Considering getting dentures at a young age? The prospect can be very scary. If you’re wondering whether you’re too young to use these common dental prosthetics, you’re not alone. Let’s explore why you might be asking yourself this question and whether there are alternatives available that might be better suited to your needs.
The Link Between Dentures and Aging
There’s no such thing as being too young for dentures. Even children sometimes use them when they lose teeth prematurely.
However, it’s easy to understand why some people are hesitant to get them at a young age. Not only is there a social stigma against denture users, but getting dentures while you’re young may cause you to look older than you actually are.
This is because dentures don’t stimulate your jawbone the same way natural teeth do. When you chew with natural teeth, the pressure that this action puts on your jawbone tells your bone cells that you need them to stay healthy and intact.
Dentures aren’t anchored to your jawbone, so they can’t provide this stimulation. Without it, your jawbone will slowly degrade, making the lower half of your face look small and shrunken.
There’s something important to keep in mind, though. While having dentures accelerates jawbone loss, not replacing your missing teeth will speed things up even more. Dentures can help give your face more vertical dimension and restore its original shape. A skilled dentist or prosthodontist can make you a set of dentures that will look so good that other people will be jealous of your dazzling smile!
What Other Options Are Out There?
If you really don’t want dentures, there are other alternatives to replace your missing teeth. Try:
- Implants. Implants are the gold standard of care for people with missing teeth. Anchored directly to your jawbone with a titanium post and capped with a beautiful natural-looking crown, these prosthetics are almost as good as the real thing. They look great, stay firmly in place, and stimulate your jawbone as you chew. This helps minimize the bone loss you’ll experience and keep you from looking older than your age.
- Bridges. Dental bridges can replace one or two missing teeth by suspending a prosthetic tooth (the pontic) between two crowned teeth (the abutment teeth). Bridges are permanent prosthetics, so they can’t be removed like dentures can. They’re stable and sturdy, but they don’t help minimize bone loss.
- Going without. If you’re only missing one or two teeth, you may be able to get away with not replacing them for a while. This may impact your ability to chew and speak. It may also cause your other teeth to drift out of alignment as they attempt to fill the gap. This is not a good long-term solution, but it could work if you’re just trying to buy some time while you save up for an implant or bridge.
Let Us Help You Replace Your Missing Teeth
Ready to turn back the clock and replace those teeth you’ve been missing? Contact Coscarella Family Dentistry today. Our staff will perform a comprehensive assessment of your teeth, gums, and jawbone and help you decide how to proceed from there. Whichever option you choose, you deserve to have a whole, healthy, beautiful-looking smile to show the world.