With all the dental advancements in the past decades, you might be surprised to know that almost 40% of American adults between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth. And over 34% of elderly adults (over the age of 65) have lost every one of their original teeth. Still think dentures are a thing of the past? Here are some frequently-asked questions about modern dentures.
What Are Dentures Attached To? Traditional dentures — slippery upper or lower plates held on with adhesive — are still around, and are an affordable option. But adhesive-bound dentures are unwieldy, uncomfortable, and require frequent adjusting in a dentist’s office. The most secure fit for dentures comes from dental implants, or titanium rods that act as replacement roots in your jawbone, anchoring the false teeth in place.
What Are Dentures Made Of? Modern dentures are made from porcelain or acrylic resins, either of which is a durable and resistant material that can easily withstand the enormous pressures generated by the jaw. Archeological remains have been found that show dental implants from a ancient Mayan woman with bits of shell inserted into her gumline, as well as ancient Chinese remains with bamboo shoots serving the same purpose. Obviously, we’ve come a long way.
How Long Can Dentures Last? The crowns of the dentures (the parts that actually look and function like teeth) usually can last anywhere from five to eight years, with proper care. If the dentures are seated on titanium implants, the implants themselves can last a lifetime, so that only the crowns need replacing.
What Kind of Maintenance Is Involved? All teeth, real or otherwise, require brushing and flossing. Adhesive-bound dentures are usually removed at night and soaked in a cleaning solution as well as brushed. Dentures fixed to dental implants are brushed and flossed just like regular teeth. However, since the teeth are not real, and thus will not feel pain if something is chipped or damaged, a more rigorous visual inspection is required to make sure everything is ship-shape.
If you don’t know who to talk to about dentures, ask your general dentist. Even if they don’t provide that service themselves, don’t worry — any good dentist should be able to tell you how to find a dentist that can help you. Remember, you don’t have to suffer through life with missing teeth anymore. Talk to the professionals, and take back your smile. More: www.torrancedentalarts.com