Many people associate dentures with the older generation—those over 40 years of age. The reality is that dentures are becoming necessary for nearly every age group. A quick look at the patient roster of a dental clinic at Century Smile Dental confirms that the need for dentures is not limited to one specific age group.
Traumatic facial injuries and tooth decay can affect anyone. These occurrences lead to missing teeth. Thus, dentures may become a good option to replace such missing teeth.
The fear among many younger people is that dentures make them look old. This fear is unfounded because modern dentures are surprisingly better looking than those manufactured decades ago. As such, they are barely noticeable.
When Should You Get Dentures?
Missing teeth can cause many people to be self-conscious about their smiles. This self-consciousness can have a noticeably negative effect on their self-confidence.
Tooth decay and trauma, being the main causes of missing teeth, can affect even teenagers. As such, there is no preset age for getting dentures. Any host of factors can compel people to get dentures.
In addition to its effects on aesthetics and self-confidence, missing teeth can make it challenging to chew certain foods properly. This may lead to continuous indigestion and other health problems. Normal speech patterns may also become impaired due to missing teeth, especially the frontal ones.
Missing teeth can cause undue stress on the other remaining healthy teeth. Over time, this strain can cause those healthy teeth to start shifting out of position. This has the overall effect of changing someone’s appearance—the so-called facial collapse. Facial collapse occurs because your mouth and cheeks sag, the resulting shrinking giving you an almost grotesque appearance.
Dentures can preempt all such problems.
Different Types of Dentures
While dentures often replace several teeth or a whole arch of them, a single missing tooth can still be replaced by them. The most common types include:
i)Partial Dentures: These removable devices are best for individuals that still have some healthy teeth in place. They come with clasps to enable attachment to the nearby teeth. Partial dentures are not as well-liked as the other types because of being easily removable. This characteristic causes many of its wearers to be concerned about their appearance in their mouth.
ii) Full Dentures: These can replace a full set of teeth on the upper or lower jaw. Full dentures can either be “conventional” or immediate. Conventional full dentures may take up to 3 months after tooth extraction for them to be replaced.
The immediate ones are created in advance and can be fitted when the tooth extraction procedure is complete.
iii) Implant-retained Dentures: These types of dentures are suitable for people that have lost all teeth but still have a strong enough jawbone. In this case, the dentures are supported by screw-like metals, much like in regular dental implants.
With acrylic being the material of choice for making dentures, they closely resemble natural teeth. They can also be made to resemble the color of the patient’s other teeth.
Most people worry about looking older than they really are when they wear dentures. High-quality dentures are made to look almost indistinguishable from real teeth.
Missing teeth are more likely to confer the appearance of old age. As such, immediately having dentures fitted will go a long way toward making you look younger.
Are Dentures Better than Implants?
Any discussion of dentures would be incomplete without mentioning dental implants. Many people prefer the longevity guaranteed by dental implants. They are, after all, meant to be permanent.
While dental implants are more efficient over the long term, they literally come at a steep price.
Those that choose dentures as a treatment option cite its low costs and lack of invasive surgery needed.
Adjusting to Dentures
Unless complications arise, fitting dentures into your mouth will not require any surgical procedure. Like all such dental procedures, it will take some time to get used to having them in your mouth fully. Even then, some inconvenience may persist. E.g., Increased salivation and soreness of the gums may become a nuisance.
In extreme cases, bleeding and swelling may occur. These occurrences will necessitate seeing a dentist immediately.
Ultimately, unique circumstances may dictate whether or not you get dentures. Age is normally not a relevant factor. Of course, statistics indicate that the older you get (usually past 40 years), the more likely you will need some kind of dental prosthetics. Dentures form a large part of those prosthetics.