What It’s Like to Live With Dentures or Dental Implants
by Dr Richard Barry
When it comes to finding solutions for dental health issues, knowing what will work best for you personally and for your lifestyle is key to making the right decision. Two such solutions to choose from include dentures and dental implants. Patients today are living successfully with either of these, and you can too.
To better help you determine which may be right for you or a family member, here are tips on what it’s like to live with dentures and to live with dental implants.
What It’s Like to Live With Dentures
Thanks to ongoing improvements and advancing technology, dentures have become more comfortable than ever before. Patients today can feel completely normal while wearing them and worry less about the possibility of slippage while eating or talking.
If you are considering dentures or are already in the fitting process, it helps to understand how they will affect your lifestyle. Whether you have partial or full dentures, how you wear, use, and care for them will be much the same.
After your final fitting, it will take a little while to get used to the feel of the dentures in your mouth. A good fit prevents any pain or discomfort, so if you feel either of these, let your dentist know immediately.
Allow yourself the time you need to get used to wearing the dentures. Initially, you may experience a lisp as you talk, but in time, you can train your mouth muscles to adjust to the new dental appliance. Practice reading out loud and identify those words that are difficult to pronounce. Say those words over and over again until it feels natural.
As for chewing food with dentures, you will most likely need time to adjust to how this feels. When drinking, try using a straw until you feel more comfortable.
Dentures can slip, particularly if you make sudden movements, such as when you laugh, smile, or sneeze. If you do feel a slip, bite down gently and swallow. In some instances, your dentist will recommend using an adhesive to help keep your dentures in place.
Living with dentures also requires the following:
Avoid allowing dentures to dry out.
Whenever you remove your dentures, such as at night as you sleep, always place them in a cup of water or dental cleaning solution. Dentures are like natural teeth in that they need moisture to keep from drying out, which can potentially lead to fracturing, cracking, or warping.
Take daily care of your dentures
Care for your dentures involves brushing at least twice a day to remove bacteria-causing plaque, which can lead to halitosis, or bad breath. You also want to gently brush your gums. Your dentures sit atop your gums, so caring for them is essential. Removing dentures at night also lets the gums rest.
Schedule bi-annual dental appointments
Living with dentures requires you to remain diligent in their care and the surrounding tissues in your mouth. For this, be sure to schedule bi-annual dentist appointments. In addition to a thorough cleaning, your dentist will conduct an exam of the dentures and your gum health, as well as check that the fit is still correct.
What It’s Like to Live With Dental Implants
Dental implants are another solution for dental issues and essentially function, look, and feel like your natural teeth. These implants are prosthetic devices that create an anchor to the jawbone, followed by the fitting of an artificial crown. You can choose dental implants to replace several teeth or just one, depending on your particular needs.
They do require a surgical procedure, after which you will need time to heal. Once this healing occurs, however, you can return to normal activities and also reintroduce your normal foods back into your diet. While the crowns are not as strong as your natural teeth, they are highly durable, and you can eat normally without worry.
In addition, dental implants help improve your speech, and you won’t need to worry about them shifting since they are anchored in place.
As for the care of dental implants, you’ll be able to treat them much like your natural teeth. That means brushing twice daily, flossing, and scheduling bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.
While you will need to make more lifestyle adjustments with dentures than dental implants, both offer a solution for your oral health needs. Talk with your dentist to determine which is right for your particular circumstances.
Contact Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus to Learn More
When it comes to optimal oral hygiene and health, Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus can provide the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family. To learn more about dental implants or dentures, or any other dental option, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.