Before you had dentures you probably did not put a lot of thought into how they can impact the life of the wearer. There was no reason to worry about potential issues dentures can cause when you did not have a need for them. Now that you have dentures-or are preparing to get them-the way they will impact your life is likely on your mind. Dentures have the potential to improve your life in many ways. They can allow you to eat foods that you have been avoiding for years, restore your confidence when talking to others, and help you look like yourself once again. A well-designed set of dentures can drastically impact your life for the better. But, if you have ill-fitting dentures you will run into some serious problems as you try and live your everyday life. Problems you will experience if you have ill-fitting dentures include pain, difficulty eating, difficulty talking, and self-consciousness.
Dentures that do not fit properly can cause you pain. If they are the wrong size for your mouth they may move around and create sore or tender spots on your gums. Dentures that are ill-fitting can also lead to jaw pain. You may experience pain all the time or when engaging in certain activities such as eating. The pain that can come from ill-fitting dentures can cause you to stop wearing them regularly or avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
Difficulty eating can occur when you have ill-fitting dentures. As mentioned above, dentures that do not fit well can lead to pain while eating. In addition, ill-fitting dentures can allow food particles to get stuck and irritate you. Eating is an activity that has to occur multiple times a day so when you have difficulty with that task it can be a major disruption to your life.
When dentures do not stay in their place properly it can make talking difficult. If you have dentures that are too small or too large for your mouth it can also lead to difficulty talking. As with eating, talking is a daily activity that most people must engage in for work and social reasons. Ill-fitting dentures that prevent you from speaking the way you want can interfere with your life in a number of different areas.
Another problem you can experience from ill-fitting dentures is self-consciousness. The shape of your face, look of your smile, and the functionality of your mouth are all impacted by your dentures. If they do not fit as intended any or all of those elements can be impacted. If you are not confident in the way you look because of your dentures it can hold you back from engaging in life at the level you want to engage.
The problems you will experience if you have ill-fitting dentures are serious and far reaching. It is worth your time to find a dentist who is trained to properly fit patients for dentures. The type of dentist you should be looking for is called a prosthodontist. The additional training prosthodontists have with fitting and designing dentures can make all the difference in your experience of wearing dentures.
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.