There are a number of situations that can point to the possibility of dentures in your future. If you have widespread damage to your teeth, multiple missing teeth, or deterioration of your jawbone then it could be time to consider dentures as an option. You will work closely with your prosthodontist to determine if dentures are the best choice for tooth replacement in your situation.
Widespread damage to your teeth
If you have widespread damage to your teeth it may be a sign that it is time for dentures. This damage can occur in a number of ways. Some people develop widespread decay from years of below par oral care. Others experience problems because of habits like smoking which can damage gums and in turn damage teeth. Injury, illness, and age are other factors that can lead to damaged teeth and the need for dentures. If you have widespread damage to your teeth – for whatever reason – your prosthodontist may recommend dentures as a tooth replacement option.
Multiple missing teeth
Missing several teeth can indicate that it is time for dentures. The cause behind your tooth loss may point to more problems down the line and the eventual loss of all your teeth. If you are on a path to losing all of your teeth the best intervention may be dentures. Losing teeth as an adult generally points to some type of serious issue with your oral health. If your gums are pulling away from your teeth because of smoking or infection you will eventually experience complete tooth loss without intervention. When you are on your way to losing all of your teeth it may be time to remove the remaining teeth and get fit for a set of dentures.
Deterioration of your jawbone
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that many people with missing teeth want to explore. In order to be a candidate for dental implants your jawbone has to be in good condition. The reason the condition of your jawbone matters is because the post of the implant is placed into the jawbone. If your jawbone has started to deteriorate – which often happens after tooth loss – then you may not be a good candidate for dental implants. In that situation, the next best option might be dentures.
You cannot determine if it is time for dentures on your own. In order to get the process started you need to schedule an appointment with a prosthodontist. After a thorough examination your dentist will talk to you about tooth replacement options and let you know if dentures are the best choice in your situation.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.