Even if you take great care of your teeth, over time, they may still become worn down, becoming more susceptible to damage and decay. Eventually, this can result in tooth loss. Teeth can also be lost due to gum disease or injury. Fortunately, there are several options available for replacing teeth. One very effective and common solution is removable dentures.
Dentures are prosthetic teeth worn in the mouth to replace a line of missing teeth. If a full line is missing, it is called a complete denture. These are designed to look like natural teeth and the surrounding tissues, but can be removed from the mouth for cleaning. They restore not only the mouth’s appearance, but also the functionality of the teeth.
Leaving gaps in the teeth can allow the remaining teeth to shift along the gum line and change position. This can affect your bite and even change your facial structure. Dentures fill in the empty space to prevent the teeth from moving. Additionally, they restore function to the teeth, allowing you to eat again and speak with greater ease. Missing teeth can make a person feel very self-conscious, and dentures can help to restore some confidence.
It usually takes several appointments to have dentures made. During the first appointment, molds and measurements will be taken of the mouth. These measurements are highly accurate and are used by a dental laboratory to create customized dentures that fit comfortably and can be used effectively. After the dentures have come back from the dental lab, several “try-in” appointments will be necessary to adjust the dentures to achieve the right fit.
It will take some time to get accustomed to wearing dentures. At first, they may feel very awkward and uncomfortable. They may even cause irritation, soreness, and/or increased saliva flow in the beginning. After a while, however, the mouth will get used to the feeling of wearing the dental prosthetic, and you will be able to eat and speak as before.
There are some limitations to what foods can be eaten when wearing dentures. For example, chewy foods will have to be avoided, as well as foods like corn on the cob. Dentures require diligent cleaning, which includes daily brushing and storing them in a cleaning solution overnight (dentures should not be left on a counter as they can dry out and become warped). With good care, dentures can last for years.