Getting dentures can be a big step. Many people hold onto their natural teeth for as long as possible and worry about taking that step towards dentures. However, in many cases, dentures can improve your looks and quality of life, so here are some things to think about before you go for your first appointment.
1. Are There Any Alternatives?
If you’ve gone through lots of dental procedures already, it’s understandable that you may simply want to get rid of any remaining teeth and go for dentures.
There are alternatives, however, for those who are just missing a few teeth. These range from bridges and crowns to dental implants. A good dentist will be able to tell you about both the pros and cons of each type of treatment.
2. The Cost
Your health insurance should cover basic dentures, which usually cost under $1,000, but will be made of lower-quality materials and therefore can look unnatural.
These sorts of dentures don’t always last long either, as they are made from cold-cured materials that give them a slightly temporary feel. You may want to pay extra for heat-cured dentures, which cost from $4,000 to $8,000. These can last as long as 10 years and look much more natural, fit better and generally give you a better result.
3. Which Dentist to Use
If you are using your health insurance or Medicaid to cover dentures, you may be limited to the kind of dentist you can visit. Paying out of pocket means you can shop around, look for reviews, or even see photos of previous patients’ work.
Look for a dentist who offers a no-obligation initial consultation — not one with a slick sales pitch — and make sure things like adjustments are included so you can be sure you’re happy with the result.
Proper maintenance of dentures is important. They need to be clean to avoid the spread of bacteria in your mouth, and if you have often forgotten to brush in the past, you’ll need to develop better oral health habits in the future. MyBite have a guide to maintaining your dentures, so you can come up with a routine that works for you. In many ways, looking after dentures is a lot like looking after your teeth, apart from the overnight soaking of course.
Some people choose to get dentures to improve their smile because they have a big event coming up. However, it’s worth leaving some time between the fitting and the event to get used to speaking and eating with your dentures in.
Many people will find that they are used to their dentures after a month, although some may need adjustments, so you should factor this in and ensure you have enough time. Some denture fittings require a lot of extractions, and while a temporary denture may be fitted, you might need to wait a few weeks. Speak to your dentist if you’re on a deadline.