1314 N. University Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33071
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 2239 N. Commerce Pkwy Ste 2
Weston , FL, 33326-3294
1385 Constitution Place
Tallahassee, FL, 32308
Brain Floro D.D.S. DMD P.C
11701 San Jose Blvd Ste 215
Jacksonville, FL, 32223
Arrowhead Dental Lab
13637 Linden Dr
Spring Hill, FL, 34609
There is no specifically agreed-upon chronological answer by dentists to "When should a denture be replaced?" There are instances where dentures have been replaced after 1 year or less, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are people who have worn the same dentures for 25 or more years. These ranges obviously are extremes.
However, on average, dentists seem to be replacing dentures somewhere between four to eight years. This would seem to imply that the average denture fabricated from contemporary biomaterials will wear out and deteriorate within that time and/or the average denture patient's jaws have changed so much that a new denture must be redone.
Each individual's denture needs are different. There are some factors that a licensed dentist takes into consideration when evaluating the need to replace dentures.
The proper linear distance relationship between the upper and lower jaws is called vertical dimension. This is unique for each individual.
As one's jaw changes and the ridges upon which dentures rest shrink, a denture becomes loose and vertical dimension begins to change (the vertical dimension is said to be lost by a certain linear measurement unit such as millimeters). Additional plastic (acrylic resin) is added to the inside of a loosening denture (called relining a denture) to stabilize it by reducing looseness caused from jaw shrinkage. However, relining does not restore vertical dimension in an accurate way.
The current position held by most dentists is that when vertical dimension has been lost by three millimeters or more, a new denture should be fabricated in order to restore vertical dimension and maintain functional health.
There are individuals who have worn the same denture for extended periods with considerable loss of vertical dimension over time. Since vertical dimension loss is a slow, but nevertheless progressive, process, they have gradually adapted to a continually increasing closed bite position. These individuals often have a sunken facial appearance and usually appear much older than their chronological age.
Functioning with an abnormal vertical dimension may eventually result in alterations of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ, the jaw joint located in front of the ears). This can lead to significant pain and difficulty with effective eating and even the jaw motions involved with speech. It frequently becomes quite difficult, if not impossible, to restore such individual's proper vertical dimension and chewing efficiency by relining and repairing this older denture.
Aside from impaired ability to chew effectively, excess tooth wear will adversely affect esthetics and cause other problems associated with lost vertical dimension, as described above. While porcelain denture teeth will wear at a slower rate than plastic teeth, they nevertheless will wear and are more susceptible to chipping and cracking. Multiple cracked teeth will need to be replaced.
Deterioration: While the biomaterials used by dentists to fabricate dentures today are quite durable, they still deteriorate and exhibit dimensional change over time -- no longer fitting properly, even after relining.
Aging plastic looses its natural appearance and texture, and coloration fades, making dentures look quite artificial.
Deteriorating plastic also makes it easier for dentures to become excessively contaminated with microorganisms. This contributes to mouth irritation and bad taste, and socially unacceptable odors will develop that no amount of denture cleaning will seem to eliminate.
Keeping regular dental check-ups with your dentist so that one's dentures, soft tissues, and jawbone may be checked is essential to extending the life of a denture and maintaining oral health.
by Joseph J. Massad, D.D.S.
Even though dentures are fabricated from extremely durable materials, they will break, wear out, a tooth will come out, or their fit will change. Then its time for denture repair.
Accidents happen, dogs still like to chew on plates of the dental kind, and trash compacters have never taken kindly to dentures. In fact, it is frequently not a matter of "if," but rather a matter of "when" a denture will become broken, lost, or damaged beyond repair.
One can be assured that a problem will happen when least expected, and immediate, usually important, plans definitely will be altered unless a person is prepared.
A short-term use duplicate denture will bridge the gap while a regular denture is being repaired, renovated, or replaced. Sometimes this type of denture is referred to as an "embarrassment denture" because it helps a person avoid the embarrassment of being without teeth in an emergency or during planned denture maintenance.
While this type of denture may be made at any time from an existing functional denture, it generally is fabricated immediately after a new denture is made. The embarrassment denture is neither as accurate nor as esthetic and durable as the original, but it is adequate and only meant for short-term use. The cost is generally considerably less than the original denture.
Such an interim prosthesis may be relined annually and adjusted in advance to fit the current changing shape of an individual's jaws, and therefore be ready to use at a moment's notice.
However, some individuals choose to have their embarrassment denture relined and adjusted only when they need the short-term denture. Following this latter course means that they will have to wait to wear their interim denture until an appointment can be scheduled with a dentist to complete the reline and any adjustments. But a reline for an embarrassment denture can be done in the dentist's office during a single appointment so a patient may leave with it refitted in the mouth.
In either case, a person would not be without a prosthesis while their regular denture is being worked on.
All dentures need to be periodically relined to accommodate the constant change in shape of a person's jaws. There are also times when the plastic body of a denture needs to be changed due to deterioration, or the entire denture replaced because of wear or poor fit from changing mouth conditions that can no longer be remedied by relining.
While relines can be completed in one appointment office visit, more durable relines may require that a dentist keep a denture for several days. Replacing the plastic body of a denture (called a rebase) takes several days and making a replacement denture takes several weeks.
It becomes easy to see how an embarrassment denture would solve being without one's regular denture for a period of time, even for planned maintenance, while getting on with one's life.
by Joseph J. Massad, D.D.S.