By the time you reach your 40s or 50s, your teeth may be worse for the wear. Even with your best attempts to keep them strong and useful, your teeth may be past the point of saving them. It may be time to think about having them replaced with dentures.
Before you make this move, however, you might want to understand more about the process and what you can expect in the first weeks and months after the procedure. You can prepare for this level of dental work by understanding the basics of how it all works.
Preliminary Dental Care
Before you can get dentures, you first must have most or all of your remaining teeth extracted. Depending on the severity of your teeth decay, you might have all of the teeth removed. Alternatively, your dentist might decide to leave some of the lower teeth if they are in good condition and not at risk of breaking or chipping.
The process of getting most or all of your teeth removed can be the most extensive part of getting dentures. This part of the process can also take more than one dental appointment if you cannot tolerate sitting in the dental chair for longer than an hour or if you have certain health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Further, even after the teeth are removed, you still might be required to spend a few weeks of healing before you can be fitted with their replacements. You might have stitches that need to dissolve first. Likewise, you might need to have the swelling of your gums dissipate before impressions can be made of your mouth.
Once your mouth is fully healed, your dentist will take impressions of the top and bottom of your gums. The impressions make clear in what shape each denture should be made. They do not hurt to make. However, you might not like the taste of the paste and gel used to create them.
Once each denture is made, you will then be fitted for them in the dentist’s office. Your dentist will make sure each one fits properly on the top and bottom of your mouth. He or she will also show you how to use denture adhesive to hold them in place.
Taking care of your denture replacements is not difficult and does not take a lot of time. You will be advised to remove them to brush them. Many people prefer to soak them overnight rather than sleep with them in their mouths. Sleeping with them can cause dangers like choking or compromised breathing.
With proper care, they can last for years without having to be repaired or replaced. They allow you to talk and eat normally, which otherwise might have been impossible if you were to have all of your teeth extracted.
Denture replacements can give you back your smile when aging has compromised and damaged your teeth. You can prepare now by learning how these replacements are made and what it takes to be fitted for them.