Among the most well known but least desired areas of dentistry is dentures. Well-made and fitted dentures can be relatively satisfactory replacements for teeth and surrounding bone and soft tissue for a predictable period. Unknown to many persons is the fact that the jawbones and gum tissues shrink when the teeth are removed and even more upsetting is that shrinkage continues to occur throughout the remainder of the person's life. Acceptance of this fact is a major decision for a person considering tooth removal. Frustration with the maintenance of natural teeth can lead a person to think that tooth removal is an easy solution. However, tooth removal usually substitutes other problems for the one you are trying to avoid. Usually, but not always, retention of natural teeth is the best decision. Having your teeth removed can be compared to having an arm amputated. You can get a new artificial arm, but it will never function as well as the original arm.

Full or partial dentures are one of the most feared treatments for most patients. It is also among the least acceptable of all areas of dentistry. However, if it must be done, well-constructed and properly fitted removable partial or complete dentures can work with your cooperation.


- Written by the Salem Times Register for Dr. Caroline Wallace.