According to the American Dental Association, 36,000,000 people in the United States don’t have any teeth, and of those, around 90% of these people wear dentures. It wasn’t all that long ago that getting dentures was almost a rite of passage for senior citizens. Now, reaching retirement age doesn’t necessarily automatically warrant dentures, but for about 30,000,000 people, they are still a valued way of replacing missing teeth and restoring a perfect smile!
Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups will generally not necessitate teeth replacement. However, many people can’t afford regular and preventative health care. There are also health conditions such as diabetes that can accelerate dental decay that results in tooth loss. Some vitamin deficiencies can also cause teeth or gums to decay also resulting in tooth loss. Regardless of the reason, dentures are often the preferred and affordable treatment for those who are missing teeth.
Dental implants are also an option for people who are missing teeth, however they are much more intensive/invasive to get and the costs are considerably higher. Sometimes when people have missing teeth, their jaws can begin to erode. Before an implant would be considered, they would need to have bone grafts done on the jaw before the implant could be installed. Bone grafts are not required for dentures since nothing will be drilled into the jaw.
What Are Dentures?
They are a prosthetic devices used to replace missing teeth. They are removable for cleaning and usually not worn during sleeping hours. We offer two different types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are designed to replace your top and bottom teeth. The top denture is held against the top of your mouth by suction and an adhesive, while the bottom one is horseshoe-shaped and sits over your gums. A partial denture may be used if you are just missing a few teeth.
The base of dentures is flesh-colored and sits over your gums. Here at Southtown Dental in San Antonio, our denture teeth are comprised of a combination of porcelain powder and acrylic as a binder. The materials used in a partial denture are exactly the same as a full set of dentures.
Will Dentures Look Like My Real Teeth?
Yes. We always strive to duplicate the look of your natural teeth. We don’t want your friends and family to see “fake teeth” and want you to love your fresh and new smile! Dr. Guillory will take impressions of your mouth and send them to the dental laboratory, where they will be custom-made specifically for you.
Dr. Guillory is a perfectionist and demands high standards for the manufacturing of your dentures. If they don’t meet his expectations, he will send them back to the lab until they do. He and his staff at Southtown Dental always strive to treat each of their patients just like family.
Fear – Don’t Let it Prevent you From Gaining a Beautiful Smile!
A lot of people experience fear or anxiety about dentures. It’s completely natural to feel this way, however we hope to put those fears to rest. One of the things that we offer for anyone contemplating dentures is a free exam and consultation so that we can get all of your questions answered and provide you with some peace of mind should you make the decision to get dentures.
Some frequently asked questions that we commonly hear are:
- Will my dentures look fake? No, modern dentures are made to look like your normal teeth.
- Will dentures hurt my mouth? There will be an adjustment period, however, Dr. Guillory is an experienced dentist and will make sure that your dentures don’t hurt your mouth or gums.
- How long do they take to get used to? This varies from person to person depending on each situation, but generally within a month or two.
- Will I still be able to eat all of the same foods? Yes! Dr. Guillory goes to great lengths to make sure that your dentures fit properly.
- Will I talk differently? In the beginning, there will be an adjustment to talking with dentures and you may feel like you talk with a slight lisp, however this should go away quickly.
- Will my dentures slip when I’m eating or talking? No, not if they are fitted correctly.
- Do my dentures ever need to be adjusted or replaced? Again, each situation and person are different, but over time dentures can become looser and need to be adjusted or replaced. This is because the mouth structures change over time and dentures usually need to be refitted or replaced in response to these changes.
- How often do they need to be adjusted and/or replaced? Most adjustments are needed during the first year as your mouth heals and adjusts to your dentures. After that, they will need to be refitted every 3 to five years, however this will vary from patient to patient.
- Will my facial appearance change? It depends on how many teeth you’ve lost prior to getting dentures. If you only have a few teeth, your face has likely “caved in” along your jaw line. Once you have dentures, your face will return to its normal, fuller appearance!
- What if I have to have teeth extracted? Dr. Guillory can extract any teeth that need to come out. If the tooth is impacted or will require intervention to the gum, he will refer you to an oral surgeon for those extractions.
When you come in for your consultation, we can go over all of your questions along with everything that will be involved for your specific dental needs, and go over insurance and financing options as well. Our goal is not only to provide you with top quality dental work, but also to do it at an affordable price.
Since its founding in January of 1995, Dr. Guillory and Southtown Dental Group has provided amazing, affordable, and caring dentistry to San Antonio for over 19,000 patients. In fact, the August 2018 issue of San Antonio Magazine ranked Dr. Guillory in the top 175 dentists in all of San Antonio.
How Do I Care For My Dentures?
The American Dental Association recommends that you should care for your dentures as follows:
“Like natural teeth, dentures should be cleaned daily to remove food particles and bacteria, and to help prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained.
The first step in cleaning them is to rinse away loose food particles and remove any denture adhesive. Next, a commercial denture cleanser for removable dentures, which come as tablets, creams, pastes, gels and solutions, should be used. Denture cleanser tablets are dropped into warm water to create an effervescent solution into which the denture is placed. Soaking dentures in cleaning solution can help reduce the bacterial load which may reduce denture-related odor. Manufacturer instructions should be followed regarding the amount of time dentures should be soaked. Denture-cleansing creams, pastes or gels are typically meant to be brushed on the denture after it is removed from the mouth and then rinsed off in accord with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to note that denture cleansers are not to be used while dentures are still in the mouth.
Note: In addition or as an alternative to commercial cleansers, dentures can be cleaned with toothpaste or soap (i.e., mild hand soap or dishwashing liquid) with warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. However, denture wearers should avoid using bleach or powdered household cleansers for cleaning their denture, as this may damage the denture.”