Tooth loss can occur for a number of reasons. Some people experience an injury that causes severe tooth damage and eventually loss. Others have poor oral health and loose teeth due to decay. And for some, tooth loss is something that comes along with the aging process. No matter what led to your tooth loss, you need a solution that will allow you to function normally once again. If you are considering dentures as a solution to your missing teeth there are three important questions you need to ask before you move forward with getting dentures.
Are dentures the right option for me?
Dentures are not the right choice in every situation. You need to talk to your prosthodontist to determine if they are the right option for you. Elements that will impact your candidacy for dentures include the number of teeth you have missing, the condition of your gums, and the condition of your jaw bone. If you still have some of your natural teeth and your gums and jaw bone are in good condition your prosthodontist may recommend implants instead of dentures. Asking this question will help you feel confident with whatever tooth replacement option you choose.
Will dentures look natural?
There was a time in the past where dentures were unmistakable. They did not look natural and could be recognized easily. It is still possible to get a set of poorly designed dentures but they are no longer the only option. Advances in technology have led to the creation of dentures that look very natural. Prosthodontists are trained to create dentures that look natural in color, shape, and size. Your dentist will look at the shape of your face and size of your mouth as part of the design process to ensure that the dentures you receive look natural for you.
Will dentures function well?
A set of ill-fitting dentures can cause a lot of problems in your life. They can make it difficult to speak and eat. Dentures that do not function well can even cause you pain. The purpose of dentures is to replace the look and function of the teeth you are missing. It is possible to get a set of dentures that fit and function well. The key to getting dentures that function in the way you need is to work with a dentist with training and experience fitting dentures.
A set of well-designed and well-fitting dentures can significantly improve your quality of life if you have missing teeth. Talk to your prosthodontist about getting dentures and ask the questions mentioned above as well as any others you may have. If you get dentures, you will wear them every day so make sure that you are satisfied that they are the right choice for you.
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.