People always have a number of questions when it comes to getting dentures. Does it hurt? How much will they cost? When can they receive them? Chief amongst these is always the question of longevity. People want to know how long their dentures will last.
The simple answer is that most experts agree dentures should last between five and seven years for a healthy individual who takes care of them properly. However, it can be a lot more complicated than that too.
First, it will depend on the type of teeth you choose. Denture teeth generally fall into one of three categories. They’re economy, deluxe or premium. Durability is lowest with economy and increases up the scale from there. So, obviously, everything else being the same, premium teeth will last longer than the other two.
It will also depend how they’re installed in your mouth. Temporary dentures have a much shorter shelf life for a number of reasons. One, you’re constantly removing them from your mouth which naturally exposes them to more wear and tear. Second, it’s much easier for food particles to get below temporary dentures where they wedge between them and your gums. This can put undue pressure on your dentures, eventually ending in a break.
Implant supported dentures have a permanent home that disallows any food particles from getting in. This makes the above scenario very unlikely, if not impossible.
Another huge variable in how long your dentures will last for is you. Dentures need to be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, just like real teeth, or they’ll suffer for it. One very important type of maintenance is called relining. It’s where your dentist examines your dentures to see where they’re not sitting flush with your mouth. They then add to them to close that gap.
Relining is necessary because your jaw is almost constantly shrinking as an ongoing result of the teeth you lost. As the jaw shrinks, your dentures no longer fit. This allows them to move around and shift in a way that can be detrimental to their longevity (and your health, for that matter). Generally, you should have your dentures refit every two years, but check with a dental professional for their opinion.
If your dentures don’t make it five to seven years, chances are you weren’t taking care of them as well as you could have. However, if you pick the best possible materials and care for them like the real thing, they could easily make it a decade or more.