If you are missing some or all of your teeth, you may be considering partial or complete dentures. Complete dentures are a removable appliance and for many people are typically the first treatment that comes to mind.

Dentures are a relatively affordable way to replace missing teeth, but 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 can also affect your speech and pronunciation.

The most serious, long-term 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 which makes an individual with facial collapse appear much older. As the bones shrink, the fit of the denture must also be adjusted.