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How Often Should I Replace My Dentures?
Teeth that are accidentally lost or need to be removed can be replaced with dentures. However, just because dental prosthetics are intended as a permanent replacement does not mean that they last forever. The lifespan of a pair of dentures is usually about five to 10 years. Good care can help you to extend their useful life. Find out from the dentist when a set needs to be replaced during regular checkups, and keep in mind the following.
Reasons dentures need replacement
Wear and tear
While most models are built to last for at least the better part of a decade, the plastic and other materials do wear down over time. The many versatile uses of dentures (biting, chewing, etc.) can put a great deal of pressure on the prostheses, which can contribute to chipping, cracking or breaking.
Changes to the mouth
As people age, structures inside the mouth can go through changes. It is not uncommon for gums or bone ridges to recede over time. When this occurs, dentures that fit well at first can become too loose. There are modifications that can be made to a piece that no longer fits the way it should, such as rebasing or relining. Eventually, however, any pair of dentures may outlive its usefulness and need to be replaced. Dentists can advise on whether a patient would most benefit from replacing, relining or rebasing.
Problems caused by ill-fitting dentures
Dentures that become loose or no longer fit properly can cause lots of embarrassing problems. They may make clacking noises when chewing food or may fall out of the mouth altogether while speaking or eating. The latter issue is not only potentially embarrassing but could cause additional difficulties as the piece could become lost or broken as a result.
However, there are even more serious issues that can arise. When dental prosthetics become loose, they can rub against the gums and cause sores. Not only can this be painful, but due to the bacteria that dwell within the environment of the mouth, the sores may be susceptible to infection. Left untreated, an infected sore in the mouth can lead to the development of oral cancer. Therefore, it is even more important to get regular dental checkups, not only to assess the fit of the dentures but to evaluate and treat any infected sores and diagnose any oral malignancy.
While any pair will eventually wear out and need replacement, taking good care of them can help them last longer. Here are some steps to take to properly care for dentures:
- Do not allow them to dry out: Soak them in a solution recommended by the dentist when not in use.
- Use denture cleaner: Ask the dentist for recommended products and avoid bleaching agents or abrasive cleaners.
- Brush and rinse to avoid stains: Use a soft-bristle brush and do not use toothpaste.
- Avoid falls: This can cause them to break.
When dentures break or wear out, they should be repaired or replaced. Proper care of dental prosthetics, including understanding their usable lifespan, can avoid many problems.
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