A person’s smile is a critical factor in both their overall health and their mental health. If you’re suffering from tooth loss, you may be suffering from a lack of confidence or a hit to your mental health from dealing with the negative side effects that come along with tooth loss; trouble eating, talking, even smiling, and problems with your overall dental health. The good news is you don’t have to continue to suffer. Dentures are a great solution for tooth loss, and Willow Springs Dental is here to provide you will all the information you need to make the right choice for you.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic devices that are typically made from metal, acrylic, resin, or porcelain that are used to replace missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. According to the American Dental Association, more than 36 million Americans are edentulous, meaning they do not have any teeth, and around 90% of edentulous persons have dentures. The base of dentures rests on the soft tissues in your mouth, like your gums, and look similar to your natural smile. It’s important to note there are two different options for dentures: complete, or full dentures, and partial dentures. Both are used depending on each individual patient’s situation.

Complete Dentures

Also referred to as full dentures, complete dentures are the type of dentures we use for patients who do not have any of their natural teeth left. This can be due to the teeth falling out or needing to be removed. If a patient has lost a majority of their teeth but needs a few removed, complete dentures can only be placed once the individual’s gum tissue has fully healed from the extraction, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Once the gums have fully healed, dentures that span from one side of your mouth to the other, can be worn. Dentures replace all of the upper and / or lower teeth using a single prosthesis.

Typically, you can expect that the base of dentures will be made from a hard acrylic material that is ‘gum colored’. We have a variety of different shades of acrylic, and our doctors have the ability to select the shade that best resembles and matches the color of your natural gums. We also have the ability to choose denture teeth that resemble the shape and size of your natural teeth or the shape and size you like the look of best.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are a prosthetic that is removable, replacing multiple missing teeth while fitting around the remaining healthy, natural teeth. Made from the same materials as complete dentures, partial dentures also rest on your gums, but they actually have metal clasps on them that fit around the remaining natural teeth. These clasps are needed to help keep the partial denture in place.

The Good and the Bad

Like anything in life, including dental services, there are pros and cons that should be weighed out before a decision is made. At Willow Springs Dental, we’re not here to sell you on dentures. We’re here to educate you on the options you have with dentures so you can make the best, most educated decision for yourself and the dental care you desire.

Denture Pros:

  • Dentures provide the ability to replace entire rows of teeth.
  • They are one of the most affordable options for replacing missing teeth.
  • They function and look very similar to that of natural teeth.
  • Dentures are a solution that can work for a wide range of patients.

Denture Cons:

  • Dentures may replace the appearance of teeth, but they do not solve the issue of jaw deterioration that comes along with missing teeth.
  • When dentures wear down or the shape of your mouth slightly changes, you may need one or more replacements.
  • Dentures require frequent cleaning and extra care.
  • They can slip, or even fall out, and may need to be repositioned.
  • They aren’t a permanent solution for everyone suffering from missing teeth.

Denture Maintenance and Care

Just as it is critical for individuals to care for and clean their natural teeth on a daily basis, it is just as important to do the same when you have dentures in order to keep your smile healthy. The American Dental Association outlines a few key points to remember when caring for your dentures, listed below:

  • When your dentures are not being worn, you should place them in either a denture cleansing solution or water. This keeps them from drying out, helps the dentures keep their shape, and ensures they remain flexible and pliable.
  • Boiling or even hot water should never be used to clean your dentures, or as a solution for them to soak in. The heat could cause the dentures to warp, altering their shape and potentially causing them to no longer fit your mouth properly.
  • Denture adhesives are not the solution if your dentures do not fit properly. Instead, they should either be relined or replaced in order to avoid painful oral sores that could otherwise develop.

Are Dentures the Right Choice for Me?

There are a multitude of options for missing teeth other than dentures such as dental implants, crowns, and bridges. Although we aim to help our patients be as educated as possible regarding their oral health and the options we have, the only way to really be sure if dentures are right for you is to talk with a professional from our team of experts. Our doctors will be able to examine you to determine if dentures are the right course of action for you, or perhaps suggest a solution that may be more beneficial for your specific situation. We’re dedicated to making our patients as comfortable as possible and take the time during both consultations and appointments to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your treatment. At Willow Springs Dental, we believe everyone deserves a smile they can be confident in, and we’re here to help. So, give us a call at 702-867-2745 or schedule a consultation today to get started on the road to your dream smile!