Dental Video: The real cost of dentures is more than just money

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Narrator: Some people believe that their dental problems will be solved if they have their teeth removed and get dentures. But, instead as most dentures wearers will tell you this marks the begining of many new and different problems. Some of these problems include difficulty eating and tasting your food, gagging, sore spots in the mouth, loss of jawbone, the ongoing necessity of adjustments and remakes, discomfort, changes in your facial appearance, and related costs.

Eating can take much longer because you can apply only about 15 to 25 percent of normal force when chewing with dentures. They also make many foods more difficult to eat. This is particularly true for fruits and vegetables which are crucial for your overall health. Tasting food can be more difficult too, especially with upper dentures, which cover the taste buds on the roof of the mouth. Gagging can also be an issue with upper dentures. Some people with an active gag reflex find them impossible to wear. Sore spots are often a problem, because the tissues in the mouth were never made to have plastic continuely rubbing against them.

The most serious problem is the loss of jawbone. When teeth are missing the jawbone does not get the stimulation it needs from chewing and the jawbone begins to shrink. This causes a denture to become loose. After a few months the dentures will have to be relined. And every few years it will have to be remade entirely to keep it fitting properly. This is particularly true for lower dentures. The base for a lower denture is smaller to begin with and as the loss of bone flattens the lower jaw there is very little to hold the denture in place. Even worse the shrinkage can expose nerves that pass through the jaw, so the jaw hurts and can go numb everytime you bite down. The loss of jawbone also changes your appearance. Your nose gets closer to your chin and your lips collapse. This causes wrinkles and makes you look older.

When you add up all the costs, dentures end up being more expensive than treatment to save your teeth. These include the costs of removing the teeth, making the dentures, and the periodic relines and remakes. For all these reasons we recommend you choose treatment to keep your natural teeth. You’ll look better, feel better, enjoy your food more and have …