I have had dentures for a while, but lately it is not fitting. I thought it was because it had stretched out, but now I am not sure. I went in and spoke to my dentist about the problem and he said he could make me a new, better fitting denture. Unfortunately, this new one isn’t staying in either. What could be the problem?
You didn’t say how long you have been in dentures, but if it has been longer than ten years, I think I know exactly what is going on. It is not that your dentures have stretched, it is that your jawbone has shrunk. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes you no longer have any teeth roots and then begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in an effort to be efficient with its resources. This is a great use of your minerals, but it does have the unfortunate side effect of shrinking your jawbone to the point that you no longer have enough of a ridge to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse. The good news is there is a solution.
Step One: Bone Grafting
You will need to replace the missing bone. You can do this with a bone grafting procedure. Once that is healed, you have two choices. You can get complete removable dentures again. However, that will leave you back in the same circumstances before long to start the song and dance all over again. Your second and better option is to have dental implants placed and then have dentures made that will secure to them.
Step Two: Dental Implant Overdentures
With implant overdentures, your dentist will place between four to six dental implants in your arch. Once the implants have integrated with the bone, the denture can be permanently secured to it. You will find your quality of life will go up dramatically. Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Plus, you will never have to worry about them slipping around. However, the best advantage is that it will protect you from facial collapse. Because the implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots, your body interprets them as you still having teeth. As a result, it leaves the minerals in place, preserving your jawbone. This is the course of action I would recommend.
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