Missing Teeth Solution: Reducing the Denture Stigma
At the Dental Oasis of Orange County, Brian Toorani, DDS and his team recognize that a big component of graceful aging is dental health. As a graduate of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, Dr. Toorani specializes in cosmetic dentistry that helps you look your best at every stage of life. When teeth are lost, dentures may be the best replacement.
Dentures are false teeth that are attached to an acrylic base which is then fitted to your gums. There are two main types of dentures and it will be up to your dentist to decide which one is right for you. In addition to dental implants, which are different than dentures, you have the choice of full or partial dentures.
Unfortunately, according to the Biting Into Denture Care survey, over 60% of denture wearers are so ashamed of their appliance, that they have kept it a secret from a loved one. If you are missing teeth, there is no shame in wearing dentures, as they can be a wonderful solution to restore aesthetics and functionality.
The Benefits of Dentures
The biggest and most obvious benefit of dentures is that you’ll have teeth again! And if you are missing many teeth, then this appliance can help you improve a drab appearance from sunken cheeks; the appliance can help you speak more clearly and confidently: and the appliance will help you enjoy foods that you may not have been able to properly chew before.
Some people are put off by the prospect of dentures because they don’t think they will look natural. However, this doesn’t have to be the case at all–a benefit of dentures is their natural appearance! There are many talented dental technicians who are not only technically trained but artistically trained and who understand the subtleties of tooth shape and color.
One way to improve your chances of natural looking teeth is to scour your photo albums for pictures where you are smiling. If you provide your dentist with these references, he or she will have a better idea–along with molds. x-rays, etc.–about how your teeth used to look and how to create natural-looking replacements. Keep in mind that some Huntington Beach, CA dentists–like Dr. Toorani–have specialized in cosmetic dentistry, so they have great experience in creating beautiful smiles. Also, nothing can beat the price of dentures. Because many dental implants are not covered by insurance, you could be paying about $4,000 out-of-pocket–and that’s just for one tooth! If you are replacing many teeth, those dental implants could easily cost you half a year’s salary or more–and that doesn’t include additional costs for procedures like bone grafting.
The steep prices for dentures can be a big turn-off when lower-end dentures can be made for a few hundred dollars; some are even covered by insurance. If money is tight or you are a big saver, this affordability is a fantastic benefit. Lastly, dentures are a lifesaver if your dentist doesn’t recommend you for dental implant due to a contraindication that would make it likely they would fail. Instead of just living with missing teeth, dentures are an appliance just about anyone can use.
What Types of Dentures Are There?
If dentures sound like a good fit, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the different types: full and partial.
There are two types of full dentures: conventional and immediate.
Conventional full dentures are used by people who have had all their teeth removed. True to their name, these traditional-style dentures can be removed and replaced at your leisure after your mouth has healed. There is a period of time during which you will be without teeth to allow your gums to heal after your teeth are removed.
Immediate dentures, on the other hand, don’t require any time for your gums to heal, meaning that you will always have teeth. The only issue with immediate dentures is that you will have to return to your dentist to have the dentures refitted. The reason being that the bone supporting the teeth can shrink and reshape itself during recovery, which can make the dentures loosen up.
Partial dentures allow you to keep the healthy teeth that remain in your mouth. They attach to your natural teeth via metal framework that keeps them steady. In some cases, your dentist may opt to install crown on some of your natural teeth that allow the partial denture to be secured.
The Adjustment Period: Wearing and Caring for Your Dentures
Some newbie wearers are discouraged by their decision at first because it takes time to adjust to the appliance. You will need to exercise your buccinator muscles (in the cheek) to get used to talking and chewing again. Also, your dentures may be ill-fitting at first and take a few more follow-up appointments to adjust them. Some patients over compensate with adhesive if their dentures aren’t fitting; however, you don’t need a ton of adhesive for dentures to work. If you are overdoing the adhesive, make sure you have the dentist fix the fit of your appliance. Thankfully, unlike older denture models, newer ones can be very comfortable. Keeping your dentures clean is very important to your overall oral health and to the lifespan of the appliance. The following is a list of ways to maintain your dentures:
- When you take your dentures out of your mouth, immediately place them in a soaking solution or in a glass of water to make sure that they don’t dry out. If they dry out, they will become uncomfortable and will have to be replaced.
- Brush your dentures as if they were your natural teeth. Plaque can build up on dentures too.
- Brush your gums with a soft tooth brush to rid the area of any food or plaque buildup.
- Consult with your dentist if your dentures begin to fit abnormally or if they break, chip, or crack.
Adjusting to dentures doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. With the Dental Oasis of Orange County, Dr. Toorani and his team are here to help.