When should I get a new denture?
As dentists, we hope your denture gives you several years of service. At Keith Bracy, DDS we have seen dentures in service for up to 20 years at the extreme. However, there are many factors that affect the life span of your denture. Traditional dentures are made from acrylic and resin (plastic) teeth. These are very durable materials, yet they aren’t immune to aging.
Much of your denture life depends on how well you take care of it. Dentures need to be cleaned with warm water and soap at least twice a day or before and after inserting. Alternatively, many over counter products like denture tablets can be used. Cleaning your denture allows for removal of plaque, bacteria and stains – all which can shorten the life of your denture. Bring your denture to Dr. Bracy at regular dental check-up appointments. Just because you are missing your teeth and have a denture, does not mean you can skip dental appointments! An exam of the fit and function of your denture, as well as oral cancer and pathology screenings, must still be performed. Dr. Bracy and his hygienist can also perform a professional cleaning of your denture and review use and care instructions.
Another factor that determines how long your denture lasts is changes in your jaw bone and gums. Over time, some patients experience remodeling of the bone in their jaws. If the bone changes or shrinks away, then the denture will lose its fit. You might notice this if your denture starts to be unstable, lost suction, or moves around more. In some cases, the existing denture can be refitted in a procedure called a denture reline. In other cases, it might be better to make a new denture, if the changes are significant enough. Another option to consider in the case of shrinking bone or poorly fitting dentures, is dental implants to secure the denture. Sometimes just 2 dental implants can make a huge difference in securing a lower denture, and 4 dental implants in an upper denture. Come by our West Village dental office, if you want to talk more about dental implants.
Furthermore, general wear and tear can decrease the life of your denture. Sometimes patients don’t treat their dentures with the most TLC. Dropping your denture, leaving it out to dry, using harsh or abrasive cleaners on it, all will shorten its life span. Dogs, cats and other pets also are very attracted to dentures and can mistake them for their toys. Obviously, if you break your denture by dropping it or if your dog eats it, it will be destroyed and not be usable. In these cases, you may want to consider having a spare or emergency denture. A spare or emergency denture allows you to go on with life without embarrassment if your original denture is lost, destroyed or damaged. It is usually very easy for Dr. Bracy to make a duplicate, spare denture at the time of making your original denture.
A final option you might want to consider to prolong the life of you denture, is to have it reinforced with metal. A thin layer of metal mesh within the denture can go a long way to add strength and reinforcement to it. This is an excellent option for those that grind their dentures and clench when used.
At Keith Bracy, DDS, we love dentures and our denture patients! We are always happy to answer all your questions about dentures and make you a new pair if you are in need. Call us at 212-390-8399 or stop by our NYC office. We are located street level in the West Village. Keith Bracy, DDS is a dentist in 10011.