How Long Do Dentures Last?
July 5, 2022
When you’re missing some or all of your teeth, dentures are a replacement that you can take out to clean or when you’re asleep. Dentures are not inexpensive dental appliances. The cost varies depending on your region, type of denture, insurance coverage, and amount of teeth in that denture. Per Fixodent, average prices can start at $300 per plate or go to as much as $8,000 for a complete set. There are two types of dentures: partial or complete.
Complete dentures are a full set of teeth. You’ve probably seen them. There are also partial dentures that attach to neighboring teeth to fill in for those that are missing.
Dentures need to fit correctly. If they don’t, they may slip around and irritate the gums. That can cause pain and affect your nutritional intake. Make sure you’re choosing a dentist who specializes in dentures. Whether you need partial or full dentures, how long can you expect them to last?
The Longevity of Complete Dentures
Complete dentures are used when all of your natural teeth are unhealthy or missing. There are two types of dentures: conventional and immediate.
Conventional dentures are built once any remaining teeth are removed and the gums have had a chance to completely heal. This can take up to 12 weeks. During this time, the dentures are built and fitted at a dental appointment after the dentist is certain the gums are ready. Fewer adjustments are needed with this type of denture.
On average, conventional dentures will last between five and ten years. If you take good care of them, you could get them to last much longer than that.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and fitted immediately after the teeth are removed. You can opt for this type. However, you do have to think about the inflammation caused by the procedure to remove your teeth. Your gums are going to be inflamed while they heal. When they’ve completed the healing process, they will have shrunk, so the immediate dentures may not fit correctly. You’ll need to return often to have your dentures adjusted.
With immediate dentures, they’re not designed to last forever. Generally, they won’t last for more than a year. Most patients find they fail within six to eight months, but it does depend on how well you care for them and how often you see your dentist. By the time they no longer work for you, a complete set can be made.
To make either of these dentures, you need to see the dentist to get impressions of your jaw taken. The dentist also takes measurements of your jaw and the space between it. Models are made to see if the fit is correct and the positioning is right. Once the fit is perfect, the final dentures are made.
The Longevity of Partial Dentures
Partial dentures, also known as bridges, “bridge” a gap between healthy teeth. If you had to have three teeth removed due to severe gum disease, those three missing teeth are replaced by a partial denture that’s secured to the healthy teeth. This keeps teeth from shifting out of position. There are two types of partial dentures: fixed or precision.
First, you have fixed bridges. They replace one or more teeth with artificial teeth that are affixed to a gum-colored base. A fixed bridge is then secured to other teeth using denture cement.
Second, there are precision partial dentures. They attach to neighboring teeth without requiring cement, which makes them easy to remove.
Partial dentures last much longer than complete dentures. Most people get 15 or more years from their partials. Again, it comes down to how well you care for them.
How Can You Lengthen the Life of Your Dentures?
To get the most life from your dentures, see your dentist as soon as they start feeling unusual. If they click when you talk or slip around, make an appointment to have them evaluated. Don’t try to fix them yourself. That could lead to damage that is impossible to correct, and you’ll end up having to purchase a new set of dentures.
If you notice one or more of the teeth on the dentures becoming loose, make an appointment to get it fixed. Do the same if they chip or crack. When they do need repairs, the existing teeth are often reused and only a new base needs to be made.
Keep up with regular dental care. See your dentist for a cleaning every six months, or more often if your dentist recommends more common.
Avoid hard, crunchy foods. Do not chew hard candies or crunch foods like popcorn kernels or corn nuts. Don’t chew ice cubes.
Take them out regularly to clean them. Do not use toothpaste or abrasive cleaners. They’re abrasive and can cause small scratches and scuffs that allow plaque to build up. Use a denture cleaning product and a soft toothbrush. If you don’t have denture cleaners, you could use a gentle dishwashing liquid.
Keep them in water or follow your dentist’s advice when you’re not wearing them. Do not let them dry out. If they have metal attachments, keeping them in a denture cleaning solution could tarnish the metal, so you need to follow your dentist’s recommendations.
The final tip is to make sure you’re still cleaning your existing teeth and gums. Brush your gums with a soft toothbrush and do the same with your tongue. Brush and floss any existing teeth. Rinse with salt water to help keep your gums clean.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dentures?
Are dentures right for you? People who wear dentures often have multiple missing teeth. According to the CDC, 26% of adults 65 or older have no more than eight teeth left. Around 17% have lost all of their teeth.
Missing any teeth makes you a good candidate for dentures. If you have gum disease that leads to bone loss, you may need replacement teeth, too. At this point, a dentist will discuss the benefits and need for partial or complete dentures.
Older adults are not the only people with missing teeth. Poor oral hygiene in younger adults may lead to severe tooth decay that causes tooth loss and the need for dentures. There’s a chance that a crown can build a tooth back up, but if that’s not an option, dentures become necessary to maintain a proper bite for talking and eating.
Dr. Jody Jones can help. You can also learn more about dental implants. If you’re a good candidate, you won’t need dentures. You’ll have a permanent solution to your missing teeth that look natural and attach to your gums and jaw. Dental implants don’t slip, making them a more attractive solution. Request an appointment to discuss your options.