Unhealthy or missing teeth may be embarrassing but they are a fairly common part of the aging process. Restorative procedures like dental implants, dental crowns and dental bridges can help to replace or strengthen teeth. However, they may be an inadequate solution if much of the mouth needs repair. In some situations, top North Carolina dentist Dr. Tiwana may recommend dentures, or partial dentures, to completely make over the mouth.
Are You a Candidate for Dentures?
Dentures are a practical solution for patients who are missing a lot of teeth or have many unhealthy, decaying teeth in their mouth. Full dentures can take the place of a row (or both rows) of teeth to transform your smile. Keep in mind that other restorative procedures may be preferable if you still have many healthy teeth in your mouth.
Not all denture patients need to replace an entire row of teeth. If you have some healthy teeth in your mouth, you may be a better candidate for partial dentures, which fit around the natural teeth that are in your mouth. The process for receiving and caring for partial dentures is the same as those for full dentures.
What Are the Benefits of Dentures?
The most obvious benefit of dentures is the aesthetic improvement to your smile. Instead of constantly keeping your lips closed to avoid the embarrassment of showing an imperfect mouth, you can smile without reservation to show off your beautiful new teeth. Contemporary dentures look nicer and more realistic than dentures from decades past.
Dentures also help you to regain a fully functional mouth. Without a full set of teeth, you are likely to have difficulty eating and speaking. Although there is a slight adjustment period while you learn to use your new dentures, in short order you should be chewing and talking better than you did with missing teeth.
What Is the Process of Getting Dentures Like?
Dr. Tiwana begins by taking X-rays and examining the condition of your mouth. If you have remaining teeth that are severely infected and cannot be saved, she will extract them. Assuming you and Dr. Tiwana agree that dentures (rather than other restorative dental procedures) are the best solution, she will make a mold of your mouth. This mold is then sent to a laboratory that creates custom dentures that fit the size of your mouth. You can provide input on the size of the teeth and the shade of white you would like to have.
After a few weeks, you return to Chatham Dental Arts to try your new set of dentures and confirm that they fit correctly. This includes checking to see whether you can make a natural biting motion and move your teeth without making a clicking noise.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect from Dentures?
A set of dentures typically lasts about five to 10 years. The best way to maximize the durability of your dentures is to take good care of them. This includes removing them each day to rinse them off and clean them with denture cleaner or soap. You should also use a toothbrush (gently) to keep the dentures clean, but skip the toothpaste since that can erode the material of your dentures.
Any time you are not wearing your dentures, they should be placed in cool or room-temperature water so that they hold their shape. Heat or hot water can cause your dentures to warp, which may make it difficult for your dentures to fit properly in your mouth.