Denture Complications | Common Issues and How to Avoid Them

Denture complications are quite common among those who wear dentures and many blame the dentures themselves, complaining about poor workmanship. The truth, however, is a little more complicated. When a tooth is lost, the bone in the jaw starts to slowly disappear. If you think of this in similar terms to a muscle i.e., when it isn’t used, it will gradually become weaker. Well, once a tooth has been lost, there is no root for the bone to hold onto and consequently your body tells the bone that it isn’t needed any more. This causes the shape of the jaw to change which creates a problem, especially when a number of teeth have been lost, for example a complete upper or lower arch of teeth. This is especially so in the case of the lower arch. In this article, we shall discuss denture complications.

denture complications

When your dentures are initially fitted, they will probably fit quite well and you may be pleased with the result, however, as time goes on, the bone shrinks and they no longer fit your mouth as well as they used to. You are likely to find that your dentures start to move around, making it difficult to eat and also cause you to suffer from irritation and painful gums.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are now options available which can correct this. If one or two teeth have been lost, then a dental implant is the answer. These offer a very firm and strong alternative to a lost tooth. However, they are expensive and to replace a whole arch would cost a small fortune, as well as taking a long time to fully heal. Most dentists are now turning to a procedure referred to as all on four. This process uses 4 dental implants. The two at the front are standard implants but the two at the rear are smaller implants which are placed into the jaw at an exact angle. The benefit of this is that it provides a very strong base on which to attach replacement teeth to. Your dentures can be fitted in this manner or alternatively, a fixed brace can be fitted. Many people do seem to find this a better option than dentures, as it gives a more realistic feeling when eating.

Denture Complications

During a dentist’s periodic oral dental exam, many aspects of oral health are evaluated. The dental screening evaluates not only the proper fit of the denture, but an oral cancer inspection is also performed. This exam evaluates the health of the patient’s gums and soft tissues. The patient’s dentures are also thoroughly inspected so that potential mechanical problems are avoided. Also, the dentures are cleaned to remove any accumulated stain and hard deposit. Finally, necessary x-rays should be taken every couple of years to assess and to monitor bone loss.

Dentures that fit are imperative for an individual’s comfort and proper function. If dentures are properly fitting, the need for over-the-counter pastes and adhesives is not necessary. Often dentures that have lost suction can be repaired or improved by the dentist. Relining the inner portion of the denture does help regain proper suction; thus, the individual is more comfortable and is able to eat and to speak with more confidence. A reline is needed because the bone under the denture resorbs over time so that the denture doesn’t fit well. A reline or rebase can be done to restore optimal fit.

If the acrylic portion of the denture needs to be replaced and the teeth have minimal wear, a denture can be rebased so that stability and function are restored. Relining or rebasing an existing denture can add longevity to the denture and can help reduce the cost that would be incurred with having to replace a denture.

A common misconception is that a set of dentures should last an individual for a lifetime. Dentures, like any artificial or man-made device, have a typical lifespan. The teeth on a denture will wear with time, and the acrylic will age and become more brittle and lose its natural color. It is expected that a denture should be replaced every 10 to 12 years. Individuals who keep a denture longer, run a potential risk of increased complicating factors.

If a denture is not remade periodically, the teeth will wear and become shorter and shorter. This can cause the loss of VDO, or vertical dimension opening of the jaw. The loss of VDO often causes stress on the temporomandibular joint. There are other complicating factors such as combination syndrome or unbalanced arch discrepancies that can occur if proper balance and fit are not maintained. Dentures that are older than 12 years, which are eventually remade, are often extremely difficult for the patient to get used to wearing. Allowing the artificial appliance to overly age and become thin creates denture complications when a new, adequate denture is made. The new denture often feels bulky and cumbersome, and the patient needlessly struggles to adapt to their new dentures.

Although a person may no longer have natural teeth in their mouth, there are many benefits from yearly exams. The relationship and care gained by having one’s dentist partner with an individual to maintain their best oral health is priceless. Healthcare professionals are there to help one gain and keep the best health possible. Dental health is often a key indicator of overall health. Visiting one’s dentist yearly, even when one has dentures, is a step to maintaining one’s best general health possible.

Coping with Dentures

Coping with dentures might be challenging for a newbie. However, with time and continuous usage, they are likely to become very comfortable. Speaking certain words and chewing normal food might pose a challenge. Smiling might even feel strange during the initial healing period. However, with practice and usage, living with dentures is likely to become very comfortable.

The period for which a denture can be worn is generally determined by the dentist. Initially, the dentist might ask the individual to wear it all day long and this is often done with the aim of understanding the modifications that are necessary to get a perfect fit. Once the perfect fit is obtained, the dentist usually asks the patients to remove the dentures every night and resume using them every morning since the gums and tissues would have some time to enjoy rest during the night.

We hope you got some helpful hints on how to avoid denture complications.

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