Full dentures are a very popular and cost-effective way for many people to replace all their teeth, but lower dentures in particular can prove problematic within just a few years of use. Lower dentures rely heavily on the lower arch for their retention. This is the raised bony arch that used to support your natural teeth. Initially this arch can be quite well formed but after natural teeth are removed it will begin to change shape, and as it loses bone mass it will gradually become much flatter and narrower, gradually reducing the amount of retention provided to the upper and lower dentures.
Bone loss, tooth resorption is inevitable once natural teeth are removed as the jawbone relies on the stimulation provided by the tooth roots to ensure it stays healthy and strong and that old bone cells are renewed. After a while, the lower arch can become so flat that any support is virtually non-extent, and although your dentist can reline or remake your denture, the effects will only be temporary. Upper and lower dentures adhesives are another solution that is purely temporary and which can be messy and expensive. Neither of these will deal with the underlying problem which will continue to worsen.
How Implants Can Help Lower Dentures
Dental implants can provide a long-lasting solution, and as the implant post is a little like a natural tooth root, it provides stimulation to keep your jawbone healthy. The really good thing about using dental implants to stabilize lower dentures is that often relatively few implants are needed to firmly secure the denture. It could be as few as two or four, making treatment affordable. Once the implants are in place, the denture will clip onto them as it will be fabricated with special attachments on the fitting surface. You’ll be able to remove it for cleaning and it is important to do so to ensure the implants remain healthy and free from infection. If you prefer, ask us about an implant supported bridge (read about: implants instead of dentures). It is possible to use dental implants to secure a full arch of teeth. The bridge is cemented or screwed into place and can only be removed by us or by another dental implant specialist. It is the ideal solution if you are fed up with having dentures and would like to replace your real teeth as naturally and as permanently as possible.
Will Bone Loss Affect Implants?
If you are considering having dental implants after wearing dentures for a number of years, then it is likely that you have already suffered significant bone loss in your jaw. This can affect implant placement, depending on the type of implants being used to secure your new teeth. Sometimes it is possible to use a system where the implants are placed toward the front of the mouth. This is a technique sometimes described as ‘smile in a day,’ or ‘same day teeth,’ as sometimes a new arch of teeth can be placed very shortly after the implants have been inserted into your jaw. The good thing about this system is that it maximizes use of the jawbone in this area where it tends to be thicker and stronger. This is something we can discuss with you when you visit D&D Periodontal Associates but otherwise an alternative is to have a bone graft to build up bone in areas where it is lacking so there will be plenty of strong bone to secure your implants in place.