Until more recent years, false teeth (or ‘dentures’ as they’re more commonly referred to these days) were often considered somewhat of a last resort. What’s more, they were often quite rough, ill fitting and extremely uncomfortable to wear – so much so, that most people simply chose not to have them; and in some cases, even preferred to have no teeth at all!
Improvements in Dentures and False Teeth Technology
Fortunately, there have been vast improvements in false teeth technology over the past 30 years or so. Not only are dentures much more comfortable to wear but when fitted correctly, you can barely tell the difference between false and real teeth, all thanks to the continued evolution of an array of treatments which are now offered by most high street dentists.
In this blog, we take a look at false teeth technology and what patients can now start to expect from their dental professional.
What are dentures?
Dentures are simply artificial replacements for natural teeth – the main difference being that they’re not permanently attached to the tooth or jawbone.
Dentures can either replace all of a patient’s teeth (known as ‘complete’ dentures) or can be done partially whereby the ‘partial’ denture is simply clipped onto the remaining natural tooth. Both options are now extremely popular.
Why might dentures be needed?
Your dentist might suggest dentures for a number of reasons. It may be that you’re missing multiple teeth or that there are wide gaps which simply can’t be replaced by either crowns or fillings.
Over time, natural teeth are prone to deterioration, so dentures can certainly help to alleviate any associated pain, eradicate oral infections and generally improve a patient’s general quality of life.
What’s the difference between partial and complete dentures?
If most of the natural teeth are missing, then your dentist will most likely recommend that the remaining few be removed and replaced with a full set of complete dentures. On the other hand, if only a few teeth need to be treated, then partial dentures might well be more suitable – it really depends on what’s best for each individual. If your dentist feels that partial dentures would be better suited, then the missing teeth are simply replaced by artificial ones which are usually attached to a flexible plastic frame. Partial dentures can either be fixed or removable, but your dentist will be able to advise you on the best type to suit both your mouth and your lifestyle.
How are dentures created and fitted?
To get the correct fit, your dentist will initially take a comprehensive picture of your mouth in order to create an initial cast (which may, or may not, need adjusting to get the perfect fit). The length of time it takes to get your dentures fitted will vary from place to place, so don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about this.
Once fitted, don’t be alarmed or surprised if your dentures feel a little strange at first. This is perfectly normal but if you feel any pain you should contact your dentist just to make sure that everything is as it should be.
Whilst your dentures initially bed in and settle down, your dentist might recommend that you steer away from certain foods, such as hard toffees and chewing gum – otherwise, you should certainly be able to enjoy your new teeth without any problems whatsoever.
How do I care for my dentures?
Dentures are usually removed at night and placed into a special cleaning solution to make sure they’re fresh and ready for the next day. This not only keeps them free from bacteria but also enables your natural saliva to clear the mouth of any debris and dirt. Otherwise, dentures are really easy to care for by simply brushing them (as you would with your own teeth) and if ever they need a deep clean, your dentist can usually arrange this for you.
How long do dentures last?
If looked after properly – and with regular dental check-up’s – your dentures should last for a good number of years. Since they’re made up of artificial materials they tend not to deteriorate (as natural teeth would) and are therefore much more durable. They’re also less likely to crack if you bite onto something hard.
Are they expensive?
Dentures are currently available on the NHS and are classed as being a band 3 treatment. At the time of writing (January 2018) this equates to £244.30, although any subsequent repairs you might need to them are completely free of charge.
If you have your dentures fitted privately, then the cost is likely to be much higher and it’s certainly advisable to get a quote prior to having the work done.
Key benefits of dentures
There are certainly lots of benefits to having dentures fitted. These include:
- A natural look for anyone who has lost either part or all of their teeth.
- A definite boost for facial tissues, which can soon begin to sag and cave inwards when multiple teeth are missing on one particular row. Simply fitting new dentures usually gives an amazing boost to confidence – not to mention a lovely, natural smile.
- They alleviate any pain associated with eating or chewing.
- They’re extremely easy to look after and can be professionally cleaned by your dentist.
Are there any disadvantages to having dentures?
The short answer to this is – not really! Besides no longer having natural teeth (which often is no longer an option anyway), denture wearers tend to find that the advantages of wearing them by far outweigh the simple disadvantage of the initial cost – and of course, having to replace them over time as and when there are any changes to the mouth or jawline. That said, this particular argument (if ever it could be called that) is by far outweighed with the reduced number of visits to the dentist you’ll have to make once fitted – and whether you’re a fan of dentists or not; that can only be a good thing in terms of both time and expense!