What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth. They typically consist of a pink, gum colored base, false teeth and sometimes, metal hooks that hold the dentures in place. Dentures can fill the gaps left by missing teeth depending on your needs. There are two different types of dentures: partial and complete. Partial dentures are designed to replace one or more missing teeth; while complete dentures are used to replace all of your teeth. If needed, remaining teeth may be removed by a dental professional, who will also monitor the healing of the mouth and gums before installing complete dentures.
The Benefits of Dentures
It can be devastating to lose teeth. Dentures can be beneficial for a number of reasons:
Boost Your Self-Confidence
Your smile is often the first thing a person notices about you. If you feel self-conscious because you are missing a tooth, you may not be able to put your best foot forward. Dentures can be so well designed and fitted to your mouth that no one will be able to tell that you are missing teeth.
Maintain the Position of Your Teeth and Facial Features
When you lose a tooth, your other teeth may shift dramatically out of place. In addition, missing teeth may eventually lead to bone loss. As you chew, you apply pressure to the bone holding your teeth in place. When the teeth are no longer there, the bone no longer has regular pressure being applied and will deteriorate over time. This type of loss can actually cause your facial features to sag, changing the structure of your face. Utilizing dentures can prevent this from happening.
Ease of Daily Activities
Missing teeth can create gaps that make day to day tasks such as eating and speaking challenging. Wearing dentures can fill those gaps, making you more comfortable and able to speak and eat with ease. It can take time to adjust to the feel and fit of your dentures. After some practice, your dentures will feel more natural and your day to day activities will become easier.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
When dealing with tooth loss, cost may be a significant factor in choosing the best remedy. The cost of dentures can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors. The number of teeth that need to be replaced may influence the cost. If you have one or two teeth missing and need a partial denture to fill in the gap, you may spend less than if you need a complete set of dentures.
In addition, your existing oral health may impact costs. If you require dental care beyond your dentures, the cost will rise. If your gums are unhealthy and a graft is needed or you have unhealthy teeth that need to be pulled, these procedures will add to the process.
Insurance coverage may also factor into your expenses. If you have dental insurance that covers part or all of the cost, you may discover dentures are an affordable option. That said, if you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not cover dental appliances such as dentures, you will have to pay the full amount out of pocket.
The best way to save money is to visit your dentist regularly and maintain good oral hygiene every day. By keeping your natural teeth and gums healthy, you will limit the amount of dental work needed and keep costs as low as possible. In addition, if you start to experience unusual tooth pain or have any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary, visit your dentist as soon as possible. Often, little things such as cavities can result in time-consuming, expensive procedures if not treated early.
Taking Care of Your Dentures
While most dentures are removable, they still require maintenance. Properly caring for your dentures can help them maintain their shape and structural integrity, meaning they will fit more comfortably in your mouth. Proper care will also help extend their longevity.
If you and your dental professional decide that dentures are the best option for you, make sure you always handle your dentures with care. Try to avoid dropping your dentures, particularly in the sink or on the floor. This can cause significant damage and require repairs or an entirely new set.
You should rinse and clean your dentures after every meal. Just as you need to clean and brush your teeth twice a day, you also need to clean your dentures. After every meal, you should rinse your dentures to remove any food particles. In addition, you should brush your dentures with the correct cleaner at least once a day.
Depending on the materials your dentures are made out of, you may also need to soak them at night. Some dentures need moisture to retain their shape. If your dentures do not receive proper moisture, they can warp. Warped dentures will not fit in your mouth correctly or increase the risk of damage. If you are unsure of how to best care for your dentures, speak with one of our dental professionals for guidance on denture care.
Dentures can be an affordable and successful tooth replacement option. They are extremely cost effective in comparison to other options such as dental implants. Even if you are on a budget, you may be able to afford dentures on a payment plan, making them more accessible. If you are struggling with missing teeth, contact our office. We would love to help you find the best solution to restore your smile!