I need some help. I’ve had dentures for over 30 years but I’m having trouble keeping them in. One of the things that my dentist said is the bone ridge is almost completely gone. He said I eventually won’t be able to wear them anymore. Is there anything I can do? How will I eat?
I know what is happening as well as the solution. Hopefully, your dentist warned you before you had your dentures placed about the dangers of facial collapse. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes that. In an effort to be as efficient as possible, it resorbs the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in a manner it perceives more useful. After ten or so years, you begin to lose enough jawbone to notice a problem. By the time you get to thirty years, as you have, you’re in full-blown facial collapse.
The solution is bone grafting. This is a surgical procedure which builds back up the bone in your jawbone. Not all dentists know how to do it, so you may need to do some investigating. Once that is done you have two choices.
Choice Number One: Get New Dentures
Once the bone is better, you can have your dentist make you a new set of dentures. The only issue with that is you will start the same cycle again. Your body will begin the whole cycle of bone resorption again.
Choice Number Two: Get Implant-Supported Dentures
One real solution is to have dental implants placed in order to mimic your tooth roots. This signals to your body that you still have teeth. As a result, it will preserve the jaw bone there as still being necessary.
Generally, you will use four to six implants per arch. After a period of healing, which also allows time for the bone to integrate to the implants, then your dentures can be anchored to them.
Other Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Aside from protecting you from facial collapse, which is a HUGE plus, you will notice right some other great benefits from implant overdentures:
- Your dentures will no longer move around.
- Your chewing capacity will increase.
- You will no longer have to worry about sores from your dentures sliding
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.