A perfect set of choppers doesn't have to be all natural — dentures can give you a more perfect smile if you've lost teeth to disease or injury. Here's the truth behind false teeth.
Who Needs Dentures?
Anyone who loses permanent teeth will likely need false teeth to replace them, whether it's a dental implant, a partial bridge or a full set of dentures. In some cases, false teeth may even be required for children who lose baby teeth due to decay, in order to preserve space for the permanent teeth that will be coming in down the road.
The most common reasons people may need to replace their teeth with false teeth include:
- An injury that knocks a tooth or teeth out
- Severe gum disease and gingivitis
- Significant tooth decay
Why Do You Need False Teeth?
Dentures aren't just necessary for creating a perfect smile. Even one missing tooth can cause some serious dental issues.
With false teeth, a person who has lost teeth will be able to:
- Speak properly
- Eat regular foods
- Maintain a more youthful look, as missing teeth can cause facial muscles to sag and the face to look older
- Hold space for permanent teeth when a child loses baby teeth prematurely
- Maintain proper spacing between teeth
- Show off a more perfect smile
How Are Dentures Made?
Modern dentures are crafted of acrylic resin, a kind of hard, super-strong plastic, that's fitted perfectly to the gums for a snug fit. First, the dentist will take impressions and measurements of the jaw and gum line. Then he will create wax or plastic models for the dentures, which can be tested out for a proper fit. After any adjustments are made, the permanent dentures can be created using the models. The dentist can then make any additional tweaks necessary to create a perfect fit.
False teeth can sometimes be permanently rooted into the mouth — if a few teeth need to be replaced, a bridge can be created to replace the missing teeth and anchored to the remaining teeth. If an entire jaw-full of teeth are replaced by dentures, it will be a dental device that can be taken in and out of the mouth each day.
Who Makes Dentures?
In many cases, a general dentist will be able to make the impressions and measurements to fit for dentures; then he will send the measurements to a specialty lab who will custom make the false teeth.
For more complex cases, a dentist may send a patient to a prosthodontist, a doctor who specializes in creating dental implants and dentures.