You’ve likely heard of dentures or perhaps even seen them – but what do you really know about these artificial teeth replacements? Many people associate dentures with the elderly, when in fact, they can be a useful cosmetic dentistry tool at any point in your life. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about dentures in Puyallup.
Dentures are essentially replacements for missing teeth. The reason why dentures are often associated with senior citizens is people over the age of 65 are at a much higher risk of losing their teeth due to a lifetime’s worth of plaque accumulation, fillings, gum recession, and dry mouth. Of course, children and adults are also susceptible to tooth loss (also called edentulism), whether through injury, gum disease, poor oral hygiene or chronic, total-body health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
What Kinds Of Dentures Are There?
Your Puyallup cosmetic dentistry clinic can help you explore the dentures that are best for your individual tooth loss situation. Essentially there are two types of dentures – partial and complete. Partial dentures are ideal for when you still have multiple viable teeth. They are similar to a retainer, with your replacement teeth attached to a removable, gum-colored base which also often uses a metal framework to hold the denture in place. If you are only dealing with minimal tooth loss, crowns on your remaining teeth can be used to anchor your denture.
If you require a full set of dentures, there are two further types. Conventional full dentures require the removal and healing of all remaining teeth, meaning you will be without teeth for two to three months. Alternatively, as the name would suggest, immediate full dentures can be used right after your teeth are removed – however they generally require some adjustments once your gums have healed. Oftentimes immediate dentures can be used as a short-term solution until your gums have healed and you’re ready for a conventional set. Whether you get partial, conventional, or immediate dentures, they will be custom made from an imprint of your mouth, using an acrylic resin material.
What Do Dentures Feel Like?
Like any change to your body – from contact lenses for your eyeballs to braces to align your teeth – dentures may feel a bit uncomfortable or awkward at first. You can expect to feel some discomfort for a few hours upon putting them in, and may have to adjust to speaking or chewing over a few weeks time. Your cosmetic dentistry clinic will likely recommend you start by eating soft or liquid foods until you’ve gotten accustomed to your dentures. You may also want to look into denture adhesives that will help keep the dentures in place and make you feel more confident while wearing them.
How Do I Care for My Dentures – And My Gums?
Just because your dentures aren’t real teeth, doesn’t mean that they don’t require the same amount of care and attention. In general, dentures are not meant to be worn for 24 hours a day. Removing them for eight hours a night – such as when you’re sleeping – is recommended to relieve your gums and stimulate healthy saliva production. Your dentures should be brushed daily, and when not in use, should be placed in a denture cleanser or water to prevent them from drying out or warping. Before inserting your dentures, brush your gums and tongue gently with a soft-bristled brush, as plaque can build up and cause oral health complications. Be sure to schedule an appointment at your Puyallup cosmetic dentistry clinic on at least an annual basis to check in on the condition of your dentures and how well they fit as your mouth and face shape evolves. If you feel any discomfort or pain, or if you damage your dentures, visit your cosmetic dentistry clinic immediately.
What Are The Alternatives To Dentures?
If you have only lost a single tooth or several teeth, you may want to look into dental implants. This cosmetic dentistry innovation looks and feels more natural than dentures, because they are fixed right into your former tooth root, eventually fusing to your bone. Implants can be removable or permanent, and they don’t require the alteration of your neighboring teeth the way that a bridge does. Implants are extremely durable and will blend seamlessly, both from a cosmetic and physical perspective. Ask your Puyallup cosmetic dentistry professional if you are a suitable candidate for implants.