You know the scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where she loses her dentures in a glass of wine–it gave us all a good laugh. But the reality is that the scenario plays out in real life for many people, and it can be embarrassing. Dentures have long been the solution to missing teeth, but with advancements in dentistry there are other options available—and you won’t risk an embarrassing mishap like Mrs. Doubtfire!
A major benefit of being part of our patient family is that you have access to a full array of comprehensive dental services—all right here in our office—without having to get a referral. From routine hygiene cleanings to advanced restorative care like dental implants, your smile has a home here.
And just like you maintain your home, you maintain your smile with good oral health habits, healthy eating, and regular dental checkups. Things may break and need to be replaced, or you decide to upgrade for a better appliance or furnishing. This happens with smiles too. If you are missing teeth the conventional replacement has always been dentures. But dentures aren’t the only answer now; there are new options available for your smile that make your life easier. You can have a brilliant smile again and never have to take out your dentures, risk losing them, or have pain associated with dentures rubbing the gums. Implant-supported dentures give you your smile back!
The Problem: Missing Teeth
The aesthetic concerns of missing teeth leave many people feeling self-conscious. When you’re missing one or more teeth, it can affect your entire mouth, jaw, bite, and smile. Without the tooth to hold space in your jaw and mouth, your lips and cheeks will begin to collapse inward. And as you lose more teeth, this condition worsens. This happens because there is no longer a tooth holding the space in your jaw, so neighboring teeth begin to shift which changes the entire shape of your mouth and bite. It could cause pain and even bone loss. In addition, it becomes difficult to speak and chew which can lead to further negative psychological effects.
The Solutions: Traditional Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures
Traditional dentures are like the ones you see in the Mrs. Doubtfire movie. This type of solution works for some people, but there are some limitations to consider.
Dentures are designed to be taken out regularly and require extra care. They are made for each individual so the fit is customized. But because you wear dentures over your gums, it often causes discomfort from rubbing which can result in raw or blistered gums.
You can eat with dentures as long as you’re careful about what you eat. Since the denture isn’t as secure as your natural teeth or a dental implant, certain hard or sticky foods could cause it to slip or come out. Or it may just not be enjoyable to eat those kinds of foods with dentures. This is why people with dentures eat soft foods which can sometimes be limiting.
Dentures should not be worn during sleep. So you’ll need to store them on a shelf or in the bathroom after cleaning.
Over time, your jaw bone will atrophy because there isn’t a tooth or root there to maintain it. So your denture will need to be adjusted for a better fit.
Implant-supported dentures give you a more secure denture option that functions more like your natural teeth. You won’t have to worry about losing them in a glass of wine, nor will you need to avoid certain foods or remove the denture for cleaning.
One of the major benefits of implant-supported dentures (other than they’re much easier for you) is that the implant maintains the bone structure in your jaw so your face doesn’t change shape from missing teeth. Your dentist will insert the implant in place of the missing teeth. This provides a secure foundation for your denture.
Your denture is fixed to the implants which prevent it from rubbing on your gums and causing pain. The implant-supported denture will stay in your mouth, and you’ll care for it just like you would natural teeth. Your dentist will remove it at your regular hygiene cleanings for thorough inspection and cleaning
Implant-supported dentures provide a practical solution and a more aesthetic option for anyone looking to restore their smile.
Are you a good candidate for implant-supported dentures?
We rarely hear of individuals who have their teeth pulled just because they can. Choosing to have your teeth removed is a choice with permanent consequences. What you do after comes with a little more flexibility.
The first step to deciding if implant-supported dentures are right for you is to schedule an appointment. If you have pre-existing health or oral health conditions, you’ll have to have those issues treated prior to getting your implants. So scheduling a consultation will also give you a better idea of what needs to be done to prepare your mouth for dentures.
For pediatric patients, there are specific guidelines we follow. Typically dental implants aren’t recommended for teens or young children since their face and jaw is still developing. If your child is in need of a permanent smile makeover solution, a place holder appliance is the preferred first step. But we can talk about that at your appointment.
If you have questions about how to restore your smile to health and beauty, contact us today to talk about your options for smile restoration.