Almost 180 million Americans (out of a total population of 335 million) have lost at least one tooth and 40 million no longer have any teeth. For those who have lost many or all of them, dentures are a common solution and there are important differences between the types.
When teeth are lost, the jaw responds by pushing the neighboring teeth to “fill the gap.” This can actually start a chain reaction of misalignment that loosens not only these teeth, but others and ultimately many will fall out or need to be extracted.
The ideal solution is a dental implant because these are anchored into the jaw, just like a real tooth is, which prevents the natural erosion of the jaw that occurs when teeth are missing. But not everyone can afford individual implants or may not qualify (among other factors, there needs to be sufficient jawbone and severe osteoporosis or diabetes are contraindications).
REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES MY BE RIGHT FOR YOU
For those who still have quite a few teeth, but want to improve their chewing and speaking ability, partial dentures are the popular option. The replacement teeth for those that are missing are attached to a pink plastic base and this can be attached to the gums with clasps, removable at night. Even better from a dental health point of view is to have one or more replacement teeth (crowns that look like the visible part of teeth) attached by a “bridge” to two neighboring teeth that are still there. The bridge can be removable and slow down the misalignment that normally would occur without a full set of teeth.
Complete dentures are for those who have lost all of their teeth or so many that they are willing to have any remaining ones extracted. Your Wilshire Smile Studio dentist will work closely with a top dental lab to craft a “try in” set to see how they feel and function before making the final version. These are attached to the gums with an adhesive.
Overdentures can be a complete or partial set of artificial teeth on a gum-like platform that can be anchored into the jaw with some implants so the denture, significantly slowing down misalignment.
How well your dentures function and last depends on how well you take care of them, including brushing and rinsing daily and soaking them in a denture cleanser at night before placing them in a case.