Did you know that over 150 million people, or over 50% of the entire U.S. population, are missing some of their teeth – with 40 million having no natural teeth of their own?
That’s right: losing teeth is not only common, but it’s something that pretty much happens to all of us. You can’t insure yourself against falls, accidents and natural occurrences like caries. You also can’t make up for dental mistakes you’ve made in the past – and we’ve all had a bunch of these, even us dentists.
Fortunately, it’s possible to replace a whole mouthful of teeth with modern dentures that are nearly identical to your own teeth. Here’s what the options are – and why different types of dentures perform (and work) differently.
Fixed dentures are a quick, easy way to replace up to an entire mouth’s worth of teeth. Doctors attach them to implants which are grafted onto (or into) your jaw, meaning these dentures are a perfect functional replacement for your natural teeth.
Better yet, 2 full rows of dentures can be attached to as little as four implants. This means that even an elderly person can realistically return the use and feel of their natural teeth without enduring countless surgeries and post-op recovery periods.
When a patient only has some missing teeth, it’s possible to attach a denture to the natural teeth that are still there. This is what’s called a partial denture, and because it’s attached to your teeth, it requires no implants at all. This means there’s no recovery period, no need to undergo expensive procedures and no need to fuse implants to the jawbone.
In fact, getting partial dentures can be as simple as coming in for a mold, then getting the denture attached. The only pre-op procedure you may have to go through is filing a couple of teeth in the same way you would for braces, to allow space for the metal pieces of your dentures.
There are two ways to get full dentures. The first is to wait until gum tissue heals over the implant, allowing the dentist to install metal columns, and then dental crowns, to the implant that’s grafted onto the jaw. The second way is to attach all the pieces at the same time.
This is a lot more convenient than having to live for months with no teeth – but it does usually make the new dentures get a little out of balance as the soft tissue heals. In this case, as well as others when dentures become misaligned, it is advisable to come in for denture stabilization to ensure an even bite and a comfortable feel for the patient.
Are you considering dentures for yourself or someone else? Schedule your visit by calling us at (480) 830-5100. We look forward to getting a call from you!