As you get older, the amount of dental problems you encounter increases. Many of these dental problems may result in tooth loss. Because of this, individuals with dental insurance for seniors often opt to get dentures to replace their natural teeth. However, many people are unaware of what is involved in getting dentures. Keep reading to get the scoop on dentures, including how the procedure works, possible complications and how to care for dentures.
Getting Dentures: What to Expect
When you first decide to get dentures, there are several things that will need to be done in preparation first. First, any remaining natural teeth will need to be extracted. Once the teeth are gone, the gums need to be left alone to shrink. This typically takes about 6 months.
After the gums have shrunk, the dentist will perform an oral inspection of the gums and bone by using x-rays. Impressions of the upper and lower gums will then be taken, and the dentist will make dentures from this mold. In some cases, the dentist may give you a temporary denture to wear while the permanent one is being made.
Upper dentures rely on suction to stay in place and may take 4 or more dental visits to complete. Lower dentures rely on gravity and therefore can sometimes be done in fewer sittings. Talk to your dentist to find out what the time requirements for dentures are.
Dentures are not cheap, so you can also expect a pretty hefty dental bill if you don’t have dental insurance or a discount plan. You can ask your dentist about options for payment for your dentures.
Getting dentures will take some getting used to and will present some challenges at the beginning. Some possible complications include:
- Development of a speech impediment
- Problems eating
- Lack of retention – dentures may be loose or fall off
- Discomfort if the dentures are ill-fitting
Having senior dental insurance can help cut costs if any major issues come up. Talk your dentist about possible solutions. if any of these problems arise.
Caring for Dentures
Your new dentures will require a lot of care in order to fit and perform correctly. Typically, dentures require a remake every four years, but it can be more often if they are not properly taken care of. Here are some guidelines to follow when cleaning dentures:
- Rinse your dentures after eating
- Scrub once a day with a denture cleaner, mild soap or dish soap
- You can gently scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush for tough dirt
- Take your dentures out before you go to bed and let them soak in a solution overnight
- Handle your dentures carefully so they don’t bend or break.