Over 30 million Americans have dentures and the number is expected to continue to climb. Especially among older Americans who are missing all or most of their teeth, dentures are the most popular tooth replacement option. If you are considering dentures, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages before you make a decision.
Dentures are a removable prosthetic device that replaces your missing teeth. Dentures rely on suction and a tight fit around your gums to stay in place. A well made, properly fitting set of dentures can provide you with an attractive smile and for most patients, are a vast improvement over a mouth full of decayed, damaged, and missing teeth.
Dentures can provide fast relief from years of tooth pain and discomfort, difficulty eating, and being self conscious about your smile. You will be able to smile with confidence and with some practice, you should be able to eat a normal diet. In addition, gum disease and tooth decay has been linked to overall health problems. For many patients, the best option for resolving chronic oral health issues is by replacing their remaining natural teeth with dentures.
Dentures are durable and can last five to ten years or longer with good care. However, due to natural changes in the person’s gums, new dentures are usually needed by this time to help ensure a comfortable, secure fit.
One of the primary drawbacks to dentures is that they can slip or become loose. This can make eating a speaking a challenge. It takes a few weeks to learn to chew properly with dentures and some patients have a hard time learning. Even in the best cases, denture wearers cannot cannot bite down with anywhere near the pressure of natural teeth.
In addition, the fit of the denture changes over time due to changes in the patients jawbone and gums. These changes affect the fit of the denture and require adjustment by a dentist. Some patients also find dentures to be uncomfortable and to cause problems with their gums. Finally, dentures do not stimulate bone growth and denture wearers will experience bone loss in their jaw that can affect their appearance.
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