If you have dentures, you may have your smile back.
But you still may be missing something important — your bite.
We don’t mean your witty tongue (we know plenty of patients with dentures who are quick-witted). We mean your ability to bite and chew your food.
Dentures can give you back some of what you’ve lost, but they aren’t going to get you back to full strength.
It is possible to get regain something close, if not equal, to the same bite force you had back when you had a full set of teeth. How? With dental implants from Antoine Dental Center.
If you live in or near Houston, we welcome you to call or stop by to talk to our dentist about what you may be missing … and how dental implants can help you get it back.
The Problems With Missing Teeth
Dentures have become the tooth replacement option of choice for Americans who are edentulous, that is who are missing at least one complete arch of teeth.
The American College of Prosthodontists estimated that 35 million Americans are edentulous. Of that group, 12 million are missing one arch, and 23 million are missing both arches.
Physically, losing your teeth has a big impact on you.
First, you really can’t eat much if you have no teeth. You are stuck with soups and mushy foods, like applesauce and mashed potatoes.
Second, it hurts your health. When you don’t have teeth, you start losing bone density in your jaw. This can cause your face to have a sunken appearance.
Psychologically, you may be ashamed or embarrassed. When you smile, people expect to see teeth. If you don’t have any, you may get some odd looks from the people you meet.
You may not realize it until your lose your teeth, but they also affect how you speak. The way you move your tongue and how you press it against your teeth determines how you pronounce your words.
Having a toothless smile and relearning how to say what you mean to say can make you self-conscious. This may make you want to avoid going out in public or do things with your family and friends.
It’s no wonder that 90 percent of people who lose their teeth get dentures. Even if they can’t correct all their problems, at least they will have some teeth when they smile.
Are Dentures Enough?
We understand why you would want to have something tooth-like to show when you smile.
But are dentures, by themselves, a good replacement for your teeth? After all, you used your teeth to bite and chew your food, too.
Experts have determined that a healthy adult with all of his or her teeth has a bite force between 200 and 250 pounds.
That’s more than enough to bite into an apple or corn on the cob. It’s probably more than you need to tear off a bite of fried chicken or steak and then chew it up.
Can you do that with your dentures? Some people get as little as 5 pounds of force with dentures, although many can generate closer to 50 pounds of force.
That’s certainly better than nothing, but it’s far from the 200 pounds you got when you had all your teeth.
Restoring Your Bite Force
If you would like to be able to eat whatever you would like again, then dental implants are the solution that you need.
Dentures replace the crowns of your teeth. Dental implants replace the roots of those missing or lost teeth. This is important for a couple reasons.
First, dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone. This is why they provide a stronger and more stable foundation for your dentures.
Second, dental implants stimulate growth in your jawbone. The growth keeps the bone healthy, which helps you maintain the shape of your face.
As the bone grows, it bonds directly to your dental implants. This holds them firmly in place.
Each implant has an abutment on the end. Strategically placed implants can support your dentures.
As your mouth heals, your bite force will be nearly equal to that of a person with a full set of teeth. And just as important, you won’t have to worry about your dentures coming loose if you bite into something that is too crunchy, crispy, or chewy.
If you’ve lost your teeth, you can get back your smile with dentures. But dentures with dental implants can restore the full function of your teeth, too.
To learn more, contact Antoine Dental Center. Call our dentist office in Houston at 713-364-8990 or fill out our appointment form to schedule a visit.