I am sixty-two years old and have been in dentures for close to thirty years. In recent months, I cannot keep them in for anything. Is there anything I can do to fix this?
Your upper dentures are held in by suction, so those generally have less trouble staying in. The bottom dentures, however, simply rest on the ridge of your lower jawbone. The big problem with that is a condition known as facial collapse. When your teeth were first removed, your body recognized you no longer had teeth roots. To maintain efficiency in your body, it immediately began resorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use in other places in your body that it perceives will be more useful. After twenty years or so, you will no longer have enough bone left in your jawbone to retain your denture. This is what you are currently facing.
The solution to this is to have a bone grafting procedure done. This can be done outpatient and will build up the missing bone. This will give you back the jawbone you need. From there, you will have two choices. The first option is to simply get a new denture to wear. It will stay in. The problem with that is you will find that you will again start losing bone structure. The cycle will start over again.
A better option would be to get implant overdentures. This uses four to six dental implants and then anchors a denture to them. The benefits of dental implants are significant. In relation to the facial collapse issue, the implants signal to your body that you still have teeth. Because of that, it will leave your jawbone intact and you will not have to worry about your jaw shrinking. You will also love the security that comes with them. They don’t slip and slide. You never have to worry about them falling out. Additionally, you will find that your chewing capacity increases substantially, allowing you to eat whatever you want.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.