Dentures - A Cosmetic Solution to a Practical Problem
Though associated with the elderly, dentures are worn by many patients who have lost all or most of their teeth due to injury, decay, gum disease, or another dental condition. Dentures not only allow the patient to chew and speak normally, they also keep the jaw from falling into disuse and maintain the shape of the face. Since they look like natural teeth, dentures are an option to maintain the aesthetics and functionality of the smiles of patients with missing teeth.
Removable partial dentures replace one or more teeth on either the upper or lower arches. Partial dentures that are permanent and fixed in place to the natural teeth on either side are called dental bridges. Patients missing all or most of their teeth have several options to choose from. Standard dentures are custom fit to the patient’s mouth over several office visits and take into the account the healing process of the mouth and gums. Immediate dentures are placed in the mouth right after the dentist removes the remaining teeth, before the gums have healed. Since they are placed before healing has begun, immediate dentures must be realigned to ensure a proper fit. Overdentures are held securely in place by dental implants that are surgically embedded into the gums.
Care for dentures is similar to care for natural teeth. Daily cleaning with a soft bristled toothbrush and cleanser specially formulated for dentures, removes particles, plaque, and stains. When the dentures are not in use, it is important to soak them in water or a denture cleanser to keep them from drying out and losing their shape. Dentures are an affordable option that allows patients missing several or all of their teeth to maintain the look and functionality of their smiles.