Dear Dr. Malm: How many people in the United States wear dentures today?
Dear Reader: It is estimated that 32 million people wear dentures today. The largest group is the 65 to 74 year olds, and approximately 57% of Americans in this age group wear them. Of those who do wear dentures, 20 million have fit, function, and appearance problems. Unfortunately, people whose dentures are too old often put up with unnecessary embarrassment and discomfort when they don’t have to.
Dear Dr. Malm: My dentures are only a year old and the teeth are worn. Also the base is turning color from a natural pink to an unsightly orange. Why would this happen?
Dear Reader: Although your dentures are practically new, they are showing accelerated signs of wear and tear. You may have opted for something less, not realizing just how important the quality of dental materials is to the long term durability, fit and appearance of dentures. For example, there are different grades of teeth which can be used. A higher grade is resistant to wear. The discoloration you described could be the result of a quick, cold cure technique used by the dental laboratory. More preferable, when fabricating new dentures, is a heat cure which takes more lab time, but is more stable and eliminates the chance for discoloration. Another downside of the cold cure technique is that susceptible individuals can be allergic to chemicals not eliminated in the process. Whereas, the heat cure technique eliminates these chemicals.
Dear Dr. Malm: I never want to lose my teeth and have to wear dentures. How can I avoid this problem?
Dear Reader: Preventative care and regular visits to your dentist are important. Your can avoid many of these problems with comprehensive dental diagnosis and treatment coupled with your own daily care.