The truth about dentures
Want to know the truth about dentures? A good quote I’ve always heard and believe in is “dentures are an alternative to having no teeth.” So if you already have no teeth then obviously dentures would be a good way to get teeth back in your mouth. But other examples would include gum disease, gross decay, missing teeth causing difficulty eating or chewing.
In reality you want to try to avoid dentures if possible, however in some cases it is not possible to avoid dentures. Dentures can look great but it can take some time getting used to the feeling of wearing dentures. Often the upper denture is easier to use but a bottom denture will take effort on the patient’s behalf to be able to use. The reason is an upper denture has the surface area of the palate to help create retention/suction allowing it to stay in easier. The bottom denture doesn’t have as much surface area due to the tongue causing it to feel like it is popping or flopping up. The patient must practice wearing a lower denture and spend quite a bit of time coordinating the lip, tongue, cheek muscles to keep a lower denture in place. If a patient doesn’t put the time to practice wearing their lower denture they will not learn to use a lower denture. It is almost like an acquired skill like learning to ride a bicycle.
The most common reasons people need dentures are gum disease and/or decay of the teeth. Below is a photo of a patient with decayed teeth which were beyond fixing. If your teeth are loose and wobbly where you are having a difficult time eating then you are a candidate for dentures. If your teeth have decay and cavities beyond being fixable then you are a good candidate for dentures. In fact if you are missing most of your teeth and only have a few teeth left on each arch where you have a hard time eating you could be a good candidate for dentures as well.
Below is an example of a patient with missing and decayed teeth beyond fixing who was able to fix their smile with dentures. Photo is of an actual patient of Peter Mani DDS and photo used with patient’s permission and consent.
This is the 2nd part of a our series on all about dentures. Here is a link to part 1.