Most denture wearers suffer with dentures that are loose, especially the lower denture, due to its lack of suction. The longer the patient has worn dentures, the more this is an issue.
This is because of a reduction in size of the residual boney ridge in both a vertical and horizontal direction over time. This reduction is a physiologic response of the bone in the absence of teeth.
The process is stimulated and accelerated by the pressure from the denture on the residual ridge. Besides the obvious inability to chew certain foods denture wearers used to love, this can lead to mouth soreness and food sticking around the dentures while attempting to eat.
Dental implants are a game changer in the denture world. Not only do they help to stabilize loose dentures, they also help take the pressure from the denture off the bone, thus preserving the jaw in the best possible way.
Adhesives containing zinc can be avoided, and the added security can greatly increase confidence in social situations.
When existing dentures are retrofitted to engage implants, sometimes it requires a remake of the denture. The ill-fitting old denture routinely moved around, but now when stabilized, can cause sore spots that did not exist before.
Another factor can be the wear pattern of the teeth on the existing denture that is distorted due to unstable contacts with the opposing teeth during jaw movement with chewing.
Sometimes, patients just want it to look better and improve their smile. Nothing is more "aging" than worn denture teeth - or even worse, no teeth at all.
When there is a situation where a patient has natural teeth and must go to a denture, there are a couple of options. Generally, an implant removable denture is about half of the cost of fixed, retained teeth. This is due to the increased costs associated with the surgery required, the location and implants needed, plus the expense of the final prosthesis.
With removable dentures, implants can often be placed at the time of the surgery. In most cases, there is a waiting period for the implants to integrate with the bone before they can be attached.
Root form implants are larger and require different techniques than mini dental implants. Root form implants actually work better in the upper arch as the bone is generally softer than the harder lower bone.
In the harder lower bone, mini-implants work very well if there is enough space to place them between the teeth to be extracted. The main benefits of mini-implants are decreased cost, less healing time, immediate attachment, and less surgery involved.
Don't let yourself suffer with sore, loose dentures. There are implant remedies will ease the suffering.
James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.