Dentures aren’t just for older patients! Thanks to advances in technology and impressive quality, you might not notice young people with dentures, like 24 year old Austin in the video above. And you’d be surprised at how common the need for dentures may be among young people! The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) reports individuals between the ages of 20 to 34 are missing an average of 5.1 teeth.
Dentures also aren’t just for complete tooth replacement. Young adults with dentures especially often opt for partial dentures or tooth implants, which can help preserve your remaining natural teeth for years to come. While there’s technically no age restriction for dentures, you’ll want to consult your physician and your dental professional to find the best solution for you — no matter your age.
Conditions Leading to the Need for Dentures for Young Adults
Young adults in their 20s and even teens get dentures for many reasons. Gum disease, cavities, poor oral hygiene, and lifestyle choices are often the most common reasons for tooth loss in young adults. Certain genetic or medical conditions, such as acid reflux, can also contribute to tooth erosion and eventually tooth loss. Sports injuries are another common cause of tooth loss for young people.
It is important to remember that the missing teeth can cause your remaining teeth to shift and become misaligned, which can cause pain, make it difficult to eat, lead to more tooth decay for your remaining teeth, and even change the shape of your mouth. Living with missing teeth also increases your risk for bone loss and developing gum disease, which can lead to other serious health conditions. And the longer you put off getting dentures at a young age, the more severe your case may become.
Benefits of Dentures for Young People
Having dentures at a young age is not a bad thing and living with missing teeth doesn’t have to impact you personally, professionally, or emotionally. Replacing gaps in your teeth with dentures will not only improve your smile, but dentures can help:
- Boost your confidence
- Improve speaking skills
- Protect existing natural teeth
- Prevent health issues
- Restore regular eating habits
- Retain muscle tone in your face and jaw
What to Expect when Getting Dentures at a Young Age
If you have decided to get dentures or partial dentures to replace any missing teeth, your dentist will guide you through the steps. After removing unhealthy permanent teeth, a mouth impression, bite registration, and other models will be made of your mouth. You will then have a try-in of your dentures made before final delivery and it is possible to have multiple appointments during this process.
It is common to have to wait a few months until your gums have completely healed and shrunk to have your dentures made. During this time, your dentist may offer you immediate dentures to wear until yours can be fitted. Once you have your dentures, your dentist will provide you with any instructions for taking care of your dentures. And remember to give yourself time to adjust to your new dentures!
Dentures can also be combined with dental implants for more security, especially for lower dentures. Because implants are placed in your jawbone, this process takes more time than traditional dentures. And you may not be a candidate for implant-supported dentures if your jawbone is insufficient or you have certain health conditions. (You can learn more about the differences between implants and dentures here!)
If you think you need help, don’t wait! Getting dentures at a young age can feel overwhelming, but we are here to help you every step of the way with affordable, high-quality, and compassionate care. Schedule an appointment with your local Affordable Dentures & Implants practice to discuss your tooth replacement options, totally customizable to your needs and budget.