Dental Blog

Do You Still Need to See a Dentist If You Wear Dentures?

Do You Still Need to See a Dentist If You Wear Dentures?

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After tooth loss, it’s easy to think that you’re the only one wearing dentures. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. More than 36 million Americans don’t have any teeth at all.

This means that dentures are more common than you think. It also means that you need to continue seeing your dentist for preventive care.

During your appointment, we’ll provide a dental cleaning and oral examination. We may also perform an oral cancer screening depending on your age and any present risk factors.

Why Dental Care is Important After Tooth Loss

Your oral health affects more than your teeth. It also affects your gums, jawbone, and the rest of your body. In fact, some studies have even linked diabetes with an increased risk for gum disease. This is just one of many examples of how the body’s systems interconnect.

To enjoy good oral health, you must also take care of your gums, jawbone tissue, and throat.

Get an Oral Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 54,010 Americans will get oral cancer in 2021. The good news is that an oral cancer screening can detect abnormalities early. Dr. Habecker has the proper training to detect oral cancer in its early stages. This gives you the best chance of survival.

You may have a higher risk for oral cancer if you use tobacco, over consume alcohol, or have human papillomavirus (HPV). If you spend a lot of time outside, you may also have a risk of lip cancer if you don’t use proper sun protection.

We’ll review your medical history to determine your risk factors for oral cancer.

Signs of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white patches in mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Mouth sore that bleeds
  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain while chewing

If you recognize the signs of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. The sooner we detect oral cancer symptoms, the better your chance of surviving.

It’s not enough to check for the signs of oral cancer yourself. Many times, oral cancer isn’t visible until it’s too late to treat. An oral cancer screening helps us catch cancer not visible to the naked eye.

Protect Your Gums

You can reverse and prevent gingivitis (gum inflammation) by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily.

Even if most or all your natural teeth are gone, it’s important that you take care of your gums.

If you wear dentures, your gums are responsible for helping hold them in place. Once your gums recede, your dentures will slip more often and become uncomfortable.

Signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sore gums
  • Red gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent bad breath

If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is irreversible. It’ll also destroy your gum and bone tissues over time.

If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing. During this procedure, we would remove plaque and tartar both above and below the gums. Then, we’d smooth out the tooth roots to reduce hiding places for plaque.

Request an Appointment With Us

Dr. Habecker is an experienced family dentist in Holland, MI. As such, he’d be more than happy to help you maintain good oral health after tooth loss.

To request an appointment, please call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will reach out to you soon.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team