While many people think dentures greatly limit what they can eat and drink, this solution significantly broadens your options compared to having missing teeth. Dentures improve oral health as there are now new teeth in place to protect the gums from food particles that can turn into tooth decay and gum disease. Dentures provide protection while giving you a brand-new smile you can be proud of.
You may be considering dentures or already have them. Here’s information about our dentures in Bedford, how they work, how to care for them, and what you can do to improve your oral health. We want to answer all of your questions about dentures and help you decide if dentures are right for you. If you are missing teeth, dentures can provide a positive solution to improving your oral health. We are proud to provide dentures in Bedford that are designed to fit your mouth for proper function and unique comfort.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are artificial gums and teeth that are made from synthetic teeth. Our dentist creates these to replace natural teeth that have been removed or lost. Full or partial dentures can be used to replace missing or damaged teeth. Whatever type of dentures are required, they will be custom-made to fit your mouth. They will also match your existing teeth visually to create a beautiful and brighter smile.
What Are Dentures Made Of?
Modern dentures are, in most cases, made out of a tough resin. Denture teeth are made of a harder material than natural teeth. The denture support structure that holds the artificial tooth in place is similar to the natural gum line and is often made from either the same resin that was used for the teeth or a flexible material that fits snugly onto the natural jawline.
What Are the Benefits?
Dentures improve the appearance and function of missing teeth. They also support the structure of the mouth by keeping the cheeks and lips sound. Dentures allow you to consume “chewy” foods, which allows you to continue eating the same diet as before and helps to ensure your overall health. Dentures can also be used to replace teeth that cause severe pain or damage, such as rotten roots or severe decay. The procedure of fitting dentures means that any troublesome teeth can be extracted and replaced by a strong, beautiful alternative.
Types of Dentures
Some dentures can replace one or two missing teeth. Some dentures replace all teeth and gums. When you visit our dental office for a consultation, our dentist will help you decide what type of denture is the best fit for your oral health. Here are some of the options we provide at Meadow Park Family Dentistry:
– Partial dentures
Partial dentures can be used in place of other tooth replacement options when the surrounding teeth are too weak to support structures like dental bridges or when more than one tooth is missing. The partial dentures will fit on the gum line, attach to nearby natural teeth to ensure that they don’t fall out of their place. They don’t have to be attached permanently and can be easily removed for cleaning and sleep.
– Full dentures
Full dentures are also known as complete dentures. They replace all your natural teeth. They can be fitted to your top or bottom teeth. The dentures are held in place with suction and/or an oral adhesive. They can be easily removed, just like partial dentures.
– Implant-supported dentures
These dentures are fixed to the jawbone by dental implants, as the name suggests. Dental implants are permanent fixtures that attach to the jawbone. They can replace any number of missing teeth. The implant is made up of the implant, a metal post (usually from titanium), and a custom-made crown that looks exactly like a natural tooth.
Implant-supported dentures can be attached in a variety of ways, but they should be treated and cared for the same way as traditional dentures. Implants on the lower jaw are more common as the upper is less likely to fit securely. However, many people have both.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
The lifespan of dentures can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the dentures, the wearer’s oral hygiene habits, and changes in the mouth over time. On average, dentures can last between 5 to 10 years before they may need to be replaced or adjusted. However, it’s important to note that this is a general estimate, and individual experiences may differ.
Over time, the shape of the jawbone and gums can change, causing dentures to become loose or ill-fitting. This can lead to discomfort, difficulty in chewing and speaking, and potential oral health issues. Regular dental check-ups are essential to assess the condition of dentures and make any necessary adjustments or replacements to ensure optimal fit and function.
Proper care and maintenance of dentures can also contribute to their longevity. Dentures should be cleaned daily using gentle denture cleansers and a soft brush to remove plaque, stains, and food particles. It’s important to handle dentures with care, avoiding dropping them or exposing them to excessive heat, as this can cause damage.
While our dentures in Bedford can provide functional and aesthetic benefits, it’s important to be aware of their lifespan and plan for eventual replacements. Regular communication with your dentist will ensure that any changes in the fit or condition of your dentures are addressed promptly, allowing you to maintain comfort, oral health, and overall well-being.
How To Clean Dentures
No matter what type of dentures you have, they must be cleaned every day, just as regular teeth. Dentures can be damaged by bacteria, plaque, or tartar, even though they are artificial teeth.
You can clean your dentures by taking them out of your mouth and running clean water over them to remove any food particles or debris that might be trapped between your teeth, at the gum line, or under the structure. Use a soft toothbrush or denture brush to clean the dentures. Avoid using regular toothpaste or electric toothbrushes. These are too harsh and can cause damage to denture materials. Make sure you rinse your dentures after cleaning.
If your dentures have been removed from your mouth, make sure you clean your gums with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Wrap your finger in a soft, wet washcloth to gently rub your gums. When visiting our dentist, we will also help you clean your dentures and provide guidance on how to maintain them best.
How To Preserve Your Dentures
To prevent damage to dentures and to allow your gums to relax, remove them from your mouth before going to sleep. Warm but not too hot water should be used to submerge dentures completely in the solution. This will prevent them from drying out and becoming damaged. Use denture-soaking solutions only if you don’t have any metal components, as it can tarnish the metal.
Dentures Vs. Dental Implants
Dentures and dental implants are both popular options for replacing missing teeth, but they differ in terms of their advantages, drawbacks, and the way they function. Here’s a brief comparison between dentures and dental implants:
Advantages of Dentures:
- Affordability: Dentures are generally more cost-effective compared to dental implants. They are a more budget-friendly option for individuals who may not have the financial means for implant treatment or who prefer a more economical solution.
