Resolve Your “Edentulism” with Cosmetic Dentures
“Edentulism” and “edentulous” are two words you may not have heard before, but they’re relevant to the oral health of countless people nationwide. “Edentulism” is the clinical term for toothlessness, with the loss of some teeth called partial edentulism and the loss of all called complete edentulism. “Edentulous” is an adjective that describes the state of having lost all of one’s teeth.
Among senior Americans, tooth loss is actually quite common. In fact, about 178 million adults in the US have lost at least one tooth due to gum disease and/or tooth decay. And you might also be surprised to learn that approximately 35 million Americans are completely without teeth. Despite this number, you’re not likely to notice this lack of teeth because 90 percent of the edentulous population wears dentures.
The Problems Caused by Tooth Loss
While most people worry about the impacts tooth loss might have on their smiles, your Marco Island, Florida-area dentist will tell you that problems caused by tooth loss go much deeper than aesthetics. Tooth loss can compromise your ability to chew food and distort your speaking voice. Left untreated, tooth loss may also cause deterioration of bone mass in the jaw. From a cosmetic perspective, the impact on one’s smile is somewhat obvious, but missing teeth can also cause a shrunken-in appearance around the mouth and stimulate the formation of wrinkles. Fortunately, modern dentures can effectively solve many of these challenges and improve both confidence and quality of life.
Cosmetic Dentures Offer a Solution
Cosmetic dentures have served as a solution to tooth loss for thousands of years. Also referred to as “false” teeth, cultures worldwide historically adopted various materials to serve as dentures over the centuries. Archeologists have found dentures dating to 2500 BC in Mexico that were crafted from wolf teeth, and false teeth made of bones and gold wire have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Materials that have historically been used to make dentures include:
- Other people’s teeth
- Various animal teeth
Today’s Dentures Indistinguishable from Real Teeth
Fortunately for us, dental science has made great strides in recent decades. Today’s cosmetic dentures are more natural-looking and comfortable than ever before. Denture bases can be colored and styled to perfectly match your natural gums and are made of materials that help optimize the fit. Denture teeth can be perfectly matched in color and shape to existing natural teeth, or, for those needing a complete replacement, can be tailored to give you a Hollywood smile.
Types of Dentures
The type of dentures you need will be dictated by tooth loss. Partial dentures are fitted as a replacement for the loss of a few teeth. These are typically created with a metal framework to keep them secure and in place between the natural teeth. Complete dentures are the solution for total tooth loss and, as previously noted, today’s dentures are more natural-looking and comfortable than ever. Your dentist may offer you temporary dentures to use while you wait for the fabrication of your custom partial or complete dentures. Temporary dentures are also offered to patients who are getting dental implants to replace their missing teeth.
Learn More About Cosmetic Dentures at Island Tower Dentistry
If you’ve lost some of your teeth and would like to learn whether cosmetic dentures might serve as a good option to fill the gaps and restore your smile, Island Tower Dentistry’s Dr. Jonathan Van Dyke would be happy to discuss denture options with you during an examination. To learn more, contact Island Tower Dentistry today at 239-394-1004 to make an appointment!