Loss of one or more teeth is a common issue for people over 55. Dealing with a missing tooth in the right way will significantly impact life quality. Bridges and dentures are two common options. Dental implants are becoming more popular, despite higher cost. Here is a quick overview of the best tooth replacement options for seniors.
There are two types of denture replacements: partial and full. Partial dentures replace just a few missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Full dentures replace teeth for the entire upper or lower jaw.
Replacement with partial dentures uses the jaw’s remaining teeth for grip and support; thus, these teeth must be sufficiently stable and strong to keep the partial denture fixed. Partial dentures, like a bridge, can be removed; they are normally removed before bed at night.
Full dentures stand in for all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. In the case of full upper dentures, suction is what keeps the replacement in place. However, very little suction is available with the lower jaw, so full lower dentures must fit very tightly; some constant pressure and control is required of the wearer, as well.
“Complete dentures” refers to both upper and lower dentures – the full mouth. In this case, the palate and the lower gums are covered, resulting in a vastly diminished taste sense.
Dentures have various drawbacks. They should, ideally, be removed before bed each night. As seniors age, they normally experience diminished saliva, leading to less muscle control. This can make it difficult to maintain the grip on full dentures. Dentures also become problematic when the senior has other medical problems, or trouble concentrating.
Missing teeth are increasingly treated with dental implants. This device is a screw-like titanium fixture, surgically emplaced in the jaw as a surrogate tooth. The fixture is bonded to the bone of the jaw, which helps diminish bone loss in that area. Once implanted, the fixture becomes an anchor for other dental work such as a crown or denture.
When implants are used to create the foundation of a denture, each implant hosts a “snap” connection. The denture has corresponding connection points, allowing it to “snap” onto the implant foundation. Like regular dentures, the implant denture can be removed, cleaned, then snapped back on.
Many senior patients have been satisfied with a full implant denture replacement. An experienced dental professional can help you determine whether an implant denture solution is right for you.
Information Source: Franklin Dental Centre