In all likelihood, there is not a single person out there that has not heard of a denture. In fact, one of my most amusing memories as a dentist is of a five-year-old patient that asked me when he would be old enough to get dentures! Perhaps he thought it was a sign of maturity, but I assured him that he would not be needing them anytime soon.
Even though most of us know what dentures are, we may not be familiar with the specifics. Dentures are prosthetics that help to replace gums, bone, and teeth in areas that are missing these structures. They are very versatile in that they can be made to replace a single tooth or every tooth in your mouth. If you are missing teeth, then having a denture is one way to replace them and restore the shape and function of your teeth. Without replacement, tooth function is compromised and can lead to poor nutrition, speech, aesthetics, and even damage to remaining teeth. Dentures are typically made of combinations of metal, wire, acrylic, and/or plastics. They can be held in place by utilizing remaining teeth or dental implants as anchors, or they can be supported by resting on the jawbone. They are made to fit your mouth specifically, so don’t be tempted to buy that pair you saw at the local thrift store!
Fees for dentures vary greatly depending on the condition of your mouth, the type and quality of materials used to make them, and the techniques and skills of your dentist. A thorough examination, along with a discussion of what your hopes are, will help to provide your dentist with the information needed for a treatment estimate. A common misconception of denture wearers is that once you have them, you no longer need to visit your dentist. This could not be further from the truth! If you have any existing teeth or implants, it is very important to keep them healthy so they can continue supporting your denture. If you have no remaining teeth or dental implants, it is equally important to have periodic examinations. This will help to ensure proper fit of your dentures and optimal health of the structures that support them.
Once dentures are made, they typically do not change in shape or structure. Unless Fido uses them as a chew toy, which is a common occurrence! That being said, dentures will often need adjustments, refitting, and sometimes even remaking depending on how much your jawbone and skin changes beneath them. When teeth are removed, everything that was around them changes shape. The more teeth that are removed and the longer you wear dentures, the greater the change. Add this information along with the fact that the bones of your entire skeleton turns over every decade, and you can see why your dentures are loose or no longer fit properly.
If you are experiencing the clickety clack of loose dentures or if you have any questions regarding new dentures, please contact Bowie Family Dental at 928.775.8581. We look forward to providing all the information needed to allow your active participation in treatment decisions!