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Dentures are basically false teeth that many people utilize as replacements for teeth that have fallen out over time. This is common for elderly seniors, as their teeth can get infected or corroded over their lifespans. Gaps or holes in your smile can be very embarrassing, and can also affect your speech patterns, as well as your drinking and eating habits. Dentures can alleviate all of those problems, and vastly improve seniors’ confidence and overall health. Read on to learn about some of the main advantages and disadvantages of dentures, as well as the various types and some other considerations you should make before deciding to go ahead with the procedure.
Pros and Cons of Dentures
There are so many advantages to getting a pair of dental prostheses – it’s no wonder why they’re so popular! Especially for elderly people, a set of dentures can really make a huge difference in terms of their quality of life.
Dentures help with eating habits, can correct speech patterns, protect other teeth around the affected area, discourage sagging skin around the mouth, and of course, improve your smile and overall self-confidence. They’re a great tool for anyone who is missing some teeth, and really needs a boost in their confidence and lifestyle.
However, there are some downsides as well. They can be very expensive, depending on the type you get, the materials and work involved, and the type of insurance you have. Some insurance companies consider this a “cosmetic” improvement, so they may not cover the treatment.
Also, some types of dentures fall out easily, which can be incredibly embarrassing and make the whole situation worse. You also may not be able to eat all of the tough foods that you did before, as dentures are still subject to damage just like regular teeth.
Types of Dentures
With all that in mind, if you still want to move forward and consider dentures as a serious option, take a look at the various types below. Hopefully one will stick out to you as something you can see yourself taking advantage of to improve your smile and self confidence!
If you’ve lost all of your teeth over time, for whatever medical or dental reason, you’ll need a full set of complete dentures. Basically, this means a full set of teeth fixed securely on an acrylic gum-colored base that suctions itself onto the roof of your mouth and is invisible when you smile.
Over time though, your jaw bone will change shape and the acrylic plate won’t fit as well in your mouth, at which time you’ll need a new set, or a type of denture glue to make them stick and stay in place. These kinds of dentures also need to be taken out every night and cleaned to ensure no further infections or complications.
If you’re only missing one or two teeth, or a few in a row, you can get partial dentures instead. These usually clip around the surrounding healthy teeth to keep them securely in place. They’re also styled, colored, and textured to perfectly match your natural teeth and gums, so they’re relatively unnoticeable, except for the metal rings, which may show when you smile depending on where they’re located. These types of dentures also need to be taken out and cleaned, but not quite as frequently as complete sets of dentures because they can be brushed and cleaned like the rest of your teeth in your mouth.
As an alternative, you can also get implant dentures instead of having the hook around the surrounding teeth. Implants are based with a screw that is inserted into your gums and then the fake tooth is secured to that instead of surrounding teeth. This is probably the most secure and natural looking (and feeling) option, but it costs much more and you might not be able to do this procedure if you’re missing almost all of your teeth.
When looking into whether or not a set of dentures is right for you, you’ll need to consider the cost-effectiveness of this decision. Dentures come in a wide range of prices, mostly determined by the material, quality, and how much they actually look like real teeth. Strangely enough, the price isn’t usually much affected by how many false teeth you need, as they all require about the same amount of work. Nonetheless, here are some cost options you should know about.
Low-end dentures typically come in at around $300. These are the kinds of dentures that look very obviously fake. They may not even match your natural tooth color. But, they do give you the benefit of having a functional tooth in your mouth instead of a gaping hole, so for example, if you just need one denture in the back of your mouth that won’t show in your smile, it might not hurt to compromise on quality here. But remember, these usually don’t come with a warranty, so if it gets damaged due to its lower quality materials, the cost of fixing it (or getting another brand new one) is going to be on you.
High Cost Dentures
On the other end of the spectrum, high-quality dentures that look perfectly normal, aligned, and beautiful can cost thousands of dollars. Usually, this is for a full mouth, though. If you’re spending this kind of money on your set of dentures, you should look for a lifetime guarantee or at least a warranty on that covers any potential damage to these high-end options.
The Middle of the Road
Most people end up somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. The average price range for a typical pair of dentures ranges from $800-$1500, and usually come with a 2-year warranty. This is doable for most people, and they get a fully functional set of dentures in no time.
Luckily, most dental insurance plans cover false teeth or dentures. However, check your individual plan to make sure this is the case. Even then, most plans have a limit on them up to $1500, so you may have to settle for a middle-of-the-road option if you need this cost covered by insurance.
Summary and Conclusions
Dentures are a great tool for seniors looking to improve their health, their smile, and their confidence. There are many types of dentures, so make sure to consider all of them before deciding on a certain type over another. Also, consider the cost-effectiveness of this decision, and some other dental replacement options as well to see what would work best for your unique situation.
Do you have any experience with dentures or tips on living with dentures? Please share them with us below!