- Non-invasive: Dentures do not require any surgical procedures for placement, making them a non-invasive option. This can be appealing for individuals who are not suitable candidates for surgery due to medical reasons or personal preferences.
- Restorative flexibility: Dentures can replace multiple missing teeth or entire arches of teeth. They can be customized to fit the individual’s mouth and restore the appearance and functionality of natural teeth. Dentures provide a functional bite, allowing individuals to chew and speak more comfortably.
- Reversible option: Dentures can be a reversible solution, meaning they can be easily adjusted, repaired, or replaced if necessary. This flexibility allows for modifications as the individual’s oral health or needs change over time.
- Immediate solution: Dentures can be fabricated relatively quickly, allowing individuals to regain their smile and normal oral function without a lengthy waiting period. Immediate dentures can be provided on the same day as tooth extractions, ensuring that individuals have teeth to use during the healing process.
- Cosmetic improvement: Dentures can improve the appearance of the smile and facial aesthetics, restoring confidence and self-esteem. They are designed to closely resemble natural teeth, providing a natural-looking smile.
Drawback of Dentures
- Stability and fit: While dentures can provide a functional solution, they may not offer the same level of stability as natural teeth or dental implants. Dentures can sometimes become loose or shift during speaking or chewing, which can be uncomfortable and affect speech and eating ability.
- Bone resorption: Dentures do not provide direct stimulation to the jawbone like natural teeth or dental implants. Over time, the lack of stimulation can lead to bone resorption, where the jawbone gradually deteriorates and changes in shape. This can result in ill-fitting dentures, further impacting stability and requiring adjustments or replacements.
- Maintenance and care: Dentures require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure oral hygiene and prevent oral health issues. They need to be removed for cleaning and soaked in denture cleaning solutions. Additionally, dentures may need periodic adjustments, relining, or replacement as the mouth changes over time.
- Discomfort and adjustments: Initially, wearing dentures may cause some discomfort or soreness as the mouth adjusts to the new prosthetic. It may take time to get used to speaking and eating with dentures. Adjustments may be necessary to achieve a proper fit, and it may take several appointments to achieve optimal comfort.
- Impact on taste and sensation: Dentures can cover the roof of the mouth (in the case of full dentures) or have acrylic material covering the gums (in the case of partial dentures). This can affect the ability to fully taste and enjoy food and may alter the sensation of eating.
- Potential for oral health issues: If not properly cleaned and maintained, dentures can harbor bacteria, plaque, and food debris, increasing the risk of oral health issues such as gum disease and oral infections. Regular dental check-ups and diligent oral hygiene practices are essential to prevent these complications.
Advantages of Dental Implants:
- Natural look and feel: Dental implants are designed to closely resemble natural teeth in appearance, providing a natural and seamless smile. They are custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your existing teeth, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing outcome.
- Stability and functionality: Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, where they integrate and fuse with the bone through a process called osseointegration. This creates a stable and durable foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth. Implants restore chewing function and allow for comfortable speaking, providing a level of stability and functionality similar to natural teeth.
- Bone preservation: Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants help preserve the jawbone. When a tooth is lost, the underlying bone can deteriorate over time due to lack of stimulation. Implants stimulate the bone just like natural teeth, helping to maintain its density and prevent bone loss.
- Long-lasting solution: With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for many years, often even a lifetime. They are a durable and reliable tooth replacement option that can provide long-term benefits, reducing the need for frequent replacements or adjustments.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, unlike some other tooth replacement options such as bridges. This means that adjacent natural teeth remain untouched and unaffected. Implants also allow for easier access between teeth, facilitating proper oral hygiene practices and reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Enhanced self-confidence: Dental implants restore not only your oral function but also your self-confidence and quality of life. They eliminate gaps in your smile, providing a natural-looking and complete set of teeth. With implants, you can speak, eat, and smile with confidence, improving your overall self-esteem and social interactions.
Drawbacks of Dental Implants
- Surgical procedure: Dental implant placement involves a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia and incisions in the gums to access the jawbone. This can cause discomfort or pain during the healing process and may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or those who prefer non-invasive treatments.
- Healing time: After implant placement, a period of healing is necessary for osseointegration, the process of the implant fusing with the jawbone. This typically takes several months, during which time temporary restorations or a healing cap may be used. The extended healing period may require patience and a willingness to follow post-operative care instructions.
- Cost: Dental implants tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to other tooth replacement options such as dentures or bridges. The cost can vary depending on factors such as the number of implants required, additional procedures like bone grafting, and the location of the dental practice. It’s important to consider the long-term benefits and potential cost savings in terms of durability and reduced need for future replacements.
- Surgical and anatomical limitations: Some individuals may not be suitable candidates for dental implants due to certain anatomical limitations, insufficient jawbone density, or underlying medical conditions that affect the healing process. In such cases, alternative tooth replacement options may need to be considered.
- Time commitment: The process of getting dental implants can take several months from the initial consultation to the final placement of the permanent restoration. It requires multiple appointments, including the surgical procedure, healing period, impressions for the prosthetic, and subsequent fittings. This time commitment may not be suitable for individuals seeking immediate tooth replacement solutions.
- Potential complications: While uncommon, there is a risk of complications associated with dental implants, such as infection, implant failure, nerve damage, or sinus problems in the case of implants placed in the upper jaw. These risks can be mitigated by selecting an experienced implant dentist and closely following post-operative care instructions.
Ultimately, the choice between dentures and dental implants depends on various factors, such as the individual’s oral health, personal preferences, budget, and the recommendation of the dental professional. Consulting with our dentist will help determine the most suitable option based on your specific needs and circumstances.
We Offer Dentures in Bedford, TX!
Following your appointment, we will provide you with information on at-home care for your dentures. We strongly recommend scheduling follow-up appointments for periodic denture cleanings.