Unhappy With Your Dentures? You Have Other Options.

Many people—especially those accustomed to using their natural teeth—dislike the way their dentures feel and look. In years past, people who lost their teeth had few options besides either getting dentures or just doing without. Fortunately, strides in technology have allowed the development of some alternatives to dentures.

What are dentures, anyway?

A common misconception is that dentures replace your teeth. This is actually untrue: dentures are used when you don’t have any teeth. They are essentially false teeth affixed to a plastic plate that fits over the gums. They can be awkward to wear and, depending on how they are built, they can interfere with your ability to enjoy food.

Alternatives to dentures

One alternative to traditional dentures is dentures that snap into place over the gum. This allows the removal of the large plastic “plate” that is traditionally associated with dentures, restoring your ability to taste and speak as you normally would. This can be done by using a few dental implants to act as anchors for the dentures and then affixing the dentures to the implants.

If you want to have more realistic-looking and feeling teeth, you have the option of getting implants that will look, feel, and operate like real teeth. This procedure is a little bit more intensive and does take several visits to accomplish, but the end result is well worth it.

When getting implants, your dentist will first install several metal rods into your gums. He or she will affix temporary teeth to these rods to allow you to eat while the final product is prepared. Later on, your dentist will remove the temporary teeth and install a bridge onto the implanted rods. This bridge will look, feel, and function like a normal set of teeth. Unlike dentures, it does not need to be removed each evening.

The process of getting a full bridge can take 2-3 visits to be completed. While it is more costly than a traditional set of dentures, and installation takes more time, the end result is clearly superior and is virtually indistinguishable from real teeth.

At What Age Should You Begin Taking Your Child to the Dentist?

While it is important for your child to receive regular dental care, taking him or her to the dentist at too young of an age can be problematic. Small children are often unable to understand what is going on and the experience can be very traumatic to them. In addition to causing problems in the short term, taking them at too young of an age can leave deep emotional issues that could harm him or her later on in life. You don’t want to have a child who grows up fearing the dentist because he or she was forced to have his or her teeth cleaned at too young of an age.

When do you need to begin cleaning a child’s teeth?

Ideally, you should try to have your child’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis from the time that he or she gets them. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s suggestion is that a child go to the dentist for the first time no later than six months after the first tooth comes in.

Making your child comfortable

To assist in making the first visit less traumatic, you may want to consider bringing your child with you to the dentist when you are getting your own teeth cleaned. Let him or her watch the procedure so that he or she knows there is nothing to be afraid of. You can have the dentist play a short game, like sitting the child in the chair and counting his or her teeth. The idea is for the child to have positive feelings when he or she thinks of the dentist’s office.

Talk with the dentist before you come and together come up with a plan for what you may do if your child is being fearful or otherwise uncooperative. Also, talk with your child and explain to him or her why it is important to go to the dentist and what, exactly, is going to happen. This will help reduce the child’s anxiety and make the visit a more pleasant one for all parties involved.