What are Dentures?
Dentures (also known as false teeth) are prosthetic teeth worn by those who have lost their natural teeth through injury or illness. There are many different types of dentures designed to address a variety of dental situations. Dentures may be removable, partially removable or implanted, and they may replace teeth on the lower mandibular arch or the upper maxillary arch.
Those who have lost their teeth find both functional and aesthetic benefits from dentures. Well-made dentures allow the wearer to enjoy all kinds of food, whereas missing teeth or poor dentures significantly restrict chewing ability. Dentures also support the lips and cheeks, improving the appearance of a patient who has lost his or her natural teeth.
Dentures are custom designed to fit each patient’s mouth, and skill and patience are required to create an effective pair. Poorly made dentures can cause significant discomfort and erode the gums and bones of the jaw, leading to greater dental problems. A combination of implants and removable pieces are often the best option. Additionally, dentures help strengthen muscles controlling your expressions that require the support of your teeth, rid you of pronunciation problems caused by missing teeth and aid with chewing.
Who is a candidate for dentures?
If you’ve lost, or are losing, all of your teeth a Complete Denture is something to discuss with Dr. Ayi. If some of your teeth remain and are healthy, a partial denture may be your way to a great smile.
This procedure should be thoroughly discussed with your dentist as there are several personal and medical factors to take into consideration. You may instead be a candidate for dental bridges and dental implants as optional procedures.
Pros and Cons of a Dentures
Dentures definitely provide a great smile with a very natural appearance. They’re made of very durable materials and last very long when properly taken care of. Typically dentures last from five to ten years. They also correct several problems, from speech to chewing, for many patients.
There’s no doubt that dentures take a little getting used to. There is maintenance involved, and initial speech issues to overcome (these are temporary and last only a couple of days). Mouth irritation or sores may occur, but are usually caused by poor dental hygiene, and not removing your dentures when needed. It is common that your mouth changes over the life of your dentures, so even though they last long, they may need to be replaced to achieve a better fit before they are worn out. With a denture a person typically chews at only 15-23% efficiency compared to a person chewing with their natural teeth. In the case of a full upper denture, the upper palate is covered which can reduce taste of foods you’re chewing.
On your first appointment, Dr. Ayi will assess your needs and thoroughly examine your mouth for suitability for dentures. Some of your existing teeth may need to be extracted first or you may need treatment to get your gums into good health before commencing any treatment. It is somewhat common to require for some teeth to be extracted, and surgery in some cases is necessary to improve the bony ridges that stabilize your dentures. The procedure begins with a wax bite impression of your mouth that will give your dentist exacting measurements. A try-on appointment will fine tunes color, shape, and custom-fit.
An impression (mold) of your gums will be taken and used as a model to fabricate your dentures to fit the contours of your mouth exactly. A dental technician will make your dentures to Dr. Ayi’s exact specifications. After your final dentures are fabricated, they will be placed and informed of their required care.