You often see a person smile and it’s as though the whole room just lit up. It has something to do with the charisma of the said person, but also a lot with the smile itself. Healthy and white teeth leave a better impression on people, but most importantly make you feel more confident in yourself.
However, not everyone is blessed with the perfect teeth or adheres to appropriate dental care. With dentures, you can have your smile back as well as cure your insecurities. But if you don’t know much about dentures, here are some facts that will help you decide which one is right for you.
What are dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth made from various materials used to replace the missing teeth in person’s jaw. They have an aesthetic purpose besides restoring oral function like the ability to chew to a person and improve their quality of life. There are two types of dentures: full and partial and which one you will need depends on the extent of the damage your oral cavity suffers from.
A full denture is advised when most of the person’s teeth are missing, while partial will replace only a few ones. It’s up to your dentist to give the best possible course of action based on the damage and your finances. However, dentures are a sound investment that will improve several areas of your life, not just returning you a healthy smile.
History of dentures
Dentures are medical devices that exist for a really long time in history. We know that Etruscans made them in the 7th century BC from human or animal teeth bonded with gold bands. These first dentures weren’t at all comfortable and healthy since they carried infections, but it took five centuries to replace them.
In the 19th century, dentures were made from teeth extracted from slaves or cadavers, while other options included materials such as ivory from elephant, hippo, and walrus. Since the later type of dentures was quite expensive, it was only available to those in the upper societies. Such were the teeth of US president George Washington, although the false popular belief is that they were made of wood.
Although wooden dentures existed during Washington’s lifetime, they were invented and available in Japan. But contrary to their name, they are not made only from wood, but actually, use a wooden frame to hold the teeth. The materials used for dentures were pagodite, ivory, animal horn, human teeth and lastly wood.
But when in 1851 Goodyear brothers invented the way to produce hard rubber from vulcanite, that was the beginning of teeth molding. Practitioners used soft vulcanite to create molds for patients and then they inserted porcelain teeth. Such molds were then vulcanized to harden the rubber and that is how the first durable and affordable dentures were made.
Dentures in the modern age
Dentures depend from country to country because of the health insurance plans. In the USA, over 30 million people wear full dentures and that number increase over the years. Based on prognosis from the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, this number will be close to 37 million by 2020, and the USA has almost 400 million people. This prognosis didn’t include partial dentures or other ways to compensate for the lost teeth.
On the other hand, in Australia, one in 20 adults have lost all their teeth which is 6.4% of the population. A number of partial dentures in Wollongong, for example, compared to Sydney may be lower but it has nothing to do with the quality of service and regards dental insurance. Namely, 59% of the population in major cities have private insurance which is by 10% more than 47% in inner regional and 46% in outer regional areas.
When it comes to Europe, the poorer countries have a high number of removable dentures which is cheaper although a more uncomfortable teeth replacement. The prices there depend from the country and insurance plan of each state. But this part of the world is one of the popular dental tourism destinations where foreigners often travel for high-quality dental services.
Dental hygiene has a key role in maintaining your oral cavity healthy. However, genetics, disease, and circumstances may cause the loss of one or more teeth. Unlike in the old times, today’s dentures are state of the art when it comes to quality, durability, and comfort which improve people’s lives on a daily basis. They will return your smile and functionality at the same time and thus improve your quality of life considerably.