Removable Dentures are custom made to your mouth and only your mouth. They are made of denture teeth and denture acrylic – the pink part. But over time, teeth wear, denture teeth break, and they no longer fit as they once did. Dentures are not meant to last a lifetime. In this blog post, Dr. Clark Damon discusses the advantages of replacing your dentures on a regular basis.
Wondering what the expected life of a set of Dentures or When to Replace Them?
Dentures should be replaced every 5 – 7 years. Some patients are surprised by this figure and many say – “my mother had hers for 40 years.” I don’t want to argue that someone’s mother had the same set of dentures for 40 years, but it is unlikely. It is most likely that Mom did not tell you she got a new set.
Why 5 – 7 years? That is 7,665 MEALS! Not even including snacks! Let along that most people chew about 12 times before they swallow. Including chewing that could be easily over 5,518,800 chewing cycles! (12 cycles with an average of 60 bites for 7665 meals) So let me ask you again, what would we expect if we used something ONE MILLION times? – for it to break, wear, and show signs of tear.
I think it is that figure – 5,518,800 chewing cycles that help patients understand their dentures go through a lot in 5-7 years!
What happens to dentures as they age?
Denture teeth begin to wear over time. As they wear your bite will then get more “closed” and the vertical dimension of your face can begin to shrink! (No worries a new denture will restore this) As denture teeth wear, you will then have a harder time chewing food and eating the foods you want!
Dentures also no longer fit as well as they did. Over time the gums and bone shrink to a small degree (more on the lower jaw and less on the top) this causes the denture to no longer fit as close to the gums as it once did. Resulting in slippage and more adhesive needing to be used.
Stress over 5,518,800 or more chewing cycles stresses the denture teeth. Not only do they wear, but the stress can cause the teeth to chip, crack, or even DE BOND from the denture base. Denture teeth are made in a factory and then they are set by our laboratory technicians into the mold. Denture acrylic then wraps around the teeth. It is this chemical and mechanical bond that can be stressed over time that can cause denture teeth to pop out or become dislodged from the denture.
We are proposing that replacing dentures in a 5-7 year cycle will allow great fit, less of a chance for tooth breakage, and to maintain esthetics smoothly without a chance of having to show up to your daughter’s wedding missing a tooth.