Tooth loss results from many different dental issues and can affect people from many age groups. It’s a problem often associated with people over 65, but adults ages 20-64 lose teeth as well, most having only 80% of their teeth left and a smaller percentage having none at all. In total, over 36 million Americans are edentulous (toothless), and 120 million are missing at least a single tooth. With enough teeth missing, it can affect your speech and your ability to eat.
Dentures are a common orthodontic prosthetic used to replace missing teeth, whether you are toothless or lack a number of teeth in specific areas of your mouth. And if you’re in a position that you need to consider getting dentures, you should know what to expect from the process. Let’s dive into this subject by examining what types of dentures are out there, what the process of getting them is like, and how you should care for them once you’re finally fitted.
If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area and you’re struggling with missing teeth, Drs. Melissa Daza, Michelle Schwartz, and the experienced medical staff at Bucktown Dental can help.
Types of dentures available
What kind of denture you get will depend on your specific needs, and they include:
- Partial: If you’re missing a number of teeth on your upper or lower jaw, a partial is a way to restore chewing function that may need clasps to attach to other teeth.
- Full: Also known as complete dentures, this set is necessary when you’re missing all your teeth from your upper or lower jaw, or even both.
- Immediate: These can be applied right after tooth extractions and are generally temporary solutions until you get permanent dentures.
- Implant: Posts can be implanted into your upper or lower jaw to support these dentures, which can be removable or permanent.
What to expect from the procedure
The process of getting dentures takes a few weeks over numerous appointments and starts with doing dental imaging to determine measurements and spacing for the artificial teeth. Impressions are made of your jaws as well as molds to help get the final fit right. Once the molds are complete, the final dentures can be made, and then they are fitted and adjusted.
They will feel odd and loose for the first few weeks, and how you adjust to them will vary depending on whether or not they are tooth-supported, implant-supported, or held in place with an adhesive.
How to care for them
The most important thing when dealing with dentures or any other dental appliance is that you still need to care for your teeth and gums. If there are any remaining teeth, you must continue to properly brush and floss them, and if all of your teeth are gone, keep your dentures clean to avoid infections or other problems with your gums. You’re still placing the dentures on living tissue, so keep them free of germs and bacteria. Brush and clean your dentures daily, and keep them in water to prevent them from drying out.
Dentures can last up to five years or longer if you properly care for them, unless you find yourself dealing with cracks in the material, erosion from general use, or problems with changes in the fit.
Dentures are a helpful tool to help with eating and talking and whatever your needs, there are options available. If you’re ready to use them to replace missing teeth, make an appointment with Drs. Daza, Schwartz, and their team at Bucktown Dental today.