Dentures are the oldest means of replacing missing teeth. You’ve probably heard that George Washington had wooden dentures. That’s actually not true – his dentures were made from ivory. Just the same, they have been made of a number of different materials over the years, including walrus and hippopotamus teeth.
Today, dentures are usually made of resin or porcelain attached to a plastic base. There are several types that are available, including partial and full plates.
Dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Of course one of the main reasons that people get them is to improve their smile. They also serve other purposes, like reducing the pressure on adjacent teeth, preventing changes to the bite, and protecting adjacent crowns and fillings. It also goes pretty much without saying that if you are missing teeth, dentures will help you chew.
Of course there are. You could consider bridgework if only some teeth are missing, or implants for a more natural appearance and better functionality. The option you choose will depend on your overall oral health, the number of teeth that are missing, and of course, how much you are willing to pay. Implants can be very expensive.
Partials are recommended when some teeth remain. It’s always better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible. When there are no natural teeth remaining, dentures may be your only option. When few teeth are remaining, there may be enough to anchor partial dentures.
The process of getting dentures can require a number of visits. During these visits, the dentist or technician will take several impressions of your mouth. These impressions show where the missing teeth are located and provide a template for creating the replacement teeth in your denture.
While you are waiting for your permanent dentures, you can expect shrinkage in your gums. You can be fitted with temporary dentures to get you through this period, which could last for several months. Then, once your gums have shrunk sufficiently, your temporary ones can be disposed of, and your permanent dentures installed.
You have probably heard horror stories of slipping dentures embarrassing people while eating, smiling or laughing. Of course this can happen. Dentures are not permanently fixed. However, properly created, properly fitted dentures will normally fit well and cause you little embarrassment. Especially if you have some natural teeth remaining to hold the dentures, as they’ll help to keep the “false” teeth in place.
Even the very finest dentures will, though, take a bit of time to get used to. Once you’re accustomed to your new teeth, though, you’ll find that speaking and eating are almost as easy as they would be with your natural teeth.
Don’t be afraid of dentures. They can help you to eat better, laugh and smile the same as you would with your natural teeth. They’re the next best thing to implants, so if you’re on a budget, you should definitely consider dentures. To learn more, call us for a consultation at 314-843-4040. Dr. Bednarski and the rest of the dental team will be pleased to talk with you about how you can improve your smile with quality dentures.