Dentures can be used to replace some or all of your missing teeth. They are usually made up of acrylic and help restore the functionality and aesthetics of the mouth.
Why should missing teeth be replaced?
Whether it's just one tooth or multiple teeth, replacing a tooth which has been extracted is very important as they could lead to further complications if ignored. Some of the drawbacks of missing teeth are as follows:
- Missing teeth vastly influence your facial appearance in a negative way.
- When a tooth is extracted, it makes space for the remaining teeth to drift from their positions in the jawbone. This can affect the bite of a person and also lead to various malocclusion issues.
- When several teeth are missing, it could change the entire shape of the face. Your lips flatten and your chin may protrude outwards, making you look older than you really are. Your facial wrinkles would also increase drastically.
- Drifting of teeth can initiate further tooth loss, as the teeth would loosen from their sockets in the jawbone.
- The functionality of your mouth would be affected. You wouldn't be able to speak or chew food like you used to.
- Missing teeth can lead to loss of jawbone and also its shrinkage.
Is it a good option to replace missing teeth with dentures?
Of course! Dentures have many advantages, making them a great alternative to your natural teeth. Some of them are as follows:
- Since they are made from gum-colored acrylic, they have a natural appearance and can't be distinguished easily.
- They can be used to replace all the teeth, as in the case of complete dentures, or just a few teeth, as in the case of partial dentures.
- They offer a close fit and don't get displaced in the mouth.
- They restore the natural shape of the face and prevent the development of saggy facial skin.
- They restore the phonetics and also the ability to bite and chew food.
What are the types of dentures?
Your dentist would carefully examine your dental condition and determine which type of dentures would suit you the best, after taking your preference into consideration.
- Immediate dentures
Immediate dentures, as the name suggests, are the dentures which immediately provide you with artificial teeth as soon as your natural teeth are removed. Your dentist would have taken a mold of your gums and teeth prior to extracting your teeth, to use as a reference for fabricating your dentures. They can be used right after extracting your teeth and the wounds will be allowed to heal under them. However, they would have to be altered and re-adjusted to accommodate the changes in the size of the gums, as the gums would naturally shrink in size after the teeth have been extracted.
- Complete dentures
They are permanent dentures which will be fabricated after the wounds on your gums have healed. They are made with great precision and would fit perfectly on the alveolar ridge (gums). The suction effect between the dentures and gums prevent them from getting displaced.
- Partial dentures
They can be used when you still have a few of your natural teeth remaining. They are usually made up of metal and acrylic (in some cases, dental grade plastic). They are the best solution to replace multiple missing teeth, compared to the alternatives such as multiple implants or bridges.
- Implant supported overdentures
They are dentures which can fit on top of implants. They offer the most secure fit for the dentures as they are fixed to the implants, which in-turn are fixed to the jawbone. Overdentures can also be used for your natural teeth.
Care of dentures
You must care for your dentures just like you care for your natural teeth. They can be easily removed and cleaned by brushing. Your dentist would give you tips on how to care for your dentures at home. Visiting your dentist regularly would help adjust your dentures if there is any change in the fit and comfort.