I’ve had dentures for about fourteen years. Lately, they have not been fitting correctly and have begun slipping a bit. It is possible for me to switch to dental implants or did I wait too long?
Technically, it is never too late to get dental implants. However, the longer you have been wearing dentures, the more likely you are to need an additional procedure for it to work. There is a condition known as a facial collapse that begins the moment you remove your natural teeth. Your body recognizes that you no longer have teeth there because the roots are missing. It immediately begins resorbing the minerals normally used by your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. It does this to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources. The longer you are without teeth, the more your jawbone shrinks. This is why your denture is currently feeling less secure. Eventually, it will get to the point where you can’t even keep the denture in.
In order to get to where you have enough bone structure to retain dental implants, you will need to build that bone back up. This requires a procedure known as bone grafting. Once that is completed, you will be good to go for your dental implants.
Tips for Successful Dental Implant Procedure
- Make certain your dentist has dental implant training. Just dental school is not enough.
- If someone other than the dentist will do the surgery, make certain you see the dentist first and he or she is the one to determine the placement of the dental implants.
- It would be a GREAT idea to have a CT scan done as part of your diagnostics. Dental implants are a 3-Dimensional procedure and your dentist needs 3-Dimensional images.
There are many benefits to upgrading from dentures to implant overdentures: security, increased chewing capacity, comfort; however, the biggest benefit is the preservation of your jawbone. Once those dental implants are in place, your body interprets that as you having teeth and it leaves the minerals from your jawbone in one place.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.