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My grandmother was a feisty and passionate lady who raised 9 boys with discipline and determination. In her time, it was accepted that people lost their teeth by age 40 years. When you lost your teeth, you got dentures.

Her dentures spent most of their time in a glass of water. At mealtimes, my grandmother put her dentures in and chewed her soft, ground chicken and soft, mushed vegetables. She didn’t taste a morsel of it. When she was finished, she took her dentures out, cleaned them and put them back in the glass of water. Over time her dentures began to become loose and not fit well.

Times are different now. Dentures are not just for chewing food anymore. They are an integral part of your appearance and health. You wouldn’t leave the house without putting on your makeup or brushing your teeth. So don’t feel that you might as well leave your dentures in a glass beside your bed.

Today, we better understand the importance of keeping our teeth. With the advances in dentistry, we can keep our teeth working for a lifetime.

However, if you still lose your teeth, what can you do? You can keep the foundation, the underlying bone, by having implants or denture-supported implants placed.

Over time, as you lose teeth, you also lose the bone around the teeth (called the alveolar bone), because the root is not longer there and bone without purpose is reabsorbed . It is the root that gives the alveolar bone a reason to stay. That is the reason why dentures lose their fit over time and your nose and chin move closer together, prematurely aging your looks.

Dental implants replace the root of your natural teeth and convince the alveolar bone that there is a root that needs to be supported. Knowing that it has a function, the bone will remain in place. Now you have a solid foundation that will not disappear over time. To this solid foundation, you can attach implant supported dentures or crowns that will maintain a more natural and attractive appearance, while allowing you to chew and taste healthy foods, such as carrots, apples, steak and potatoes.

If you have lost a couple of teeth, you can have individual implants and crowns placed to restore your smile. If you are unhappy with your smile, crowns can be used to change the shape, size, symmetry and shade of your teeth to create the smile you like.

Beauty is shown in nature through symmetry. Butterflies, flowers, snowflakes and attractive faces are examples of the connection between symmetry and beauty.

Some teeth are slimmer, longer and rounded at the biting edge. Other teeth are wider, shorter and more square on the biting edge

Different face shapes are complimented by different shapes of teeth. A rounder face looks attractive with shorter, wider and more rounded teeth. A slim, long face is complimented by slimmer and longer teeth.

As life goes on, our teeth become stained and this is why stained teeth are associated with age and lighter, whiter teeth reflect youth and vitality.

Properly co-ordinating these 4 principles of symmetry, size, shape and shade into your smile and adding occlusion ( how they fit together when chewing and at rest) maximizes the opportunity to create your best looking and functioning smile.

Because dentures are ‘replacement teeth’ these same concepts of shape, symmetry, size and shape also apply to dentures. Dentures are a custom-made full mouth replacement for your natural teeth and they can be custom made to your specifications, needs and wishes.

Now let’s put implants and dentures together. Implant supported dentures have a solid foundation “rooted” in the alveolar bone. This means you can chew without worrying that your teeth will fall out. It also means that you can eat well and not get sores from poor fitting dentures rubbing against your gums and the inside of your mouth.

In addition, implant supported dentures, like your natural teeth, support your cheeks, cheek muscles and lips, giving you a more natural, and less aged, appearance while also keeping your nose and your chin a respectable distance apart.

Physiologically placed implant supported dentures also maintain your tongue in its proper position, so that it prevents the tongue from falling back at night time and causing obstructive sleep apnea.

If my grandmother were alive today, she would not have to suffer bland food ‘pre-chewed’ from the food processor. She would have gone about her busy life, still smiling and showing her beauty. After all, a woman who raised 9 boys is pretty amazing and deserves to be appreciated and recognized.

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