Tooth Replacement Options For Nervous Patients
Dentures are still a popular choice
It is quite likely that you will have read about the wonders of dental implants and they are becoming increasingly popular with patients for a number of reasons.
They are also a favourite of celebrities who have lost some of their teeth and want to look at their very best; albeit the technology is now much more affordable even if you don’t have a celebrity income!
They aren’t for everyone though, and a quick read about the procedure is likely to put off some patients who are nervous or anxious about receiving even relatively minor treatment. This doesn’t mean that they are not a good option, but, for this group, and probably some others, the procedure deters them.
Alternative tooth replacement options
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we offer our patients a couple of other options for replacing their missing teeth, namely bridges and dentures. Of these, dentures might be preferable to those of a nervous disposition, as even bridges typically need some invasive dentistry to take place.
In order for the bridge which carries the replacement tooth to be held securely in place, crowns are often fitted to the natural teeth either side of the gap. Unfortunately, crowns can’t just be fitted to the teeth as they are and it is first necessary to shape them. This procedure requires a local anaesthetic in addition to the additional preparatory work on the teeth. For this reason, it may not be the most popular choice for anxious patients.
The only non invasive method of teeth replacement available is the use of dentures. These have had somewhat of a bad press for some time, often being the butt of jokes. Long gone though are the days when people would buy second hand dentures which inevitably were ill fitting and often became loose. These days, modern aesthetic dentures are the first choice for a lot of patients.
Dentures can be used either to replace an individual tooth, a series of teeth, or even a full arch of teeth where necessary. Changes in design and materials mean that modern dentures look natural and are also more comfortable than they are likely to have been in the past.
Whilst dentures may lack the excellent stability of dental implants, they are still relatively secure, and denture adhesives make them even more so. They are also more affordable than implants which is another reason why people opt for them as a first choice.
The denture procedure
When a patient comes to our Streatham dental surgery to discuss having dentures fitted, the first stage is a conversation about the pros and cons and different types available. Once a decision has been made, impressions will be taken of the teeth so that the dentures can be produced in a shape, form and colour that fits in well with the remaining teeth.
When the dentures are returned to our practice, we will check to make sure that they fit as they should do and will offer some advice on their aftercare. Although dentures are made from an artificial material, you still need to look after them, and especially the gums beneath. Failure to do so is likely to lead to soreness which can make them less comfortable to wear.
Eating with dentures
A major concern for anyone considering dentures is whether they will be able to eat certain foods. Modern dentures that are well fitted should make most foods accessible. Because they are not rooted in the gums though, it is only natural that some foods may prove to be more challenging. Sticky foods, such as toffee, may cause the dentures to move around; so especially when you first have your dentures fitted, it is best to stick to softer foods so that you can get used to the feel and function of them. Over time you can gradually eat harder foods and find those that you are comfortable eating. This is perhaps best done at home whilst sticking to foods you know you can chew easily when you are eating out.
You may also have to adjust your food preferences a little. You may, for example, find that a nice fish dish is more enjoyable to eat than trying to chew a more difficult steak. Cooking your vegetables for an extra minute of so may make them easier to chew as well. It really is a matter of personal choice and you should allow yourself a little time to adjust. Those that do, are generally happy with their teeth replacement choice.
Whilst we do all that we can to put nervous patients at ease, it is always useful to have a range of options to choose from, and dentures are still a good choice for replacing missing teeth, despite being around for many years.
At the Confidental Clinic, we offer a range of dentures, including those that flex with the mouth, and we will be pleased to find the most suitable type for you. If you would like to discuss this further with us, please make an appointment to see a dentist at out Streatham practice by calling us on 020 8674 2052.