According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer and accounts for almost 3% of all cancers diagnosed. There are an estimated 30,000 new cases reported annually in the United States alone. According to the OralCancer Foundation, 8,000 Americans die of oral cancer each year. The vast majority of oral cancer occurs in people older than 45, with men twice as likely as women to develop the disease. The use of tobacco and alcohol are important risk factors for oral epithelial dysplasia. This is a histopathological diagnosis that is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer; and denture patients may be the most at risk because old dentures that no longer fit irritate the tissue. Therefore, the Oral Cancer Foundation recommends that all denture patients get regular oral cancer screenings.
Osteoporosis and Dentures
“Osteoporosis may be the culprit when post-menopausal women complain that their dentures don’t fit properly, Barbara J. Steinburg, a clinical professor of surgery and medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, says. She continues, “studies show that post-menopausal women with osteoporosis needed new dentures three times more often after age 50 than women without osteoporosis.”
“Bone loss in these women can become so severe that it makes it impossible to create functional dentures for them. That means they may be unable to chew many kinds of food and could suffer serious nutritional deficiencies.”
Porcelain or Plastic?
Denture teeth may be made of either plastic or porcelain. We prefer the plastic. Here is why:
Recent advances in chemical technology have made the newest plastic teeth just as beautiful as porcelain teeth. In fact, most manufacturers no longer make porcelain teeth. It can be foreseen that it will not be long before porcelain teeth are no longer made.
Porcelain teeth do not bond chemically with the denture base. They are mechanically retained onto the denture base. Over time porcelain teeth start to pop off the denture base. In addition, stains and odors can get between the teeth and the denture base.
Porcelain denture teeth will seriously wear natural teeth. Being softer, plastic teeth will not wear down natural teeth.