I have had dentures for the last ten years and have hated them the whole time. I have money for dental implants but my dentist thinks the length of time I’ve been in the dentures may keep me from getting the implants. Is it too late for me?
You are not alone in hating your dentures. While some patients adjust to them, many find them a pain to deal with. Technically, if you are otherwise healthy, it is never too late to get dental implants. However, depending on the bone density in your jawbone, you may need an additional procedure.
When your teeth were first removed, your body began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body where they will be more useful. Unfortunately, this has the unfortunate side-effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. After ten years, it starts to get harder to properly fix your dentures. In twenty to thirty years you won’t have enough jawbone left to keep your dentures in. This is known as facial collapse.
In order for dental implants to stay securely, you need enough bone to integrate with them. It’s possible if you’ve lost enough bone that you will need to have some bone grafting done to ensure there is enough for the bone there for osseointegration. Once that is done and healed, it will be time to get your dental implants.
Your dentist can place four to six dental implants in your jaw and then anchor your dentures to them. These are known as implant overdentures. You will find this life-changing compared to your dentures. The first thing you’ll notice is your chewing capacity goes up dramatically. Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. In addition to that, there will be no more slipping and sliding. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about them falling out. The biggest benefit, however, is that having prosthetic tooth roots in your jaw prevents facial collapse.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.