I have been in dentures for over 30 years. I first lost my teeth when I was just 30 years old. I can’t keep them in. there is no ridge left on my lower jaw which means I cannot keep my dentures in anymore. I’m guessing I have to replace this but I’m not sure if it will do any good without the ridge on my jawbone.
I am sorry you are in this situation. I wish your dentist would have warned you about this when you were first fitted for dentures. Once your teeth were removed, your body immediately began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone. It did this because your body recognizes you do not have any teeth that need support anymore. In an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources, it resorbs those minerals in order to use them where they will be more useful in your body. The problem with this is that your jawbone slowly shrinks until you no longer have enough support for your denture. This is known as facial collapse in dental circles and is what you are going through.
The prevention for this would have been to get implant overdentures. This places dental implants as prosthetic tooth roots in your jawbone and then anchors your dentures to them. The implants prevent the loss of any jawbone as well as giving you a denture that is completely secure. No slips and your chewing capacity would be significantly increased. Unfortunately, you don’t seem to have been given this option.
At this point, you have a couple of options. Before any of them are viable, however, you will have to build back up your jawbone. In order to do that, you will need to have some bone grafting done. Once that has healed, that is where decision time begins.
First, you could just replace your denture. However, you are still young and will face the same problem as your body, once again, resorbs all the minerals. Your second option is to get implant over dentures, as described above. They will cost a significant amount of money. If that is too much money, don’t give up. Even as many as two implants for a snap-on denture will help preserve your bone.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.