Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Senior Care: Dentures

Dentures, also colloquially known as false teeth, dental plate, gnashers and chopper falsies, are removable prosthetic devices that replace the missing teeth of a person. The different denture designs are generally supported by the soft and hard tissues of the oral cavities. There are some dental implants that bond or clasp onto the teeth. The use of dentures can benefit a person in many ways. Dentures can improve the chewing ability, replace the collapse of the lip and the cheeks after loss of teeth by supporting them, improve self esteem and help people to improve their speech clarity.

Dentures can be classified into two types and they are removable partial dentures and complete dentures. The removable partial dentures are given to those people who have some of their teeth missing on a particular arch. Fixed partial dentures are generally made from crowns that are fitted to the missing teeth. They are also popularly known as crown and bridge. The fixed bridges are more stable however they are more expensive. The complete dentures are the full dentures that are worn by people who have all the teeth missing from both the upper and the lower arch.

A dentist designs custom made dentures by taking impressions from a person’s mouth. The dentist generally decides upon the right type of dentures that are needed by a person. The dentist may suggest a conventional full denture once the teeth is removed from the mouth and after the tissues have healed. The healing process may take time and as a result a person may have to be without teeth for some time.

An immediate full denture is recommended straight after the removal of teeth. They do have the benefit of making a person not go without teeth but they need to be relined on a regular basis. In the case of partial dentures the denture rests on the metal framework that is attached to the natural teeth for support.

Dentures should be cared for and looked after by the person and the following are some guidelines that a person can follow for taking care of dentures:

 Dentures should be handled carefully because they may break if they are dropped. Standing over a folded towel or a basin of water id advised when a person needs to handle them.
 Dentures should not be allowed to dry out. They should be kept in plain water or a solution of denture soaking cleanser when not in use. They should never be placed in hot water as the water causes them to go out of shape.
 A person should brush the dentures daily to get rid of food particles and plague. Brushing them regularly also prevents them for getting stained and hence protects them for discolor. A person can use a ultrasonic cleaner to clean dentures but that does not replace the advantages of the regular brushing of dentures.
 The brushing of gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft bristled brush helps in the circulation of tissues and the removal of plague.
 If dentures break, chip or crack a person should not make any attempts to fix them himself or herself. A dentist should be consulted as handling of dentures by inexperienced hands may cause damage beyond repair to the person.

The following links were referred to for writing the above mentioned article: