Dentures: How Do I Know If I Need Them?

Miguel de Cervantes once said that “Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.” Even in the 1500’s, they knew the importance of teeth. Nowadays, however, losing a tooth is less like losing a diamond and more like losing a few hours of your time, either by getting a single replacement or dentures, if you’ve lost enough. Dentures are the modern day answer to the age old toothless question. What happens when I lose too many teeth?

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry estimates that by 2020 roughly 37.9 million adults across America will have dentures. All dental experts agree that tooth loss is a gradual occurrence. Preventive measures and routine dental care years ahead of time can do wonders for the health of one’s teeth, but this won’t stop the passing of time. A dentist may prescribe dentures in more than three teeth are missing on the top or bottom rows. This is because dentures need adequate gum contact to anchor them. Dr. Bram of Dental Expressions NY says that dentures are one of the most effective ways of gaining normal dental function after significant tooth loss. If you haven’t been to the dentist in over six months and are already missing a couple of teeth, dentures may be in your near future. It’s vital to keep in constant contact with one’s dentist to ensure that any complications won’t come around. If you’re already missing one tooth already and experience pain or discomfort when eating, then there may be a serious underlying problem in your dental health. Redness or swelling in the gums is prime evidence that you need to see a dentist to get a professional opinion.

There are three types of dentures as outlined by the American Dental Association. Conventional Dentures require any remaining teeth to be removed before installation. After the tissue and mouth have healed, a full replacement set will be placed in the patient’s mouth, taking several weeks to months. Immediate Dentures are fit on the same day that any remaining teeth are removed, expediting the process. This may require relining later, and a second denture will be made once the patient’s mouth has healed further. An Overdenture is placed over any healthy remaining teeth in a patient’s mouth. This provides support and stability for the denture.

If you haven’t seen a dentist in over six months, you should see one. If you are already missing a tooth and have more discomfort and pain in your mouth, dentures may be suggested by your dental professional. Teeth are priceless, but thankfully it doesn’t cost more than a diamond to restore one’s dental health.