Most people are surprised to learn the earliest dentures were made around the 7th century BC and consisted of both animal and human teeth.
Though this art of creating replacement teeth ceased for a time, it was revived in the 1700s and has evolved greatly over the years.
The reason for this revival was the abundance of sugar throughout Europe. Europeans were suffering from cavities and losing their teeth in great numbers due to their sugar consumption. With dentures being made, Europeans could continue to enjoy eating, though these dentures were far from the caliber available today.
Over the years, dentures have been made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, vulcanite, and ivory. Today, most dentures are made from lightweight materials, such as plastics and acrylic resin. These denture materials are more comfortable and affordable.
Types of Dentures
Today, multiple types of dentures are available for individuals who have lost all or a portion of their teeth. A consultation with a dentist is required for helping a person learn which type of dentures will offer them the best service. Some of the common options include:
- Complete Dentures - Complete dentures are the most popular option and include a top and bottom set. This type of denture is removable. These dentures rest on the gum tissue and stay in place with suction. Some people need to wear a denture adhesive for full security.
- Immediate Dentures - These dentures are also referred to as temporary dentures. They are put in place immediately after a person has their teeth removed. Immediate dentures are meant to allow for normal function while the gums heal. They are typically only used until healing takes place and permanent options are made available.
- Flexible Partial Dentures - For those that are only missing a few teeth, a flexible partial denture is ideal for replacement. These are made of nylon which is much thinner and more flexible than its thicker and more rigid counterpart, acrylic.
- Fixed Bridges - Fixed bridges offer a more permanent fix for those that are only missing a few teeth. A bridge is created by permanently affixing a crown to the teeth on either side of the open gum space. Artificial teeth are connected to the crown and used to fill in the space. A fixed bridge is typically going to cost more than removable dentures.
- Snap-On Dentures - Snap-on dentures are applied by first implanting metal posts into the mouth. These posts will allow for the placement of the crown ends of the dentures. Snap-on dentures easily snap in place but offer more staying power. They can also be easily removed as needed.
- Implant-Supported Dentures - Implant-supported dentures are similar to snap-on dentures, but they can only be removed by a dentist, so they are considered a more permanent option. These dentures are supported by metal implants that are placed into the jawbone and allowed to become one with the bone tissue.
Tips for Denture Wearers
Wearing dentures allows people to replace missing teeth so they can chew food and smile with confidence. The following offers some tips that will help denture wearers wear their dentures comfortably.
- Individuals should brush their dentures every day. Just like natural teeth, they can become stained and develop plaque and tartar buildup.
- Dentures should be soaked in a denture cleaner each day, for cleaning and keeping them moist.
- It is important that denture wearers give their mouths a rest at night. Never wear dentures while sleeping.
- If a pair of dentures is not fitting well, it is important to report the problem to the dentist so it can be fixed.
- Denture wearers also need to make sure they keep their mouths fully hydrated while wearing dentures.
- Individuals should avoid eating chewy foods and hard candies.
When dentures are made by experts, they will fit precisely and offer a high level of comfort. Individuals need to make sure they see their dentists regularly and report any issues, such as sore gums or foul mouth odors. With dentures in place, individuals will enjoy many types of food and have a beautiful smile.