Kavanaugh Dentistry
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Do I Need Dentures?

As we grow older, the likelihood of needing more serious dental work increases. Think about how long you have had your permanent teeth – most of us lose the last our primary teeth (aka baby teeth) around 12 years of age. In spite of their name, our permanent teeth lose their permanence over time. It is not surprising that, after decades of “wear and tear”, our permanent teeth begin to suffer from increasingly serious maladies. Serious dental health conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay, and injury can cause you to lose some, or all, of your natural teeth. When someone begins to lose most of their teeth (especially if there are multiple teeth missing on the same row), one of the most common treatments is dentures. Below we will provide you with some of the important facts about dentures.

What are dentures? 

Also referred to as a dental plate, dentures are a set of removable, artificial teeth used to replace missing teeth. Unlike other potential treatments for tooth loss, dentures are removable – they are typically worn throughout the day and taken out at night for cleaning. There are actually three common types of dentures: Full dentures, partial dentures, and overdentures. Full dentures are used by people who have lost all of their natural teeth. Partial dentures are used to replace some missing teeth – they rest on a metal framework that attaches to your remaining teeth. Overdentures cover and rest on top of your remaining teeth, the roots of your natural teeth, or even dental implants.

When are dentures necessary?

When we are young, a combination of hubris and “good” dental hygiene often allows us to believe that we won’t need dentures. For some, this may hold true; however, this is simply not the case for many people. Dentures are much more common than you might think. The necessity of dentures depends solely on the state of your dental health. On one hand, when someone loses a single natural tooth, a single artificial tooth can be permanently attached to adjacent natural teeth via a dental bridge. On the other hand, when a person loses multiple teeth on the same row, the option to use alternative treatments (like bridges) is significantly reduced because there simply are not enough remaining teeth that can be used as an anchor.

What are the benefits of dentures?

In the past, dentures were perceived as a last resort for individuals who had lost their teeth and/or simply couldn’t practice proper dental hygiene. Fortunately, these perceptions have changed over the years as people’s knowledge and experience has grown. Along the same lines, dental treatments have steadily advanced throughout the years to make dentures a more comfortable, practical, efficient, and attractive treatment option. Nowadays, dentures are practically indistinguishable from natural teeth. The benefits of dentures are not limited to your ability to eat – using dentures to replace your missing teeth will benefit your appearance and help restore your smile. Moreover, dentures will help you to speak much better than you could without teeth.

Dentures should not be feared. They are a tool to help improve your overall health and quality of life. If you have any questions about dentures or need to schedule an appointment, please contact us here.