This can lead to loss of confidence and self esteem, especially when faced with meeting people and eating out. Do you cover your mouth when you smile to try and distract attention away from your teeth? Do you avoid letting even your loved ones know that you wear a denture.
Once teeth are lost the bone ridge that once supported the teeth keeps on changing and gradually shrinks. For some people the trauma of getting used to a new set of dentures is such that they would rather keep on with an old familiar set to the point that they no longer fit properly or provide adequate support to the lips and cheeks, making them look older than they are.
Dryness and soreness at the corners of the lips are a common problem with dentures that no longer fit. Another problem with worn dentures is a tendency for the lower jaw to push up and forwards to compensate, putting strain on the jaw joints and giving an ageing appearance.
Most denture problems are due to three main issues:
- The way they fit the gums. This affects the retention of the denture and the stability when chewing. It also affects the support to the cheeks by replacing the missing gums and bone that used to be around the natural teeth.
- The way the back teeth meet and work. If this is not balanced the dentures will become loose when biting and chewing.
- The position and appearance of the front teeth. As well as being a critical factor in making dentures look natural, this affects the support given to the lips and how much tooth is shown at rest and when smiling. It also affects speech directly.
So you can see that dentures have a lot to live up to and it’s not surprising that if one or more of the above is not right it will affect their comfort and appearance.
How do I make dentures that work?
I use a systematic approach called BPS ( Biofunctional Prosthetic System) devised by dental company Ivoclar Vivodent (www.Ivoclarvivadent.com). This involves two visits of taking photographs of your face and accurate records of your mouth and how your upper and lower jaw relate to each other. My BPS Accredited technician Richard Egan (www.egandentallab.co.uk) then sets up high quality teeth selected for your face and jaw type in wax.
The set up is in wax initially so that it can be assessed in your mouth to confirm that all three criteria above are met and that you are happy with the proposed appearance of the dentures before processing them into the finished product. If necessary any changes can be made while still in the wax stage and the prototype reassessed. We often make minor adjustments to individual front teeth position to recreate the look of natural teeth. It can help if you bring photographs of yourself when you had teeth to get an idea of their position shape and character.
A well made set of dentures is a major step to rebuilding confidence to smile and chew that was lost along with natural teeth. A small number of denture wearers still struggle to cope with and control lower dentures in particular. We can help here by placing two or more dental implants to secure the denture using inserts in the lower denture. We can normally carry out all the necessary implant work at the practice, please see our blog on this technique.
Would you like to have a chat about how I can help you enjoy smiling and eating again even if you are wearing dentures? Nigel at Amsel and Wilkins dental practice Banbury will be more than happy to answer your questions. Click here to contact us for an appointment.