It may seem like your fake teeth and their sturdy acrylic base are a one-time investment, but dentures aren’t meant to last a lifetime. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, they’re only good for about 5-10 years.
If you’ve been wearing your dentures for a while, Dr. Jason Hamada and our team here at Hamada Family Dentistry can help you spot the signs that you need new dentures and navigate your replacement options.
Although dentures have a reputation for slipping, sliding, and falling out, the truth is that properly fitting dentures shouldn’t cause these problems. Well-designed and manufactured dentures should provide a snug fit in your mouth and should stay in place with only occasional shifting.
That leads us to the first sign that you may need to replace your dentures.
Dentures are designed to hug the contours of your mouth. A thin layer of saliva and the structure of your tongue and other soft tissues ought to hold your dentures in place without much incident. So, if your dentures are sliding around — or worse, falling out — it’s a clear sign you either need an adjustment or a new set of dentures.
Dentures aren’t indestructible. In fact, they’re vulnerable to damage from foods, beverages, excessive force, and even extreme temperatures. They can crack, chip, or break, and if they do, they can irritate your gums and lead to infection, so don’t ignore even minor denture damage.
Dentures can also become discolored over time. And while there’s no medical reason to replace your dentures simply because of discoloration, stains and yellowing detract from your beautiful smile, so you may want to consider a new set.
When dentures fit properly, they should feel comfortable in your mouth. Any pain is a sign that something’s wrong. If you ignore denture pain, it can lead to sores and lesions, which in turn can trigger an onslaught of complications, including periodontitis and bone infections. If your dentures hurt, it’s time to adjust or replace them.
It takes a while to get used to wearing dentures, and you may remember difficulty pronouncing certain words at first. But after that period of adjustment, dentures shouldn’t affect the way you speak. So, if you notice that you’ve begun slurring your words, or you have to work hard at keeping your dentures in place when you talk, it’s time for a change.
Because your mouth changes slightly as you age, periodic adjustments are to be expected. However, when your mouth or your dentures have changed significantly, a new set may be warranted.
At this point, you have choices to make. You can replace your old dentures with a new set just like them, or you can opt for an upgrade.
Like your traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are removable, but they’re anchored to several posts implanted into your jaw bone. This gives them a far more secure fit and allows you to eat a wider variety of foods without worrying about shifting or slippage.
The next level of dentures, All-on-4, uses the same secure anchorage as implant-supported dentures, but this appliance is a permanent fixture in your mouth, not a removable one. This option allows you to replace a full arch of teeth — either upper or lower — using just four implants to keep them in place.
If you only have a few missing teeth, you may want to replace your old dentures with permanent dental implants. Here, Dr. Hamada implants a titanium post into your jawbone and attaches a crown at the top. Dental implants look and function like your real teeth, and are a great alternative to dentures if you’re only missing a couple of teeth.
Dental implants, All-on-4 implant dentures, and implant-supported dentures all provide the advantage of stimulating your jawbone every time you bite and chew. This activity stimulates the growth of new bone cells and keeps your jaw strong and healthy. With traditional dentures, you run the risk of losing bone tissue in your jaw.
To find out if your dentures need to be replaced and, if so, which option is right for you, schedule an appointment at Hamada Family Dentistry in San Jose, California. We’ll give you expert advice and an honest explanation of your treatment options. Call us or book online today.