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How Do I Know When It’s Time to Get Dentures? What Are My Options?

When you start to recognize signs and symptoms that show it may be time to get dentures, consult your dentist to discover which options are best for you and your oral health.

For many people, dentures are necessary sooner or later even if you have taken good care of your teeth your entire life. It is not always obvious when you need dentures, but you can get a good idea by knowing the signs of when it’s time to consider them and by listening to your dentist’s recommendations during consultations and check-ups. Learning about what your options are can help you know what to expect and to make the best decisions for your oral health.

When Is It Time to Get Dentures?

Brushing your teeth after meals with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day can help to prevent tooth decay and loss and delay the need for dentures as long as possible. As time passes, though, you may start to show signs that suggest it’s time to get dentures. If you have these symptoms, you should consult your dentist:

  • Severe toothaches, meaning that tooth decay has advanced deep enough to touch a nerve and the tooth may be unsalvageable.
  • Gum inflammation with symptoms of gum redness, tenderness, bleeding, or swelling.
  • Shifting or loose teeth, indicating bone loss.
  • Missing teeth, leading to more pressure on the remaining teeth.
  • Difficulty when eating hard or chewy foods, causing mouth pain and indigestion.

Your Denture Options

After deciding that the time has come to get full traditional or conventional dentures, the dentist first extracts your remaining teeth and then provides the dentures weeks or months later, after your gum tissue has healed. Traditional dentures are removable, and you use a sticky adhesive to affix them into your mouth for daily use. Depending on the health of your teeth and jawbone, however, your dentist may recommend other types of dentures:

  • Partial dentures are also removable, but are made to replace multiple missing teeth that are surrounded by healthy natural teeth. They are attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or precision attachments, which are more natural looking.
  • Immediate dentures allow you to skip the experience of going toothless for a long period of time, which is what happens during the process of getting conventional dentures while your jaw heals after teeth extractions. A model of your mouth and jaw is made during your dentist visit, and a removable denture is created the same day for you to use during your healing period.
  • Overdentures and dental implants are better options for filling in missing teeth without extracting all of your teeth to make room for full dentures. Overdentures are made to fit over your natural teeth after they are prepared for implantation by your dentist.
  • Mini dental implants made of titanium screws can be used to secure dentures into your jawbone at the places where your teeth are missing or have been extracted. Mini dental implants provide better stabilization for full removable dentures over adhesives, making them much more convenient.

The Benefits of Getting Dentures

Getting dentures can have multiple benefits aside from replacing missing or decaying teeth — they can also prevent any remaining teeth from shifting in your mouth and causing additional pain. In addition to improving your oral health, you will also benefit from clearer speech, restored facial appearance, and a brighter, even smile.

The best way to make the healthiest transition from natural teeth to dentures is to take good care of your mouth throughout your lifetime and see a dentist regularly. If you are currently experiencing any symptoms, schedule a consultation with Arkansas Family Dental when you think it’s time to get dentures. Contact Arkansas Family Dental today if you have questions about your denture options or maintaining healthy dental routines.

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Tina Nichols

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