Let’s start the “are dentures right for you?” question by asking a couple more questions.
Have you ever suffered the discomfort of having lost or damaged teeth AND then lived with the embarrassment afterwards of a gap in your smile and an uncomfortable bite? Maybe you even felt uncomfortable just smiling.
Are you carrying the legacy of aged dentures that look unnatural or have deteriorated?
Are you self-conscious about the colour of your teeth, but want to move past that uncomfortable feeling?
If you’re nodding your head as you read this, you may be thinking, “Is Dr Miller reading my mind?”
Once upon a time in dental practice, there were far fewer options available to patients requiring replacement of teeth.
In many cases, patients faced the prospect of a life with dentures. This option was frequently synonymous with discomfort, as dentures moved around, and at times required replacement.
Today thankfully, with advancements in treatment, patients now have access to a range of cosmetic solutions that mean choosing dentures may not be the best option.
While there’s no right or wrong answer to the question posed, it pays to ensure you have all the information about available solutions before proceeding.
When wouldn’t you choose dentures?
It seems obvious, but let’s just put it out there.
There is nothing better than your own natural teeth. Period.
Natural teeth are set into your jawbone; they are solid and are rooted deeply in place. They are rigid, strong and have a very powerful bite force behind them.
What this means is anytime when it’s possible to retain your real teeth, it is wise to choose that option.
This is because the alternatives can come with drawbacks.
Here’s what can happen with dentures
Dentures have a bite force of less than a quarter that of natural teeth. They are not rooted, but rest against your gums using suction to keep them in place. Even the strongest adhesives will not give a base with strength anywhere near that of real teeth.
That difference can be likened to the contrast between eating breakfast cereal or tucking into a thick steak. They’re just not the same thing at all.
Another factor to consider (and already mentioned) is movement.
Bottom dentures are held in place only by the muscles of your mouth and gravity. Although manageable, many denture wearers find they move around in the mouth.
Over time, the underlying jawbone recedes without natural teeth and ongoing modifications are required for the dentures to be comfortable and effective.
Denture wearers find many foods are off limits, take a lot longer to eat, and require extreme levels of care.
And another not so fun fact about dentures…
If you love the taste of your food, consider this.
An upper denture covers your taste buds, which means that eating is not the same sensory experience it is with real teeth.
This is because you not only have taste buds on your tongue, you also have them on your palate.
But it’s not all bad news
For some, however, dentures are a fantastic option, but only as a last resort.
When treating patients for whom dentures are their best option, we work together closely to help them integrate dentures into their mouths and lives.
Much of this integration involves the setting of expectations.
There are no silver bullets, and as it is with anything new, a period of adjustment is normal as your mouth, diet, and oral hygiene practices are adjusted to accommodate the changes brought about by the dentures.
The downside of dentures (or any major restorative dental work for that matter) is the inspiration for our ‘Teeth. For life.’ philosophy.
Nothing can beat looking after your own teeth applying the prevention principle, irrespective of your age and stage in life.
What to know more about dentures?
If you have questions or concerns about dentures, why not come in and talk to us about your options?
This one simple step – which can seem like the most difficult sometimes – could make all the difference to identifying the very best way to manage your specific needs.
By understanding these needs, we will be able to provide guidance all matters relating to your teeth, including the decision about whether dentures are right for you.
If you, or someone you know, is facing this question and could benefit from more information and assurance, please reach out to us on (07) 5573 0188 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.