Why replace your dentures every 5 years?
You walked out of that denturist office pleased as punch a few years ago. New dentures made you feel like you could conquer the world! But now you are hearing rumours that some people you know had to have them replaced. They don’t last forever? They don’t last for the lifetime of your mouth? Just how expensive if this denture business going to be?! The time has come for some answers.
Now, depending on your age and how frequently your mouth goes through various changes, it is true that your dentures can last you a long time. The average, however, for a wide range of reasons we’ll touch on today, is anywhere from 3 to 10 years. Depending on the condition of your dentures, they can be repaired, relined, even rebased before they ever need replacing, but eventually, everyone has to replace them at some point.
The first reason for replacing is overall fit. Your mouth changes over time, teeth shift, gums change shape, bone density may shrink and cause jaw realignment, you might even lose another tooth. It is important to have your mouth assessed once a year to ensure ongoing good fit and that other conditions have not cropped up in the meantime.
The second reason is damage to your dentures. Perhaps you ate a particularly hard piece of candy and just like a real tooth, a false tooth chipped. Or perhaps you accidentally dropped your dentures while cleaning them one time and now a clamp doesn’t do it’s job anymore. Perhaps the nights got really cold out on a cabin vacation and you woke up to frozen, cracked dentures. No way you can continue wearing those. In cases of denture damage, if the damage is minor enough, simple repairs will be all that’s needed. But if the damage is extensive enough, such as in a cracked base, the dentures will need to be replaced.
A third reason may be the inability to fully clean your dentures any longer. Just like your own teeth, false teeth can get stained too, sometimes irreparably stained and the only way to unstain them is to replace them. If you’ve had ongoing issues getting gunk out of them over time, the denturist may recommend replacing them for that reason as well, to prevent the dirty areas from inviting bacteria and other problems into your mouth.
Proper care and cleaning of your dentures will ensure that any cracks, chips, dents, etc are caught early before they become a problem. The longer you maintain proper care, the longer your dentures can theoretically last. The earlier you catch mouth or denture issues, the sooner your denturist can accommodate via repairs or methods to maintain your oral health. Conversely, the longer you go without catching problems, the greater your chances of contracting oral cancer or developing other serious issues such as gum sores or lesions or eating in pain. No one likes to eat in pain or go toothless because the dentures hurt.
Make sure to schedule regular yearly check-ups with your denturist to ensure all is fine. Ensure daily proper care of your dentures and ensure the same for your own mouth. This will stave off the eventual expense of replacing your dentures, but be aware this will not put it off forever. Just like glasses, walking canes, or other functional supports, dentures do wear out. But with care and attention, yours will last you several years. The greater your care, the longer they will last. Have fun with your dentures.