Dental science has come a long way in the last few decades. Yet public perception lags in regards to dentistry in general and dentures in particular. There is an old myth of George Washington and his painful wooden dentures. While there is a grain of truth to these old myths, the reality of dentures, today and in the past, is quite different.
Dentures Back Then
The dentures dentist of today has access to many tools which make dentures far more useful, safe and free of pain. But what exactly are dentures? Simply put they are a set of removable, false teeth. Historically this was done by using human or animal teeth set into a bridge system with the first recorded set being from 500 BCE.
George Washington’s supposedly wooden teeth were actually carved from elephant & hippo tusk ivory. These were held in a brass bridge with steel springs. Sadly these were painful to him. Until recently dentures were held in place poorly till the advent of dental adhesives. This problem was compounded by the lack of technology to fully replicate the patient’s oral geography.
For today’s dentures dentist, there are more options which make dentures much more comfortable and stable. Better scanning techniques enable the mouth’s interior to be mapped more efficiently which makes the dentures more comfortable and feel more natural. The improvement of dental materials have also made dentures look and feel like real teeth.
A stereotypical view of full dentures consists of a set of teeth left in a glass of water on the nightstand overnight. The reality is dentures are often used for partial tooth loss. Indeed since dentures generally last 5 years, they can be adapted to changes in your teeth due to further loss.
Additionally, dentures have always worked best in conjunction with any remaining real teeth. Today however, even patients with no natural teeth can have their dentures anchored by dental implants. While dental implants are in many ways superior to dentures for replacement of a small amount of teeth, their costs are prohibitive to replace more than a few.
Need Dentures? We can help!
Being able to chew one’s food properly is important to quality of life as well as one’s health. So if you have missing teeth, you owe it to yourself and your health to see what today’s dentures can do for you. Dr. Shaun Massiah is one of the leading New York City dentists in NYC and can help you improve your smile. To schedule an appointment, fill out a contact form or call 212-222-5225.