A study carried out at Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Dental Institute (GKT) by D M Davis1, J Fiske2, B Scott3 & D R Radford4, was used to explore the emotional effects of tooth loss: 45% of people had difficulties in accepting the loss of their teeth.
These people were:
- more likely to feel less confident about themselves;
- more likely to feel inhibited in carrying out everyday activities;
- and less able to accept the inevitable change in facial shape which occurs following the loss of teeth.
- They took longer to come to terms with their tooth loss.
The impact that tooth loss can have on people and their lives should not be underestimated. In this study it affected 45% of people.
Dentures have been around for a very long time. Many people have heard the stories about George Washington's dentures. Today's, dentures are of better quality and are more comfortable than ever before.
Replacing missing teeth is important for maintaining good health and appearance. A full denture is a prosthetic appliance that replaces all the natural teeth. People who have no teeth usually show the effects of age more then people who have healthy natural teeth. A denture also has benefits with the way a person can eat and speak. A full denture support the the facial muscles and gives a natural appearance and smile.
A full or Complete Denture is a removable appliance that replace all the natural teeth.
A Partial Denture is a removable appliance that fills the spaces that happen when teeth are lost.
A full denture can be immediate. The denture is constructed before the teeth are removed, the teeth are removed and the denture is immediately placed in the mouth. The advantage is that a person is never without teeth during the healing period. An immediate denture will always require a reline because the tissues of the mouth will change as healing occurs.
An overdenture uses roots if they have adequate bone, or implants that hold the denture in place in the mouth with the help of special attachments. This holds the denture firmly in place.
A good and exam and x-rays are essential when constructing a denture. There are many steps and try ins that are necessary for a denture to fit and function correctly and have a natural appearance. It is essential to record proper jaw relationships and make accurate copies of the mouth.
New dentures are seldom without problems. There is an adjustment period to learn how to chew and use them correctly. New Dentures will usually develop sore spots and the dentist will need to adjust the denture until if is comfortable. Like with anything new dentures will require a learning period. You will need to learn how to use the muscles of your mouth and tongue to hold the lower denture in place.
It is best not to leave the dental office and plan on a steak dinner. Start slowly with softer foods that are easier to chew. It may also take some time to learn how to speak correctly.
Because a denture is made out of plastic it can break if dropped. Your denture should be cleaned on a daily basis. In the case of a partial denture, It should be removed before brushing your teeth and cleaned before placing it back into your mouth. When the denture is not in your mouth it should be soaked so that it will not dry out and warp.
I usually recommend removing a denture at night to let the tissues of the mouth rest and breath. Many of my patients do sleep with their teeth for "social" reasons.
Like anything else, a denture will wear out over time. Rebasing and relining a denture can extend it's life. Eventually depending on various factors the teeth will wear out and the entire denture will need to be replaced.