If you are missing some or all of your teeth, you may be considering dentures. Complete dentures are a removable appliance and for many people are typically the first treatment that comes to mind.
Limitations With Dentures
Although, dentures are a relatively affordable way to replace missing teeth, it is important to realize that they do have limitations. Although accepted as the dental solution in the past, many favorable new alternatives are available.
A denture patient's chewing efficiency is greatly reduced since the teeth are not anchored into the jawbone. Even the best made set will move around slightly because they rest on movable gum tissue. Over time this rubbing can cause painful sores. Loose dentures also affect your speech and pronunciation.
The most serious problem is a condition known as facial collapse. Using dentures over the course of 10 to 20 years will result in the shrinking of your jawbone. This is because your body no longer senses that the bone is needed and resorbs it. This process occurs so that the minerals can be used in other parts of the body. The face gradually tends to become shriveled and sunken in which makes an individual with facial collapse appear much older than they are. As the bones shrink, the fit of the denture must be adjusted.
Are There Other Options?
Dentures are not your only choice to replace your missing teeth. Dental implants are a permanent solution that not only reduce facial collapse, but they look, feel, and function more like your natural teeth. To learn more about this option, please visit our dental implants page.
Another popular alternative is overdentures or implant retained dentures. This treatment uses dental implants to secure the denture in place. Bone loss is also prevented in the area where the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. Implant-supported dentures have a very high success rate, at 95% over 10 years.
Dr. Larsen will be honest with you about what you can expect with the different options available for missing teeth. We will listen to your concerns, and help select the appropriate treatment for you.