Given that dentures have their own set of challenges, we do not suggest them as the top choice for tooth replacement. Therefore, what alternatives are available?
Are dentures the best option for elderly people?
An alternative way to phrase this question would be “Which tooth replacement option enables you to consume healthy protein and vegetables with the least amount of difficulties?”
Not all responses are clear-cut. Several variables vary among individuals, and these must be taken into account when answering questions, particularly those pertaining to one’s health. This is especially true when dealing with elderly individuals.
Therefore, it is critical to cover all bases while replacing their missing teeth with dentures. Simply assuming that dentures are acceptable without evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is not enough.
Let us reiterate it once more: there is no definitive answer. Hence, we will equip you with the necessary knowledge to make a more informed choice.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals.
Dentures are prosthetic devices that are removable and crafted from a rigid plastic material. They are employed to replace missing teeth and can remain in place inside the mouth by resting on the gum and bone tissues. Additionally, there is a layer of saliva between the device and the gums that creates suction. Generally, the more significant the surface area the denture covers, the more suction it generates.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Upper Dentures
The upper denture encompasses the entire roof of the mouth and, as a result, possesses a considerably larger surface area. This feature is beneficial for elderly individuals who often encounter fewer difficulties in keeping their upper dentures in place.
However, although this may appear appealing, covering the entire upper palate with the denture can impair the ability to taste food. Furthermore, as the upper denture is not secured by anything, it increases the possibility of awkward moments similar to those seen on ABC’s Funniest Home Videos.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Lower Dentures
A well-fitted lower denture can provide an opposing force that permits one to chew food to some extent. Nevertheless, various studies have indicated that, on average, individuals with dentures have only one-fifth of their natural biting force, which can impose an unanticipated limitation on the types of food they can consume.
Moreover, because the bottom jaw has less coverage, denture wearers typically experience more difficulties with the lower denture than the upper one. Even with a generous amount of denture adhesive, issues may still emerge.
More things to consider
Caring for Dentures: A Daily Commitment
Maintaining dentures requires a daily commitment. They must be removed every night and meticulously cleaned. After removal, rinse them with warm or hot water, clean with a proper denture cleaner, and rinse again with cool water before storing them in cool water.
Dentures are Fragile
Dentures can easily break or crack if dropped onto a hard surface or while eating hard food. Hence, it is crucial to handle them with steady hands while removing, cleaning, and inserting them, and to pay attention while eating harder foods.
Dentures Require Regular Maintenance and Follow-Up Appointments
Dentures necessitate maintenance and follow-up appointments with a dental care provider. Continual speech issues or difficulty eating hard-to-chew foods are signs of a poor fit that cannot be ignored. Comfort should also be considered, and if meat is left on the lunch plate consistently, then a readjustment might be necessary.
Dentures Contribute to Bone Loss
Dentures accelerate bone loss in the mouth, which is already a concern for the elderly. Atrophy of the bone occurs wherever natural teeth roots are absent. Denture wearers may have to undergo multiple refits due to this vicious cycle.
There are various issues associated with dentures, and we do not consider them to be the optimal choice for replacing missing teeth. Thus, what alternative options are available?
What other alternatives are accessible for older individuals who require tooth replacement?
Let’s explore some options.
Unlike full dentures, partial dentures are designed to replace only a few missing teeth and are anchored to healthy adjacent teeth. However, they still require nightly removal and cleaning, and carry the same concerns as full dentures.
A bridge can replace one or more adjacent teeth, but requires the teeth on either side to be filed down for crowns. The false teeth are then attached to the crowns, or can be held in place by an implant. However, if the supporting teeth become unhealthy, the bridge may fail.
Standard Dental Implants
Implants are a more durable and long-lasting option, requiring surgery to anchor a post into the jawbone. This mimics the tooth root and prevents bone loss, allowing for normal eating and minimal maintenance. Implants can be partial or full and tend to last a lifetime.
Dental & Implant Centers Of Colorado offers a unique solution for tooth replacement. Unlike standard implants, our implants provide patients with a new permanent set of teeth anchored to dental implants within just 24 hours, eliminating the need for temporary acrylic teeth.
These teeth are fixed in and do not come out unless seen by a dental implant provider. This is particularly beneficial for elderly patients who are good candidates as they can walk in on a Tuesday and walk out on Wednesday with a fully functioning, healthy smile that allows them to eat real food.
In the end
As an elderly patient, there are risks associated with dentures. However, Dental & Implant Centers Of Colorado offers a permanent solution that eliminates these problems. We believe that everyone deserves to smile and eat their favorite foods without worry or pain.
If you’re considering teeth replacement options, our team is here to help. We can provide you with education and guidance to find the best path forward. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.