Understanding the lifespan of dentures is crucial for maintaining good oral health and ensuring maximum comfort. Read on for important information on the typical lifespan of dentures based on type and tips for prolonging their longevity.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Dentures
There are many different types of traditional dentures, including full, partial, and immediate or temporary. On average, the lifespan of all types of dentures is typically around 5 to 10 years. As each type has its own materials, functions, and placement in the mouth — and each type can be affected differently by daily use — it’s difficult to drill down into specifics. During your initial consultation for dentures, your dentist can help you evaluate the expected lifespan for your individual set.
With that being said, there are other rules of thumb to use to determine more specifically the lifespan of your specific dentures. Consider the following:
1) Type of Denture
What type of denture you choose will have an impact on its longevity. For example, full dentures tend to last longer than partial dentures due to their increased stability. Immediate dentures are designed to be worn for a shorter period of time than regular dentures, and so the materials can deteriorate more quickly.
Quick note: Permanent dentures are named as such because they are held in your mouth by permanent implants in your jawbone — not because they last forever.
2) Type of Material
The type of materials used in the fabrication of your dentures will have an impact on the longevity of your dentures. Harder materials, like metal and ABS plastic, tend to last longer than softer materials.
3) Oral Hygiene
The cleanliness of your mouth and of your dentures can significantly impact their lifespan. Food debris and bacteria can build up on your dentures and add extra wear to the materials, in addition to potentially causing harmful side effects that could affect the health of your mouth overall.
4) Frequency of Denture Maintenance
Regular visits to the dentist for denture adjustments and relining can help ensure optimal fit and function, so your dentures don’t prematurely wear down in the wrong places.
5) Daily Activities
Dentures are designed to stand up to the daily tasks of chewing and talking, but there is some normal wear and tear to be expected from these activities. If you’re properly caring for your dentures, this should be the main reason why, after many years of enjoyment, your dentures may need to be replaced.
How to Make Dentures Last
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a little extra attention and care throughout your daily use of your dentures can help them meet (and sometimes exceed!) their full, expected lifespan. Make your dentures last as long as possible by making time for the following:
Proper Cleaning and Storage
The best way to ensure the longest possible lifespan of your dentures is to take good care of them! Carefully take them out each night and properly clean them. Make sure you’re using the right cleanser and a soft toothbrush, as super-harsh chemicals or tough bristles can damage your dentures and reduce their longevity. And don’t forget to soak them! When your dentures dry out, they can warp.
Regular Dental Check-ups
Make sure you stay up to date on your dental visits, as proper cleaning contributes to good oral health. Your dentist can also help you spot and address any issues in their early stages, before they start damaging your dentures.
Avoiding Harmful Habits
While you can truly eat just about anything with dentures, there are some foods to avoid if you want to get the absolute most out of their lifespan. You may also want to consider quitting smoking or chewing tobacco to help prolong the life of your dentures. And, just like your natural teeth, you should never use your dentures to open packages or bottles.
Signs of Denture Wear
All dentures must eventually be replaced. To know when it’s time to replace your dentures, keep an eye out for these signs:
- Discomfort or persistent sore spots
- Looseness or slipping
- Visible damage
- Changes in oral health despite good hygiene
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What’s important to know is that all dentures, regardless of type or material, are designed to be durable and last a number of years. You don’t need to worry about them suddenly falling apart. Proper denture care is about making your daily life comfortable and making sure that you get the most out of your investment.
Remember, it is crucial to consult with a dental professional who can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs. Don't hesitate to schedule an appointment at our local dental offices to explore different options and ensure the longevity of your dentures.