Missing teeth affect a lot more than your looks. They also affect your ability to chew food correctly, swallow, and speak clearly. Worse yet, these gaps in your teeth also affect your other teeth, as well. The teeth on either side of the gap, for example, will tend to lean into that open space, and their roots can eventually collide with the roots of the teeth next to them, causing major damage in the long run.
Furthermore, over time the teeth above or below the missing teeth will wear unevenly from the teeth adjacent to them. In short, missing teeth can be a really big problem, but what can you do?
With modern dental technology, partial or full sets of dentures actually look very natural and very much like regular teeth. They also restore your ability to chew and swallow, and they allow you to speak clearly again, too.
What’s Involved in Getting Dentures?
First of all, depending on how many teeth you’ve lost and where they are, you may only require a partial denture. This removable bridge of teeth has a gum-colored plastic base and can be put in place and removed easily. Partial dentures are usually recommended for patients who’ve lost teeth in one area of their mouth due to trauma or some other issue but who have otherwise healthy teeth and gums throughout the rest of their mouth.
Full dentures, on the other hand, will replace all of your teeth. If you still have a few remaining teeth left, they will need to be extracted, and the gum tissue will need to heal before you get your full set of complete dentures.
Complete Dentures vs. Immediate Dentures
On the day that you have your teeth extracted, we will most likely give you a set of immediate dentures. These are ready-made, temporary dentures that you can use until your gums heal, and we can have a set of permanent, complete dentures fabricated for you.
Basically, your complete denture, the ones you’ll be using long-term, must be made specifically to fit your jaw structure. To do this, we’ll have to wait until your gums are fully healed after any extractions so that we can then take impressions of your jaws. With these impressions, we’ll be able to have a set of perfectly personalized dentures made for you that won’t slip out of place or give you trouble when you eat, drink, or speak. That is one of the many advantages of dentures.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
For some people, dental implants are a good alternative to a denture, as they give you a permanent solution to your missing teeth. However, if you do not have enough bone mass in your jawbone, implants are not an option. Bridges anchored to adjacent teeth provide another alternative for people who would otherwise need partial dentures, but these have their own problems, too. The anchoring process causes unavoidable damage to the adjacent teeth, and it’s not an option if those teeth are not strong enough, either.
Dentures have come a long way in the past few years, and they are now virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. If you have several missing teeth, call us today at 718-984-7700 to schedule a consultation. Drs. Galligan and Villa will walk you through all of your options and help you choose the best one for you. You could have your smile back in no time! Take our quiz to test your dentures knowledge.
Read our Denture Blog for additional information to find out if they are right for you.