Have you ever wondered what you will do when you start losing your teeth? Do you have a game plan for the health of your mouth? For many people thinking of losing teeth, they think of their parents or grandparents’ dentures. Although dentures are made to replace teeth that are missing, depending on your situation, dentures may not be the best option for everyone. Here are some reasons why you may not be a good candidate for dentures:
- Single tooth replacement
If you just lost one tooth and you’re looking to fill that space, a denture is not the greatest choice. You may have seen many hockey players using what is called a flipper, to fill in the space of the missing tooth. A flipper is short for a single tooth partial denture. Flippers are mainly used for aesthetics to fill in 1 of the front missing teeth. Functionally, flippers are not the greatest choice as they tend to break, cause lisping and make it hard to bite down and chew. Flippers are great as a temporary replacement, but the best treatment in this situation would be to get a single tooth implant.
If you have a single molar missing, flippers cannot be made and an implant or a bridge would be most ideal. It is important to fill the space when you have one or more teeth missing because the neighboring and opposing teeth will drift into the space causing further problems.
- A couple of teeth on one side
When it comes to partial dentures the dentures need to span from one side to the other. Partial dentures also rely on other teeth to keep stable. When you are missing a couple of teeth on just one side a partial denture may not be ideal. It may not feel very nice for you and be very challenging to get used to. If the person has tight occluding teeth, it can also get in the way of properly biting down. Once again in this situation implants or a bridge, would be more ideal for you than dentures.
- Sensitive to gagging
Dentures sit on top of the gums and they need to be a certain thickness, as well, the extensions need to be a certain length. People generally have little to no issues with dentures and sometimes there may be an adjustment period, but usually not a lasting issue. Sensitivity to gagging is usually more psychological or an immediate response. For the few that can not get past that, dentures may not be the best choice. Conventional dentures can get loose over time as the ridge shrinks and can trigger the gag reflex as well. The solution for someone who is REALLY sensitive to gagging would be dentures over implants. The dentures can be cut short, made less bulky, and can be anchored into your bone.
- Flat Ridges
How much bone you have left in your jaw can really influence your experience with dentures. If the dentures have nothing to sit on, it makes it hard for the dentures to be stable or create a seal for suction. This will result in the dentures being loose and unstable, making it hard to chew with dentures. Don’t be surprised if your dentures don’t fit nice like someone else you know.
If you have not lost all your teeth yet, it is very important to keep the remaining teeth and gums healthy. Periodontal disease can result in acceleration of bone loss and when you lose the teeth the remaining bone may be inadequate. This can make your experience with dentures not ideal.
- Oral Cancers
For anyone who may have experienced oral cancer with reconstructive surgery, anatomy and function may have changed. The changes in anatomy may make it hard for a conventional denture to properly sit down in place or for them to function properly. Oral cancer situations are case-specific and will need a proper assessment by a denturist or a dentist for the best treatment plan. It is also very important to get annual check-ups to keep your oral cavity healthy and to screen for possible oral cancers.
Regardless, if you feel like you relate to any of these reasons, you should contact your local Denturist or Dentist for a proper consultation. Creating a proper game plan is very important if you want the best for you the health of your mouth. Talking to a denturist or dentist can provide you with the best option moving forward, even if you relate to listed possible reasons.