The best teeth are your own teeth, and as such your dentist will always take every measure possible to keep your natural teeth healthy and intact. However, under circumstances in which a tooth is damaged beyond the point of repair, or is lost completely, it will need to be replaced.
Should a tooth be lost, it’s important that it be replaced as soon as possible with an artificial tooth in order to avoid contracting infection within the exposed tissue, and to prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position which has the potential to cause other problems.
A bridge may replace one or more missing teeth and is held in place by the help of surrounding, healthy teeth. As a bridge is a permanent dental treatment, it cannot be removed after being fixated within the mouth.
There are two types of dentures:
Partial dentures are custom made to replace one or a few missing teeth and are the best option when nearby teeth are not strong enough to sustain a bridge. Partial denture will restore your smile back to its original fullness, and are removable so that they can be cleaned regularly.
Full dentures, often referred to as false teeth, are recommended when an entire set of natural teeth has been lost. In addition to restoring a natural looking smile, the patient will receive the added benefits of renewed mastication (chewing) ability and improved enunciation.
Any form of denture should be cared for as carefully as you would natural teeth:
- Keep dentures clean. Plaque can accumulate on dentures the same as it does on natural teeth. If buildup is not removed it can spread to natural teeth and gums potentially causing cavities and gum disease.
- Remove and brush dentures every night. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to brush dentures and natural teeth. Run the bristles under warm water to soften them further if necessary.
- Soak dentures overnight. Dentures can be soaked in a specialized denture cleanser, in warm water, or in a 50/50 mix of warm water and vinegar. (Note: should your dentures have metal clasps soak them in warm water only). Soaking your dentures loosens any plaque and tartar allowing dentures to be removed more easily. Also remember to brush and rinse dentures before putting them back in.
- Regular dental checkups. Your mouth is constantly changing and as such, your dentures will need to be adjusted from time-to-time to ensure they fit properly. Should you have partial dentures regular visits to the dentist are all the more important to ensure your natural teeth and gums are also receiving the care they require.