I’ve had dentures for around 30 years. I’ve never been crazy about them and always wanted to switch to dental implants. Now, I’m having trouble even keeping them in. I think this may be a perfect time to switch, but I don’t know if I waited too long. Is it still possible? If not, how do I get my dentures to stay in? Not even those nasty adhesives are working.
Technically, as long as you are in reasonably good health, you can get dental implants. Though, in cases like yours, an extra step will be needed. As you can see from the image above, your dental implant will need to be surrounded by bone in order to stay in place. This bone is also what holds your teeth in place as well, along with some ligaments. After this length of time with dentures, you are missing that bone.
You’re Dealing with Facial Collapse
When your teeth were removed 30 something years ago, your body immediately began resorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. It does this in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources. It knows you don’t have teeth anymore and assumes that you won’t need the bones in your jawbone to hold them. True. However, your dentures rest on the ridgeline of your jawbone. As that shrinks, there is less and less of a ridge to hold your dentures in place.
After ten years, you likely noticed them starting to slip. By thirty years, it is almost impossible to keep them in. This is known as facial collapse. You’ve probably also noticed your jawline shrinking,, which makes you look much older than you really are.
There is a procedure to help with this– Bone grafting. You can have either natural or synthetic bone built back up in the area so that you’ll have enough bone there to integrate with your dental implants and keep them in place.
Once the bone grafting is complete, then you will be able to get the dental implants you hope for. You won’t want to do a one-to-one replacement for your teeth. That is way too expensive. Instead, you’ll get implant overdentures. With these, you’ll have four to six dental implants placed in each arch and then have a new set of dentures anchored to them.
Your dentures will be completely secure and will protect you from facial collapse in the future.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Forman and Thimmesch.