For those of you who have an incomplete smile, dentures are the answer. Dentures, or false teeth, are prosthetic devices that are used to replace missing teeth and fill in the gaps in a smile. There are several reasons for why tooth loss occurs. The most common being periodontal disease and tooth decay. Other causes of missing teeth include, but are not limited to, malnutrition, trauma, drug use, or genetic defects such as dentinogenesisimperfecta.
Dentures have several advantages. Chewing ability is improved greatly with prosthetic teeth. Dentures also improve how the face looks because the presence of teeth provides structure to the facial muscles and ensures that they are in their place. Support is given to the lips and cheeks and the collapsed and saggy appearance that is a result of missing teeth is corrected. Wearing a denture also improves pronunciation and enables the patients to speak better. Words containing sibilants sound much better with the replacement of missing teeth. These would include the starting sounds of words such as ‘sip’, ‘zip’ or ‘ship’. Alternative examples are the ‘J’ sound in ‘jeep’ and the ‘s’ sound in vision. Finally, dentures help improve self-esteem. Psychologically, the patients feel much better about themselves if they can have a complete set of teeth that enables them to smile with confidence.
There are a few keywords to keep in mind when thinking about a set of dentures. These are the categories of dentures that help in figuring out what kind of denture is best for you. The maxillary arch (upper set of teeth) and the mandibular arch (lower set of teeth) help determine the location of your denture.
Conventionally, dentures are removable. But there are other designs that allow for a permanent oral bond through clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There is the option of acquiring a removable or fixed denture. Both can be either partial or complete. Removable partial dentures are for those who are missing a few teeth on a particular arch. Fixed partial dentures are better known as ‘crown’ and ‘bridge’. A crown is generally used when a tooth is worn down a few millimeters and is covered with a prosthetic covering such as porcelain. A crown is on one tooth, whereas a bridge involves more teeth. A bridge is usually used when there is a tooth missing and the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are used to anchor on. It’s just like a crown but involves more teeth. Fixed bridges are more expensive than removable appliances but are far more stable.
Complete dentures are for the patients who have lost each and every one of their teeth in a particular arch: maxillary (upper) or mandibular (lower). These are more common in elderly people who lose teeth due to causes such as ageing.
So if you are thinking about getting dentures, it is important to know the keywords to find the kind of treatment that is right for you. Complete your smile and show your happiness to the world.