Dentures are the easiest way to rehabilitate missing teeth in the upper, lower or both arches to transcend the life of barren faces into enticing aesthetics and functionally enhance overall health and well-being.
These medical devices are not permanent due to continuous underlying biological changes in hard and soft tissues. As bone loss after teeth loss is a lifelong process, it results in a reduced bone volume while the denture retains its old measurements. This results in a misfit of dentures and wearing such dentures causes sore spots which makes it uncomfortable for patients to wear dentures for a long time.
Thus, the life span of dentures to serve best scientifically, as well as aesthetically, is a limited time period that varies from patient to patient.
10 Signs You Need to Switch to a New Denture
1. Denture Looseness or Misfitting Dentures:
The continual bone loss makes the denture looser than usual which results in the denture dropping while eating, chewing, swallowing and speaking. Ignoring the loose denture further invites more bone loss.
2. Frequent Denture Soreness:
Frequent denture soreness results from denture misfit. If you begin to notice constant soreness at one or another region of the denture-bearing area, you need a denture replacement.
3. Frequent Denture Fractures:
Again, due to misfitting dentures, unbalanced forces are applied causing fractures of the weak denture region.
4. Chipping of Artificial Teeth or Prosthetic Components from the Denture:
If you notice a crack or frequent chipping of tooth/teeth from a denture, you should switch to a new denture.
5. Use of Denture Adhesive to Eat or Retain the Denture in Place:
If you notice that your denture falls out frequently and that you need to use denture adhesive more than twice for chewing or retaining the denture in place, the old denture has served its purpose and now needs replacement.
6. Difficulty in Chewing and Swallowing:
As the denture loses its appropriate fit, it becomes difficult to maintain stability, thus, creating discomfort while eating food than usual.
7. Altered Speech or Cheek Biting:
The continuous wearing away of the denture results in compromised speech which invites social embarrassment. Similar is the case for cheek and lip biting or angular cheilitis.
8. Worn Out Teeth Surface and Loss of Aesthetics:
If you notice the reduced height of teeth or wearing away of dentures or sunken cheeks, it is time to change your denture.
9. Stains and Malodour that Won’t Go Away:
Wearing a denture causes the denture surface area to become more porous and invites the colonization of bacteria. Thus, it becomes difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene despite the use of denture cleansers.
10. Wearing Dentures for 05+ Years:
If you’re wearing dentures for 05+ years, it’s time to consult a dentist to observe any detrimental changes in your mouth or denture.
How Can You Be Sure Whether It’s Time for a Replacement or Not?
If any one of the above signs or symptoms appears or exaggerates over a period of time, it’s an indication to visit your dentist. Since ‘nothing is forever, there is no definite time span to change your dentures. Generally, the best way forward is to ensure on-time follow-ups with your dentist annually.
Your dentist will figure out the reason for your discomfort, whether it be the denture material wearing away, teeth wearing off and unstable or irretentive dentures, to fabricate a new denture for you with promising outcomes, functionally as well as aesthetically.
As Lily Leung once said, “When in doubt, choose change”. Switching to a new denture at the right time can divert inevitable detrimental changes to the bone which is the source of great fit and stability of the denture.