No matter how old you are, the genetic and environmental factors that impact your teeth can start to show themselves at any time. If you have a family history of soft or weak teeth, you may be looking into dentures or implants already, even if you’re only in your forties! The truth is that there are many options you can explore when your teeth just aren’t cooperating. Keep reading to learn more about your options, and how dentures really work.
When do you know you need dentures?
Everyone has different teeth. So, not everyone will need a full set of permanent dentures. A dental bridge can fill a gap created by one or more missing teeth. Or, removable partial dentures are another option to replace missing teeth. Consider all of your options. Partial dentures improve your appearance and they can improve your oral health by keeping your remaining teeth in their correct place. If you opt for a dental bridge, your dentist will fit customized crowns to the teeth on either side of the gap that needs to be filled (or bridged). A false tooth called a pontic is attached to the crowns and replaces your missing tooth.
Depending on your specific needs, you can choose partial dentures that are removable, or bridges which are permanently cemented into place. There are three main types of bridges that can cover a variety of dental restoration situations:
Traditional: This style requires placing crowns on the teeth that border the missing teeth.
Cantilever: This style is used if you only have teeth on one side of the missing tooth.
Maryland bonded: This type of bridge consists of a porcelain tooth in a metal frame, with wings so it can be attached to existing teeth.
Keeping the surrounding, supporting teeth healthy is essential to get the maximum benefit from a dental bridge, so be sure to bring your teeth twice a day and remember to floss regularly, too. If you practice good oral hygiene and see a dentist regularly, partial dentures can last from five to fifteen years.