dentures, including making molds of your mouth, removing any decayed teeth or single teeth, and fitting your dentures properly. You will not know what dentures will look like in your mouth until they are fitted in your final appointments, and may have to deal with temporary dentures in between appointments.
Pro: Dentures are also easy to maintain. Temporary dentures can be cleaned in or out of the mouth, and usually only need a quick rinse after eating. When they are not being worn, you can just pop your dentures in a glass of cool water. This should be done every night to give your gums a rest and prevent soreness.
Con: The ability to remove dentures does create some problems. They may become loose or make clacking noises that create a rather embarrassing moment for the wearer. To keep the dentures in your mouth, the shape of your dentures may cover your palate and affect the way you taste food. If they are loose or move around, you might feel some soreness.
Types of Dentures Available
When most of us think about dentures, we picture a row or two of teeth floating around in a cup. These are called “full dentures.” They are made with an acrylic base that covers the roof of your mouth, as well as the false teeth (these are also made with an acyclic resin or plastic.)
However, partial dentures are also available if you just need a group of teeth replaced. These dentures can attach onto your natural teeth by metal clasps or by attaching to crowns. Partial dentures are often less noticeable than full dentures, and cause fewer discomfort issues.
Alternatives to Dentures
If you are not so sure about wearing dentures, or would like to explore other options, consider getting bridges or dental implants for missing or decayed teeth. Just like dentures, there are pros and cons to both options. Consider your comfort level, dental needs, and finances available before making a decision on what is most appropriate for you.
Bridges: Bridges “fill in the gap” of missing teeth. Dentists create a bridge of teeth that connect to, or cover, healthy teeth in the mouth. These are best for patients who are only suffering from one or two missing teeth, rather than a whole row or mouth that needs to be replaced.
Dental implants: Implants are made up of screws attached to your jawbone, and false teeth that are attached to these screws. Implants can support bridges and dentures, or be used to replace single teeth. They are becoming a very popular way of replacing teeth, but require a surgical procedure and are significantly more costly than dentures.
If you would like more information about how you can restore your smile, or would like to move forward in getting dentures, schedule an appointment today.