As people begin to realize how their appearance may influence their social life, many are turning to alternative methods to perfect their smile. Temporary dentures are not only economically feasible to wear while waiting for a permanent denture, but they can also aid in a person's overall health and restore a fading smile, according to a study from the January/February 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer reviewed journal.
"A smile serves as an individual's most powerful tool," says AGD spokesperson Laura Murcko, DMD. "A great smile can make great, lasting impression, boost a person's self-esteem and confidence as well as improve their overall health."
However, each year in the United States, over 20 million teeth are extracted, leaving scores of people with imperfect and sometimes devastating smiles. A recent online survey of more than 1,100 AGD members revealed that more than 86 percent of dentists reported that their patients deemed social embarrassment as a problem associated with tooth loss.
"Unsightly gaps in the mouth do not have to be part of a person's permanent appearance," says Dr. Murcko. While many dentures that help to restore a damaged smile, interim removable partial dentures, also known as temporary dentures provide an immediate and short-term pleasing result.
"They also allow the patient to eat regular food and serve as a space maintainer in younger patients who've lost teeth as a result of trauma," according to the lead study author, Canan Bural, DDS.
When people suffer from tooth decay or periodontal disease, losing just one tooth can be a sign that more teeth will be lost. This means that placing a permanent denture in the mouth is difficult. "When continued tooth loss is expected in a patient, dentists are limited in terms of the type of dentures they can offer to the patient," explains Dr. Bural. In instances such as these, temporary dentures can greatly benefit the patient.
Common problems associated with natural tooth loss:
- Reduction in ability to chew - 91.91%
- Social embarrassment - 86.35%
- Avoid eating certain foods - 73.83%
- Feel nervous or self-conscious - 68.7%
- Emotional pain - 66.26%
The AGD is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the world's second largest dental association, which is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists.
More than 786,000 persons are employed directly in the field of general dentistry. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs.
Source: Stefanie Schroeder
Academy of General Dentistry