In addition to death and taxes, another universal truth that applies to all of us is that our bodies wear out as we age: bones become more brittle, muscles flabbier, and hair harder to come by. But the structures that often endure the most abuse and wear out sooner than any other are our teeth. According to a recent report from the Centers for Diseases Control & Prevention (CDC), a quarter of American adults age 60 years and older are entirely edentulous, or toothless. |
Although there is no official statistic, it is reliably estimated that between 30 and 40 million U.S. seniors wear dentures. Those numbers are only expected to rise as the largest generation in the history of the nation - the baby boomers - enters their golden years in the next decade. Will all of them wear false teeth? Not with dental implants as an available, quite possibly superior, option.
What Are They?
Stronger and more stain-resistant than real choppers, dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss for people of all ages. The only problem is that they're expensive. Most general and cosmetic dentists charge between $1,000 and $3,000 for a single implant! We should also mention that dental insurance will not cover these costs. As a result, implants are not a viable option for folks who need dozens of teeth replaced and don't have deep pockets.
At the end of the day, cost is the main, determinative factor. A good pair of false teeth only costs about $1,000, compared with the tens of thousands of bucks it would cost for a full set of implants. The fact is, most elderly Americans simply cannot afford the latter, making fake choppers an attractive alternative.
Once again, there are no official statistics, but it is estimated that nearly 60 percent of seniors in the 65- to 74-year-old age group wear fake choppers. Some wear full sets of artificial teeth, while others have partial pairs. In fact, about half of the over-55 age group has at least one false tooth.
False teeth have been around for thousands of years, but they haven't always had a natural appearance. Because their primary purpose was to improve functionality, dentures were made from materials that looked nothing like real teeth, such as ivory and gold. Modern models, on the other hand, are made of high-tech ceramics and acrylics - materials that are much harder, more stain-resistant, and more natural- looking than their predecessors.
In addition to the aesthetic improvement having a set of pearly whites provides, artificial models also help their wearers speak clearly again. Not to mention the fact that they enhance chewing ability and make eating more enjoyable. But as effective as they may be, fake choppers are far from perfect.
Unlike implants, dentures are not designed to last forever. It's not that the prosthetics themselves wear out, but that the gum line shifts and changes shape as we age. In time, you may notice that your fake choppers are beginning to slip because they no longer fit. At that point, you must purchase another pair. On average, a new pair of replacement teeth will last for five to seven years.
You will also need to clean them on a regular basis, and you must use adhesives to keep them in place. Most wearers don't mind these daily rituals, but some complain that the cost of maintenance and cleaning can really add up. Of course, it is often less expensive than even a single dental implant!
In spite of their shortcomings, dentures are an affordable, reliable tooth replacement option for people of all ages.
To learn more about their options for dentures, Huntsville AL residents should visit http://www.pullencomprehensivedentistry.com.
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