Are dentures the best treatment option for missing teeth?
When you are missing teeth it’s important to replace them. Missing teeth can cause a host of problems. The most obvious one is aesthetics – not very many people find missing teeth attractive – but there are other consequences as well. Missing teeth can:
- impact your ability to chew food properly
- interfere with your capability to speak clearly
- cause your cheeks to sink in and your lips to change shape
- affect the health and strength of your jawbones
- alter the balance of your bite
While the most common teeth replacement option is a denture, it’s important to note they are not an alternative to teeth, but an alternative to no teeth. That’s because, in many cases, when missing teeth are replaced with dentures, the jawbone can begin to shrink away over time. Once this occurs, many denture wearers find that it is difficult to get a secure fit even with adhesives or new dentures.
Lack of a secure fit can create problems
- Discomfort is a primary one. When dentures are loose or ill-fitting they can rub and cause sore spots in your mouth.
- Loose dentures can also cause you to change the way you eat. Since the chewing efficiency of dentures is much lower than that that of your natural teeth, you may find yourself avoiding favorite foods or ones that are nutritionally superior, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables. Many denture wearers find themselves eating softer, more processed foods which tend to be higher in fat and salt and lower in nutrients.
When your jawbone shrinks your face loses its foundation
There’s more to your natural teeth than meets the eye. Below the surface, the roots of your teeth perform an important function. Beyond simply keeping your teeth in place, it’s your roots that keep your jawbone strong and healthy. As your teeth bite together they stimulate the bones beneath them. Without that stimulation your jawbone can become reabsorbed. As it shrinks away, your lips can change shape and your cheeks can sink in giving you an aged look.
That’s why we encourage our patients to consider dental implants or implant supported dentures as a treatment option to replace missing teeth. Dental implants replace both the tooth and its roots which, in many cases, can give a more secure fit and provide a more solid foundation.
Are dental implants for you?
There are many factors to consider when deciding the best treatment option for any individual. That’s why it’s important to start with a dental exam. Lethbridge dentist Dr Karstan Lachman can help you answer that question by evaluating your oral health and understanding your personal goals. If you would like to learn more, please schedule a consultation.