Best Strategies for Avoiding Dentures
- Maintain your teeth with good hygiene and regular dental visits
- Keep even a few teeth for partial dentures
- Consider dental implants
Most definitely, the best way to avoid dentures is to maintain excellent oral hygiene and see you dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis. But for those who have had one dental problem after another, it may seem better to exchange real teeth for artificial dentures in the hope of no longer having problems.
In reality, however, dentures are a poor substitute for teeth and what you may not realize is that most people as they grow older begin having problems with dentures.
- Biting force reduced on average by 90%
- Harder to wear as we get older
- Need to be remade, on average, every 5 - 7 years
Keeping even a few teeth can make the difference. As more teeth are lost, particularly the back teeth, it becomes harder and harder to bridge the spaces left by non-removable methods (caps). When this is the case, the prosthodontist must use removable partial dentures (partial plates) to restore the missing teeth.
While partial dentures are removable, when made well, they are superior to complete dentures because the teeth hold them stable and because the jawbone doesn't shrink near these teeth. As a result, you can chew more efficiently and with less effort compared to complete dentures. Moreover, the more the teeth are spaced out over the jawbones, like the legs of a table, the more stable the partial plates can be and the less they have to cover the gums.
In the past, when all the teeth were gone, the only alternative was complete dentures. Dentures rest on top of the gums, not in them and thus can move and slide around, even if they fit well. As time goes by and the gums begin to shrink (fig 2.), it becomes harder to make stable dentures.
But I don't have teeth!
In the past, the only alternative was to wear complete dentures and accept their limitations, but with the advent of dental implants this has changed. Now it is possible to replace an entire dentition with titanium implants and get rid of the removable dentures!