When you have some or a lot of missing teeth, most dentists will advise you that dentures are usually the answer as they cost much less – at least initially, than procedures such as dental implants. Most people get them so they can chew their food, or for aesthetic reasons as a dark gap in the line of teeth looks unsightly. However, there are other benefits that most people don’t even think about.
- They help to maintain the shape of your lower face. Without them your cheeks sink in and give a gaunt look to your face.
- They reduce pressure on your remaining teeth – and the crowns or fillings that may be on those teeth.
- Having dentures reduces the likelihood of having problems with your jaw.
- They also prevent the teeth that are left from moving and changing your bite, which can cause pain as it puts pressure on places that are not meant to withstand it.
- When there is a gap between teeth, those that are next to the gap tend to move into it to try and fill it up. This makes them crooked and more liable to decay, since they are then more difficult to keep clean.
- You can speak more clearly when you have a mouthful of teeth.
- Last but not least, you can chew food better when you have all the teeth in place. This can help your digestion and so, your health.
There are other options for replacing missing teeth, namely bridges which are fixed to the teeth and not removable, and implants, which are not removable either. However, it is up to your dentist to decide if your teeth and bones are suitable for either of these. And it is up to you to decide if you can afford the implants.
In actual fact, even though implants may seem expensive, they usually don’t need to be replaced, while dentures often have to be replaced at 5-yearly intervals. This is because they wear out and the shape of your mouth changes over that time period, making the dentures loose or uncomfortable. So in the end, they cost you more over your lifetime. Added to that is the discomfort that is often felt with dentures.
It is important to have dentures custom made for your mouth, otherwise they won’t fit comfortably and can cause rubbing and sore spots on the gum or roof of the mouth. While you can have full dentures – that is, you have no other teeth left – it is better if you have them while there are still a few teeth left because this helps to hold them in.
However, you can actually have your mouth fitted with magnets, rather like having implants. These magnets hold the dentures in securely so they don’t slip and rub or become uncomfortable.