Why Burton patients are seeking alternatives to this traditional tooth replacement method
Most people will know somebody who wears dentures. Usually this results from tooth loss over a longer period of time but it can also be due to accidental damage to the teeth at any age.
Dentures have been in use for a very long time, with rudimentary dentures discovered in an archeological dig and which were dated around 2500 BC. It was discovered that, for these particular dentures, wolf teeth had been used. Thankfully, we have come a long way since then!
Even in the last 50 years or so, there have been some significant advances in denture design and it is now possible to have dentures that look very natural indeed. There are even some that offer a degree of flexibility and move in the mouth which helps them feel more natural and adds to the comfort factor. Even then though, most of our Burton denture wearers would agree that they do not feel the same as natural teeth.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, your dentist in Burton, we are pleased to supply a wide selection of modern dentures for our patients, although, as we shall see later, more and more are opting for alternative solutions.
The ‘problem’ with dentures
Whilst some people experience significant problems when wearing dentures, many manage to adapt to them. There are often inconveniences and compromises involved though. The following are some of the main ones.
When a tooth is lost and replaced by a denture, there is no artificial root that accompanies the crown. Despite adhesives and other methods, this means that the tooth is likely to lack a certain amount of stability, especially when eating. As the tooth moves around, it can cause speech impediments and may also lead the wearer to avoid eating certain foods. In addition to this, because there is no tooth root, the bone in that area will gradually reduce, often causing small facial shape changes which, in turn, can make the dentures even more unstable.
In order to keep their dentures as stable as possible, many people use a denture adhesive. This might help but can be messy to apply and also when cleaning. There have also been some reports suggesting that the zinc used in these adhesives might result in problems such as numbness and even nerve damage caused by an excessive absorption of this mineral. There doesn’t seem to be any definite answer with this so we’d recommend doing your own research if it’s an area that concerns you.
Unlike your natural teeth and tooth replacements such as dental implants, your dentures will need to be removed for cleaning. Like your natural teeth, this will need to be done every day and sometimes after eating too. You may question why you need to do this as they are artificial and won’t decay, but poor cleaning can result not only in inflamed gums which would make the dentures painful to wear, but also gum disease which could potentially spread to other healthy teeth, possibly leading to further tooth loss.
To clean the dentures, you will need to remove them daily in order to brush them and will also need to leave them to soak in denture cleaning liquid, usually overnight. Occasionally, you may need to have them professionally cleaned by one of our dental team, especially if you notice staining on them.
Cleaning dentures is also one of the most common ways for them to become damaged. They can slip from your hand when cleaning them and as this is usually done over a sink, they can break on impact with the hard porcelain surface. If you clean your dentures over a sink or other hard surface, please make sure to put a thick towel or other soft item underneath them.
Dental implants alternative
Because of the above, we are finding that a growing number of our Burton patients are looking to dental implants as a more practical alternative to dentures. Whilst, unlike dentures in most cases, dental implants do require dental surgery, they offer many benefits. These include:
- Longevity – Implants can last for 20 years or more with good care
- Stability – The artificial tooth root used in this treatment provides exceptional stability
- Strength – A healthy tooth implant supplies a strength at least equal to a natural tooth
- Ease of cleaning – All you need to do is brush and floss as you already do, plus have them professionally cleaned occasionally.
- Natural feel – After an initial short period, most implant patients say that they forget they have them. This can’t always be said about dentures!
If you have lost a tooth and are considering dental implants, or if you wear dentures and aren’t happy with them, why not consult one of our team to discuss the possibility of having implants instead. To do so, you can call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345 and we’ll be pleased to arrange your consultation.Google+