Group of fun elderly folks clinking glasses over dinner outdoors
If you’ve lost some or all your natural teeth, your dentist will recommend dentures so you can speak and chew properly and keep your bite correctly aligned.
Dentures can be removable or fixed appliances that replace missing teeth and keep your smile looking healthy. They can rest on your gums or on implants to keep them in place. Technology has advanced a lot in dentistry in the last 20 years, and you are no longer stuck with ill-fitting dentures that make you sound like you have a mouthful of marbles.
People often take the ability to chew, speak, or even taste food for granted. Losing your natural teeth and not replacing them can cause many problems, including:
Collapsed Bite – Sometimes called facial collapse, a collapsed bite occurs when you have lost enough natural back teeth that you rest on gum tissue when you close your mouth. This throws your jaw out of alignment and can cause jaw pain, headaches that mimic migraines, and put undue strain on muscles that weren’t designed to handle the pressure of supporting the jaw.
Sagging Facial Muscles – Going hand-in-hand with a collapsed bite, the lack of back teeth can cause muscles in the face to sag, making you look much older. This can also lead to premature wrinkling because there’s no underlying dental structure to support the skin.
Malnutrition – It seems odd in this day and age, but the inability to chew well can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can lead to further muscle loss and sickness. Many prepackaged shakes and smoothies are loaded with sugar, and soft, easy-to-chew foods like bread, offer little nutritional value.
Speech Impediments – Your lips and tongue need your teeth to form words properly. Without their guidance, your speech can become slurred, and difficult to understand.
Further Tooth Loss – Missing, un-replaced teeth can also contribute to the loss of other teeth and disrupts the complex function of your mouth. Gaps also allow teeth to slowly lean and migrate into the extra spaces, leading to wear and cracking from excessive forces and creating more problems.
Fortunately, dentures help fill in your face and profile. They can closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much, or allow you to change things up to get the smile you’ve always wanted. Dentures give your jaw muscles the support they need to help you chew, speak, and smile naturally.
Digital scanning technology has made getting attractive, well-fitting dentures easier and more affordable — even traditional dentures benefit. Digital scans of your mouth make the impression process computerized, faster, and often more detailed than traditional impressions.
Your new smile can be created using high-tech software that allows you and your dentist to alter the shape and size of your new teeth in real time and by uploading your picture, you can see exactly what your new smile will look like, often before you leave your dentist’s consultation room.
In many cases, implants are used to give the dentures something more substantial to hold onto. Implants are placed in the jaw and connected under the base of the denture. This technique can be used on both fixed and removable dentures and can replace a few teeth or a whole mouth’s worth.
When it’s time to replace missing teeth, whether it’s one or a full set, several options might be available to you. Whether it’s a full denture, a partial denture or an implant-retained denture, your dentist and modern technology can give you your smile back to help you look younger, smile bigger and return your self-confidence!