Many dental patients in the Miami area suffer from tooth loss and opt for removable dentures to replace their missing teeth. However, some people make the mistake of thinking that their new dentures will last a lifetime and that they no longer need to see a dentist or prosthodontist because they do not have natural teeth.
Even patients who have a full set of dentures must still take good care of their gums, tongue and palate. The mouth should be brushed every day to increase circulation and to remove plaque. In addition, regular visits to the dentist or prosthodontist are still necessary. The doctor can look for signs of mouth diseases, check the fit of the dentures, and determine if they need to be adjusted or replaced.
Dentures are typically expected to last between five and 10 years, but this can vary depending on the patient. Even before they need to be fully replaced, dentures may still need to be relined or rebased. Relining involves having the prosthodontist add new material to the underneath part of the dentures so that they better fit the gums. If the dentures need to be rebased, a new base will be made using the existing denture as a mold. Then the teeth from the old dentures are mounted onto the new base.
In addition to maintaining the dentures, a Miami-area prosthodontist can determine whether the mouth shape is changing with age. This is a perfectly natural occurrence. As people get older, their jaws line up differently, or bones and gums recede. When this occurs, the dentures will gradually lose their good fit and will have to be remade.
It is important that denture wearers do not continue to use worn or badly fitting dentures as they can cause oral and cosmetic problems. Loose dentures can make eating and speaking more difficult, and they often do not support the face correctly. This can result in a shrunken appearance. Not replacing the dentures on time can also cause mouth and neck pain, including headaches. The gums can become irritated as well, causing pain, infection and ultimately, permanent oral damage.
For Miami patients suffering from tooth loss, there is no question that dentures can greatly improve their quality of life and give them amazing smiles. However, it’s important to care for dentures carefully, making regular visits to a prosthodontist or dentist an important part of the patient’s new oral care routine. Dentures do not last indefinitely – they need routine maintenance and eventually will have to be replaced.