Whether you’re seeking information about dentures for a loved one or for yourself, it’s important that you know the facts. The following information, compiled in cooperation with the Canadian Dental Association, offers the basic facts about dentures.
Dentures don’t last forever.
Nothing does. And while it’s true that the modern denture is more durable than ever before, you can still break a tooth or the denture base by simply dropping them a few inches. Even with painstaking care, denture teeth can lose their natural appearance and chewing ability due to the cumulative effects of chewing, brushing and age. Plus, your mouth changes over time. These gradual changes, coupled with the gradual changes in your denture, explain why you should visit your denture professional regularly. Your dental professional will look for:
- looseness caused by tissue changes
- bad odor caused by absorption of fluid and bacteria
- color change due to age or reaction to mouth fluids
- stains and calculus deposits resulting from mouth fluids. As a result, you can expect your denture professional to recommend replacing or refitting your dentures every 5 to 7 years.
Even if your dentures fit perfectly, you should still see a denture professional regularly.
Why? Mouth tissues can reveal signs of diseases, such as diabetes, that first manifest themselves in the mouth. Besides checking your dentures, denture professionals will also check for signs of oral cancer and other diseases, and examine your gum ridges, tongue and jaw joints. If any concerns are noticed the appropriate medical or dental referral will be arranged.
No one has to know you’re wearing dentures.
No one wants a denture that looks like a "denture." Unlike old-fashioned dentures, which may look unnatural, today’s denture can be made just for you, allowing you to look and feel better without anyone knowing why. Denture professionals use their experience and knowledge to select and arrange teeth in a manner that creates the warm, natural smile you seek. Dentures help you to lose that sunken look in your lower face, as well as the wrinkles around your mouth. You’ll likely look younger and smile more often.
Denture wearers can eat more normally.
In many cases, denture-wearers discover they can once again eat the foods they love. While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, many have few restrictions in their diets. Moreover, they chew more thoroughly, leading to improved digestion and nutrition. And properly fitting dentures may actually encourage you to eat a more varied and well-balanced diet, further improving your overall health.
Denture wearers can speak more clearly.
The ability to speak clearly depends on subtle interactions involving your tongue, teeth, lips, cheeks and the roof of your mouth. A denture that’s properly fitted allows all five components to work together properly.
Denture adhesives can play a role in your denture's fit and comfort.
Dentures are made to fit precisely and usually do not require regular use of an adhesive for comfort. That said, even people with properly fitting dentures may find an adhesive product provides extra security and peace of mind, especially for important occasions. And many people assert that adhesives increase the performance of even the best-fitting dentures. However, if your dentures begin to feel loose or cause pronounced discomfort, see your denture professional immediately.
Some patients have extensive bone loss (ridge shrinkage) and consider themselves "dental cripples." These patients may need to use adhesives daily with their dentures. Denture hygiene plays an extremely important role in preventing problems in this situation.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications can affect dentures.
Drugs can affect denture fit and wearability. For example, certain medications can reduce the supply of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow or to chew. Be sure to let your denture professional know of any medications you may be taking regularly – or even occasionally.
Most denture professionals have a heart. Don’t assume regular denture care is too costly.
Before deciding that regular denture care are too costly, discuss the situation with your dental professional. Be frank. Ask about charges for denture adjustments, repairs and possible replacement. Keep in mind that if your are in your 60s, you are likely to have 20 more years of talking, eating, and smiling. Your oral health is a vital part of your total health.
Never try to make your own denture repairs.
Do not try to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Denture self-repair can cause irreparable damage and may result in the need for a new denture. Even do-it-yourself reliners can be bulky, causing increased pressure on the jaw and more rapid loss of jawbone, and they can irritate the soft tissues of your mouth.
With planning, denture corrections can often be made in one day.
Advances in modern dentistry have made it possible for your denture professional to reline or repair dentures quickly—often right in the office. If you let your denture professional know you are in need of a denture repair, the correction can often be made on the same day and sometimes while you wait.
Don’t avoid replacing your denture just because you don’t want to go through another long adjustment period.
With your first denture, you learned the basics – from eating and speaking with it to simply wearing it. While there will be a period of adjustment with a replacement denture, it is usually shorter – and easier – than the first time. Regardless, it’s important that you do it. Prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures can irritate the gums, tongue and cheek, and even cause the ridges of your mouth to shrink to the point where it is almost impossible to fit you with normal dentures. Your ability to chew may decrease and your face may acquire deep aging lines and wrinkles. When you look at the big picture, the temporary adjustment period is a small price to pay.
All dentures are not created equal. If you look for the lowest price, you’ll get what you pay for.
Remember, you get what you pay for. Self-fitting dentures, which are sometimes offered for "discount" prices, may not fit as well, or be as well prepared, and therefore can lead to serious health problems. A denture professional will make sure your denture features premium long-wearing, low-staining teeth and high impact acrylic denture base. So see your denture professional and ask for these premium quality denture materials.