As we age, our teeth and gums may become weak if not cared properly. It is not an inevitable situation, but there will come a time in life where we or the people around us might have to consider dentures.
Whether the reason is health-concerned, to ease our daily routine like eating or for improved aesthetic purposes and smile concerns, here is some general knowledge for you to further understand the usage of dentures.
What is a Denture?
Dentures, or also known as false teeth is a removable appliance. It acts as a replacement for missing teeth, gums and surrounding tissues. They are also often made of acrylic, nylon or even metal.
Dentures help us eat and speak better than we could without teeth, as well as improve the look of our smiles in some cases. Depending on your needs, your dentist will assist and advise you on the type of dentures that are best suited for you.
Types of Dentures
There are usually a few dentures choices available to assist in different dental cases:
a) Full/ Complete Dentures: These dentures are also known as the conventional denture and the familiar ones usually used by seniors and the golden-aged. They replace both upper and lower teeth after they are removed and gum tissues have healed.
b) Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used when there is removal of only some but not all teeth. While you have some natural teeth remain, the partial dentures are designed to fill the spaces of the missing teeth.
c) Immediate Dentures: Immediate dentures are temporary complete dentures that protect the gums as they heal. They allow you to replace missing teeth immediately and can be inserted on the same day that your teeth are removed. This allows you to have teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed.
Note: Your dentist will take measurements and models of your jaw prior to your extraction appointment. These dentures will need to be relined after a few months due to changes to your jaw and bones.
d) Overdentures: Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after they have been prepared by your dentist.
Why and when would you need Dentures?
There are many different reasons why one would need to have dentures. Here are the common ones:
1) Loss of Natural Teeth
Teeth loss can be caused by a few reasons like tooth decay or gum disease. While one or two lost teeth may not pose an issue, however they will affect the remaining teeth by creating excessive dependable pressure. Also, when you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag and cause you to look older. Dentures can aid to fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
2) Gaps/ Loose Teeth
While loose teeth can be an indicator that they might need to be extracted due to advanced gum disease, they could be saved with treatment. If unable, the extracted teeth can be replaced with dentures.
3) Difficulty speaking and chewing
With missing teeth, it is harder to convey certain words or speak properly and you may end up sounding slurred.
Also, our teeth are important for us to bite and chew food normally. If you experience pain in eating hard or chewing food, your teeth might have some damage. Because your teeth are not functioning properly and you face difficulties in chewing, you may not realise that you are taking larger bites and could lead to indigestion.
Denture Care and Dental Hygiene
With new teeth comes greater responsibility in caring for your dentures for them to last longer. Due to its daily use, there are a few pointers in caring for your dentures.
a) Always keep your mouth clean and be mindful of the type of food you consume. Dental and oral hygiene is still just as important even when you are having dentures.
b) Constantly handle your dentures carefully and delicately over a basin of water or a cloth. They might break easily if accidentally dropped.
c) When not in use or if you are not wearing them, soak them in plain water, or a denture-cleaning solution if you have any. Never let your dentures dry out as it will cause them to go out of shape.
d) Brush your gums and dentures daily with toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush, just like how you usually brush your own teeth after meals or before going to bed. This prevents them from getting stained and will remove any food particles and plaque stuck on them.
e) Once given the green light by your dentist, it is advisable to remove your dentures when you go to sleep at night. This allows your gums to rest.
f) If an adhesive is needed to retain your dentures, do not apply too much and follow the amount as instructed. After usage, ensure that the adhesive remnants are removed and cleaned thoroughly from your dentures and mouth.
New Teeth for a New You!
As we conclude, not everybody will require dentures. However, it is also still important to care for our oral health and gum health.
New dentures will take some time in getting used to. It may also feel awkward at first but with constant practice in speaking and eating with your dentures on, it will be like second nature and you do not have to worry about any other teeth problems anymore.
If you are experiencing some general tooth or gum symptoms, it may be necessary to visit your dentist! Our dentists and oral care professionals at WhatsDoc are able to help you through teledentristry with some dental challenges that you may be experiencing.