According to the American Academy of Prosthodontics, about 23 people in the United States have no teeth at all, and 90 percent of those people do have dentures. For many years, dentures have been the go-to solution for people with no teeth, but there are also a lot of myths about dentures that prevent people who could benefit from dentures from actually getting them.
However, the keyword in that sentence is “myths.” Most of what you’ve probably heard about dentures is untrue. Read on as we separate fact from fiction on this subject.
- Dentures Change the Appearance of Your Smile
When we create your dentures, we carefully match them to the remaining teeth in your mouth so they look very natural. So, although your teeth won’t look any different, your smile may subtly change.
The reason your smile may look slightly different is missing teeth make facial sagging more apparent. Once dentures are in place, this sagging is reduced. Bottom line? Should your appearance change, the improvements will be subtle and desirable.
- Denture Patients Are Elderly
While most elderly patients wear dentures, there are many young denture wearers. As people age, they’re more likely to need dentures.
Consider the denture-wearing statistics—3% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 wear complete or partial dentures, 16% of 35-44-year-olds wear them, 29% of 45-to-55-year-olds wear dentures, 51% of those aged 55 to 64 wear them, and 57% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have dentures. Interestingly enough, women are more likely to wear dentures than men (24% vs. 19%).
- Dentures Mean You Can Stop Worrying About Dental Hygiene
As your dentist, we will never, ever tell you there’s a time in your life you can stop worrying about dental hygiene. Denture wearing is no different!
We recommend that denture wearers remove their dentures daily, so they can be soaked and cleaned overnight. Denture patients should then gently wipe their gums with a moist washcloth to remove bacteria—this will help keep mouth tissues healthy.
- It’s Difficult to Eat with Dentures
Admittedly, dentures do take some time to get used to. However, once the initial adjustment period is over, denture patients should be able to eat the same foods they once did.
It’s really just a matter of making sure dentures are well-fitting, starting off with small bites of soft food, and gradually working your way up to include other foods. Although this process takes some practice, most denture patients learn to eat comfortably.
- Dentures Last Forever
Unfortunately, dentures do not last forever. Generally speaking, you can expect to get a minimum of 5-7 years from your dentures. Some patients may be able to get 10 years or more.
However, you should plan to come to one of our Columbus offices once a year to have your dentures evaluated for wear and fit. Over time, they can fracture, deteriorate, or loosen. During your appointment, we can see how your dentures are holding up and determine whether they need to be fixed or replaced.