The best accessory is always a beautiful smile. It used to be that people felt tooth loss was inevitable with aging, but research shows that’s no longer the case—many people will go their entire lives with their original teeth. But when teeth do need to be replaced, there are more options than ever to mimic what Mother Nature intended, and no one but you and your dentist need know which are natural and which are not.
Don’t let your confidence fade and appearance transform because of teeth loss. Socialize with friends! Laugh until your tummy hurts, enjoy the finest wines, dance until your feet go numb and get your life back!
An estimated 33 million people, from all walks of life and of all ages, wear dentures. Today’s dentures bear little resemblance to those from generations past. And while many still feel dentures are a taboo topic, think about other such taboos that have fallen by the wayside. Hair color, cosmetic surgery, Botox—these are taken for granted nowadays. And whether you want everyone to know or just you, dentures can be a comfortable, beautiful solution.
Fooling Mother Nature
Dentures can be conventional or implant-supported for better retention. Every person’s mouth is unique, and a specialist can create a custom fit to ensure a natural-looking and functioning smile. Dr. Paivi Samant, D.D.S. specializes in prosthodontics, or the esthetic replacement and restoration of teeth. In addition to their years of training in dentistry, prosthodontists complete three years of training in complex dentistry. When it comes to a person’s smile, Dr. Samant says, there is no one-size-fits-all. “We look at a number of factors when creating our patients’ treatment plans, with the goal of getting each person back to optimal function—feeling good, looking good, eating and speaking well.”
Each denture is custom-designed to provide the best look and feel. The smallest adjustments can make all the difference. For example, slightly longer teeth can create a younger-looking smile, because teeth wear down over years of use. The most important thing, says Dr. Samant, is to replace missing teeth as soon as possible, even if a short-term solution must be used. “It doesn’t take very long for your bite to change, and that can lead to problems with eating and talking. The mouth and jaw can also start losing their shape, making people look much older and making for more difficult work down the road.”
Dr. Samant says that with today’s materials, quality dentures are difficult to detect by regular folks, even close-up. Latest advances in denture teeth and resins help make a natural-looking smile that lasts for years. Tooth patterns can imitate the exact shape and size of original teeth and the base of a full denture, made to look like natural gums, is also made from the latest acrylic materials. “With these new materials, that make such natural-looking teeth, you’d never know they weren’t yours,” assures Dr. Samant. Mrs. M., a very satisfied patient, agrees: “Even people that know me very well—my mother, my sister—people don’t know unless I tell them.”
It does require a little patience, however, to mimic—or improve upon—Mother Nature. No two dentures, even for the same person, will be exactly alike. Impressions of the mouth are made, custom trays to mold the dentures are created, precise measurements to determine exactly how the teeth will look and align—all go into making a first wax denture. Even better, says Dr. Samant, this will soon be done digitally. Most people need a few days to try their new teeth out, to see how they fit and feel and to get a second opinion from their family and friends. “Ultimately, you must decide if it’s you,” she says.
From there, the final denture is made, and after what for most people is a short adjustment period, it’s time to enjoy that perfect smile again. The final step to keeping that perfect smile perfect, reminds Dr. Samant, is regular check-ups, needed to make sure the dentures remain a perfect fit. And, daily care of these teeth is just as important as it was for the original set. With that, you’ll be all smiles for years to come.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Samant, please contact our office today.