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It’s a sad truth that, throughout history, one of the more traumatic issues that most of us has to face is the gradual loss of our teeth. There are many reasons for this: disease, bad tooth care, decay and even accidents. The bottom line however is, that whatever the reason, tooth loss can have many adverse effects on our lives. That’s why, for centuries, the use of dentures has been one of the accepted ways of combating the effects and trauma of tooth loss.

Losing a tooth or teeth is a traumatic experience with many side effects. It can severely impact on our self-confidence because, let’s face it, when you meet someone, one of the first things you notice are their teeth – and nothing stands out so clearly as a missing tooth. It also affects the way you chew your food and even the types of food that you’re able to bite into – suddenly, that lovely red apple is a big problem! And here’s another aspect of tooth loss that many of us are unaware of – our teeth are a type of skeletal structure that helps define our cheeks and lips. No teeth, no support. No support and the skin sags making you look decades older.

OK – that’s the down side. So what’s the solution?

Well there are many, but dentures are perhaps the most well-known, proven solution. Essentially, dentures are a set of false teeth, created by your orthodontist and a lab to look like your real teeth and gums and, even more important, to do the same job! In the past, dentures were primitive constructions, often unsightly and uncomfortable. But now, using 21st century technologies, the science of dentures can now provide a set of dentures that are 100% indistinguishable from a natural set of teeth in every situation.

Denture types

Complete denture

as its name suggests, this is used when all of your teeth are missing.

Partial denture

designed to be used when just some of your teeth are missing. The added value of partial dentures is that, as well as restoring your teeth, it also provides lateral support for natural teeth that have a tendency to shift when there is a gap due to a missing tooth.

In the past, dentures were made from wood, metal, plastic and even ivory. Today the commonly accepted material is an acrylic resin which allows for a highly accurate set of dentures to be fabricated that exactly matches the contours of your gums. Having said that, modern technology is constantly developing new materials such as flexible Valplast that can also be used to create the perfect set of dentures.

Keeping your dentures in place

Out for a meal, then, suddenly, you feel your dentures slipping – the ultimate horror scenario! Theoretically, the natural suction of your gums and saliva should keep your dentures in place. But there’s a huge difference between “should” and “will”. There are no guarantees. Some people will use a special fixative to hold them in place – but this also isn’t 100% certain and as Murphy’s Law states, things will always go wrong at the worst possible moment. Another option is to go the route of dental implants, usually small in size that are used to securely keep your dentures in place giving you the freedom to eat whatever you want without worry.

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