Your smile is one of the first things that others notice about you. And when you decide that it’s time to replace any rotten or missing teeth, the first steps can seem overwhelming and intimidating, particularly if you don’t know much about the denture process.
Recognizing how to navigate through the various denture, treatment plan options and costs, is key to getting the improved smile that you want and deserve. Here are six tips that will help you get the results that you desire:
1. Not all teeth are bad
“A lot of times, patients assume that because their own, natural teeth don’t look like smiles that we commonly see on the faces of movie stars, then all is lost and that they all have to come out,” says Saberton Denture & Implant owner and denturist, P.J. Saberton. “Frequently, a good dental hygiene cleaning and some minor fillings can help preserve any relatively strong teeth, and any teeth that do need to be pulled, can be replaced with a partial denture. A partial denture is made to match the shade and size of the existing teeth, blending in as naturally as possible.
2. Understand the difference between a denture and a bridge
Dental bridges are fixed, meaning that they can only be removed by a dentist. Bridges are great solutions for anyone missing one or more consecutive teeth. The fixed aspect means that bridges don’t have to be removed after meals or at night and can be brushed and cared for in a similar way to your own teeth. However, if you’re missing teeth in more than one area of a jaw, bridges become quite costly, as you will need a separate bridge for each gap. In these instances, partial dentures become a much more practical and affordable option because one partial denture appliance can replace any number of missing gaps in an individual jaw.
3. Balance financial and health needs
Only you can fully appreciate what you can and cannot afford, as far as treatment costs go. “Our role is to describe all of the treatment plan options,” says Saberton “Frequently we see people choose a cheaper option because they instinctively don’t want to spend a lot of money, only to be disappointed in the results. More often than not, the best treatment plan option is the one with the best long-term approach.”
4. Dental professionals are ethically bound to give you every treatment plan option available
In all situations, there are multiple treatment plan options, including not doing any treatment. Don’t hesitate to ask your dental professional to describe all of the available options that apply to your own circumstance.
5. Practice eating those first few meals at home
Everyone is eager to go out and enjoy a nice meal with new dentures. However, it’s important to give the muscles of your mouth the chance to adapt and learn how to control the food and the denture.
6. Drastic changes can surprise your friends and family
“One of the many concerns that individuals express about their new denture is the concern that friends and family will notice a change in their appearance,” describes Saberton. “Our advice is to change up some other part of your appearance, like a new haircut, eyeglasses, or cosmetic makeup approach to draw any unwanted attention to your new smile, should you be self-conscious.”