Missing a tooth or teeth has a significant impact on your oral health. If left untreated, it can hurt your other teeth, gums, and jawbone, which can lead to a lot of problems. Dentures are prosthetic teeth made of long-lasting material and are used as a replacement for missing teeth. With new technology, the quality of dentures has improved. These days, they are easier to adjust to and appear more natural than ever before. Here's everything you need to know about tooth loss and which type of denture is best for you.
Did you know? Approximately 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and nearly 40 million individuals are missing all of their teeth.
What are the different causes of tooth loss?
- Gum disease or periodontitis in its advanced stages (chronic gum infection and inflammation) will infect the jawbone and cause the teeth to fall out
- Cavities if left untreated could lead to severe toothache, infection, and tooth loss.
- Physical injury or trauma is the most common cause of loss of permanent incisors in children.
- Diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection in case of periodontitis and slows healing.
- Hypertension can get worse with poor oral health. Studies have shown that periodontitis has a negative effect on patients with high blood pressure.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, emphysema, and asthma also have a negative effect on gum diseases and tooth loss.
- Smoking is an important cause of gum disease in the United States. In severe cases, it can result in tooth loss.
- Poor nutrition has an impact on a person's overall well-being. Your teeth need nutrients to maintain healthy levels of enamel and prevent tooth decay. Without these nutrients, your teeth start to decay and, in severe cases, fall off.
What are your denture options?
Complete denturesThese dentures, also known as full or conventional dentures, are used as a replacement if all of the teeth have fallen out. Since natural teeth are anchored to the bone, full dentures are less stable and may cause discomfort over time.
Partial denturesPartial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. It helps to fill the space left by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Partial dentures can be either fixed or removable.
Removable partial denturesThey are easy to insert and remove from your mouth and must be cleaned daily. If you are unable to undergo surgery for an implant-supported bridge, removable dentures are your next best bet.
Fixed partial dentures (Implant-supported bridge)Fixed partial dentures use two dental implants and prosthetic teeth to replace a few missing teeth in a row. These dentures are supported by implants and stay in your mouth permanently. You don't have to take them out every day to clean them, and you don't have to deal with the problems that come with removable dentures, like feeling uncomfortable or having them slip out of place.
Implant-retained dentures (Overdentures)Dental implants hold overdentures in place on top of your gums. They are more stable and costlier than traditional dentures, but they provide better chewing ability and comfort.
Immediate denturesImmediate dentures are fitted immediately following tooth extraction. Before traditional dentures can be placed, your mouth must heal for 6–8 weeks following a tooth extraction, and these temporary dentures serve as your teeth during this time.
All on 4 implant denturesAll-on-4 implant dentures use four dental implants to replace all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. They last longer than traditional complete dentures and look more natural than implant-supported dentures.
How do you take care of your dentures?
- Handle your dentures with care, whether they are removable or fixed. Remove your conventional denture on a daily basis to clean them and provide relief to your gums.
- Brush your dentures daily, but avoid using toothpaste because it can be corrosive to them, and rinse after each meal.
- Denture cleaners are preferable to toothpaste, and your dentist will recommend the most appropriate one for you.
- When you're not wearing your dentures, store them according to your dentist's directions.