For more than 300,000 New Zealanders, having dentures is a part of day-to-day life. Given that, you would expect that wearing dentures would be easy, comfortable and would not interfere with your enjoyment of life. Sadly, this is often not the case.

Unfortunately for many, dentures are a pain. Many denture wearers don’t realise that there are alternatives worth considering. If you wear dentures and identify with any of the seven signs below, you need to think seriously about how dentures are affecting your quality of life, and do something about it.

1. You’re self-conscious

Teeth play an important role in how we feel about ourselves as they have an impact on our appearance, our speech and our ability to eat. Simply wearing either a partial or a full denture will often make the wearer feel different about themselves and can lead to decreased self-confidence. If you are embarrassed to eat out, if you are anxious about meeting new people, or if you have started socialising less because of your dentures, you need to look at your options.

2. Your dentures move around

Dentures can slip or slide around your mouth making you constantly aware of them and nervous that you might lose them altogether. You should not need to cover your mouth when you laugh just in case your dentures aren’t fixed firmly. A few dental implants can provide a stable base to snap your denture onto, and prevent that frustrating movement.

3. Food is no longer your friend

Knowing that you cannot bite with as much pressure on your dentures as you would with teeth, means that eating can become an issue. You may be missing out on favourite foods or find yourself having to cut your meal into small portions – embarrassing in a public place like a cafe or restaurant. Worse still, an upper denture that covers your palate means that you cannot taste your food properly. We have options that can remove that plastic over your palate – allowing you to enjoy your food like you used to!

4. Your dentures are causing you pain or discomfort

Unfortunately, some dentures just don’t fit correctly, and result in a constant, nagging discomfort when you wear them. This irritation is made worse if you are on medications that have dry mouth as a side-effect. This may mean that you try to do without your medications or you wear your dentures less, neither of which is ideal. This is not something you should have to deal with!

5. They make you feel old

Losing your teeth will change the look of your face, and many denture wearers feel like they age significantly after having their first set fitted. With time, the bone under your denture will recede also, accelerating the aging process. Dental implants not only hold your dentures in place but can prevent the shrinking away of the bone, rather like how tree roots prevent erosion.

6. You talk funny

Having a lot of plastic in your mouth has got to interfere with your speech, particularly if your denture also moves when you talk. Having an implant retained overdenture will stop that movement. Replacing your denture altogether with implants and a fixed bridge will also get rid of all that excess plastic altogether, allowing you to speak clearly again.

7. You find yourself leaving your dentures out

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort with your dentures, it is very likely that you’ve started seeing them as an ‘optional’ item. Given that you will probably not feel like going out if you don’t put your denture in, this isolates you further from social activities with friends and family. If you are sick of worrying about your dentures and just wish you had your own teeth back, it is time to explore the possibility of dental implants.