My mom and dad had dentures, and they said that they never had any problems with them. Why shouldn’t I get dentures instead of spending money saving my teeth?
Years ago, little was known about the processes of dental disease. In the early 1900’s, refined sugars became a major part of the American diet, which increased the prevalence of tooth decay. Only slow-speed, belt driven dental hand pieces were available to fix teeth, and novocain was fraught with serious safety problems. To say the least, filling teeth was very painful and impractical for most people. Although many people suffered from “pyorrhea” and got very sick from its effects, little was known about the disease itself and the only solution was to remove the involved teeth. Since little scientific evidence existed at that time, the only practical solution for many people was to have all their teeth extracted and “false teeth” made.
Today, dramatic improvements in technology, medicine, and science have clearly shown us that complete dentures are the least favorable treatment for dental disease. The development of safe, inexpensive, and effective dental anesthetics (“novocain”) the air/water cooled high speed hand piece has greatly improved dentistry as we know it. Extensive research has been done on what was once called “pyorrhea” and continues to be done. We now know what causes gum disease, now called periodontitis, and how to treat it in most situations. Dental implants, improved porcelains, new metal alloys, etc., allow many more alternative therapies for saving teeth than ever before existed.
The reason that some of our elders had such “good” experiences with their dentures is very likely that they have had them since they were very young and may not remember what it was like to have healthy natural teeth. Most of these folks only remember their history of toothaches, illness, and bleeding gums. Dentures were much, much better than what they had. Some people even say that they had their teeth removed for esthetic reasons because they did not like their smiles. For whatever reason people were committed to dentures, almost all of them would admit that they wish that they could have saved their original teeth.
Today, orthodontic braces can be placed to straighten crooked teeth. Cosmetic bleaching can be done to improve the color of teeth. Dental implants or bridges can be placed to fill spaces between teeth where others have been lost. Broken or decay teeth can easily be restored with beautiful tooth-colored restorations. The possibilities are endless for reconstructing and rebuilding healthy, beautiful smiles!
If dentures are the only alternative, the technology has also brightened the path for us as well. Some of the new denture teeth are very, very lifelike in appearance. The artistic arrangement of denture teeth can be customized to meet the specific demands of our patients. Improved acrylic processing techniques permit a much better fit than was ever possible before. In fact, dentures are often utilized to make it possible to determine if implant technology can be used in certain situations. Even though denture therapy has dramatically improved in recent years, the drastic improvements in every other aspect of dentistry still make denture therapy the least favorable course of treatment in almost every case.
If you have any further questions please contact Dr. Huff and make an appointment.