Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loose Dentures

Unfortunately, many people do not keep their teeth. They most often get dentures to improve function and aesthetics. There are many potential problems that occur with dentures. The ability to keep them in place is one of the most common problems. There are many more, but at this time I will only discuss the looseness of dentures and some solutions.
 Let's describe what typically happens. When teeth are lost, the bone resorbs (disappears; melts away). In many cases dentures are fabricated prior or shortly after the teeth are extracted (removed). Most of the dramatic changes of the bony architecture occur within the first six months after having teeth extracted and will continue at a slower rate throughout life.
So what is the significance of the bone loss? Initially, the recently fabricated dentures will fit. However, after approximately the first six months, you may notice that the dentures have significantly loosened up.
Initially denture adhesives may not be necessary. Over time you may find that more and more adhesive is required to keep the dentures in place.
There are many types of adhesives.
This is just one example.
There will be a point where no matter how much adhesive is used, adequate or satisfactory retention cannot attained. At this point, we can reline the denture. We simply add material to the internal surface of the denture where the bone and gums have pulled away.
A denture being relined.

After  a while, relines will not help the denture and a new one should be fabricated. On average, a denture should be replaced after about 5 years.

Notice the muscle attachments are at the same level
 as the bone. Also notice that the tongue sits higher than the bone.
As time passes, there will be so much bone loss, that a conventional denture will not stay no matter how much adhesive of reline material is used. Take a look at the picture on the right. Here we see that the musculature of the face will dislodge the denture anytime the muscles contract. The floor of the mouth and tongue will also displace the denture.

Fortunately, we can help these people with an implant supported denture. In this case, the implants hold the denture in place. No adhesives nor reline materials are required. In addition, the denture doesn't have to be anywhere near as bulky as a conventional denture which enables better comfort and function.

Implant supported denture
The last option is by far the best option. However, it is also the most expensive option. Implants are also placed. In this case, many more implants are placed and are restored as either individual teeth or as bridges as in the picture below. 
Upper teeth restored with implant crowns and bridges

If you have loose dentures, discuss your concerns with a dentist to help you decide which option is best for you.

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit www.advanced-smiles.com

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