Patients with bad teeth often proclaim that they want all their teeth removed and have dentures made. These patients think they will have no dental problems any more after this because they will no longer have any of their own teeth. Little do they know that it is not as simple as that.
It is true that without teeth, they will be spared from teeth specific problems such as tooth decay. Cavities can’t form where there is no tooth structure no matter how poor the oral hygiene is. However, dentures and the oral soft tissues on which they sit still need to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid taste and smell issues. Infections can still occur in the underlying soft tissues if the are not cleaned well.
Dentures themselves can also introduce new problems. They can take time to get used to as they are quite different to your own teeth. Dentures can rub on their supporting soft tissues and cause soreness. Denture teeth can still break and wear just as our own teeth can. Dentures need to be taken out at night to give the supporting tissues time to rest and recover.
With dentures, you still need to have regular 6 monthly checkups with the dentist. Your dentures and supporting soft tissues need to be checked and cleaned. The gums and bone on which your dentures sit can shrink and resorb over time. If this happens, your dentures may become loose and need to be relined. If there is a lot of change in the supporting gum and bone, new dentures need to be made.
Having all your teeth removed and replaced by dentures is sometimes necessary and the only viable option if the natural teeth are in very poor condition. However, if your own teeth can be saved, then they should be. Your own teeth are always much better than artificial replacements. There are still dental problems when you don’t have any teeth and a set of dentures.