You’re sitting at home with your shiny new dentures in your mouth, and one of the first things that pops into your head is how long exactly will they last? A commonly held belief is that getting dentures is a long-term relationship, and that once you have them, you’re set for life.
The truth is, there’s no permanent fix for your dental issues. Just as you’ll have to replace that sofa with another one, dentures will eventually need to be replaced after a maximum of 10-15 years – that is, if you’re taking good care of them. How long do partial dentures last? What should you do when your dentures have reached the end of their career and what can you do to protect them? Read on to have all your questions answered!
The Longevity of Different Denture Types
We tend to imagine our mouth as this constant entity that always stays the same, when in fact, like most things in life, it’s always changing: your gums may shrink, and your jawbone may also change shape.
How Long Do Partial Dentures and Full Dentures Last?
According to statistics, full dentures last anywhere between 5 and 10 years, while partials have a maximum longevity of 15 years. During this time frame, both your mouth and your dentures can undergo major changes, resulting in an improper fit and unappealing appearance.
How Long Do Immediate Dentures Last?
There’s also a third category of dentures called immediate or temporary dentures, whose lifespan can be measured in months. Immediate dentures are a prosthetic device fit in by your dentist right after the removal of your natural teeth and are used until your permanent dentures are ready, so for about two to three months.
How to Decide When it’s Time for a Change?
As your mouth changes over the years, you need to make sure that your dentures fit properly. It’s highly recommended for denture wearers to visit their dentist for a check-up every 12 months, or at the earliest sign of irritation (like clicking or gagging), even if it seems these symptoms may blow over soon.
Despite your best efforts to whiten and remove stains from your dentures, they’re also affected by wear and tear, just like natural teeth. When your dentures no longer look aesthetically pleasing or stop fitting properly and get loose in your mouth, the time has come for your dentures to be relined, rebased, or remade – depending on how much your mouth has changed or how much your dentures have deteriorated.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Dentures
There are several ways you can ensure a longer lifespan for your dentures, from relining and rebasing to sticking to a proper oral care routine.
What Does Relining and Rebasing Mean
Relining and rebasing are two methods your dentist can use to extend the lifespan of your dentures. Relining involves the dentist reshaping the underside of your (otherwise perfectly fine) dentures to make them feel more comfortable on your gums, while rebasing is a more complex process that refers to the total replacement of the base material of the dentures, that is, the plastic part that is there to simulate gum tissue. Thus, it provides your dentures more stability and a better fit.
How to Care for Your Dentures
No matter what you do, your dentures will eventually have to be replaced. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them. If you look after your full and partial dentures properly, they can last for a long time! Here are a few things you can do to ensure a longer lifespan for your dentures.
- Clean them daily. Remove your dentures before going to bed every night, rinse them with warm water, and gently brush them with a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser to remove food, plaque and other deposits.
- Soak them every night. Dentures need to stay moist to retain their original shape, so place them in a glass of water or denture-soaking solution overnight.
- See your dentist regularly. Your dentist can help to ensure your dentures stay properly fitted, as well as provide you with professional advice and medical help in case your dentures cause you any distress.