The problem with dentures: Jaw bone and gum shrinkage, limited function and facial cosmetics.
With denture wear, the supporting gums and jaw bone tend to shrink (atrophy) over time. This leads to denture relining or replacement being required to improve the fit. However as time passes, eventually the gum and bone can become too small to support a denture appropriately at all. This is specially a problem for lower full dentures, which simply sit on the gum by gravity. Upper full dentures have a “suction” effect in the mouth by covering and compressing the soft palate (roof the the mouth), so they tend to be more retentive than lower full dentures.
Compared to modern dental implant solutions, dentures provide the following limitations:
- Dentures are removable (and should be removed for cleaning after meals and during sleep)
- Dentures, especially full dentures, have limited retention as they simply rely on their tight fit on the “toothless” gum to stay in place. Many patients with dentures rely on denture adhesive and a soft diet to prevent embarrassing movement or loss of retention.
- Denture fit over time can become more difficult, due to jaw shrinkage from missing teeth.
- Full dentures require an acrylic coverage of the palate (roof of the mouth) which for some patients can cause gagging or discomfort.
Dentures can be uncomfortable in patients with dry mouth (xerostomia).
For many patients suffering from the pitfalls of long term denture wear (loss of retention and function), there is an effective treatment available. Implants can be placed in the jaw and, following their integration, can be fitted with retentive ‘clips’ (or abutments) which stabilize an otherwise loose denture.
Due to our expertise with dental implant surgery and restoration in Perth, this is a procedure we carry out frequently at our practice, creating very effective transformative results for denture wearers. The dentures remain the same (they are removable and cover the gums) but stay in place better due to having fixed anchor points in the mouth.