Loose Dentures (bone loss)

Denturechanges

These are the changes in facial structures from wearing a denture long term.  Abenaki Dental Care strongly recommends implant supported dentures to prevent these changes to your appearance from occuring.  Modern dentures are implant supported to help prevent bone loss, improve taste of food, prevent embarrassment, dissolve the need for denture creams, increase self-esteem, and deliver a better quality of life for individuals that will lose all their teeth.  Implants have NEVER been as afforable, painless, and predictable.

Implant supported Dentures:

Modern dentures are made the same way they were with the exception of a larger selection of teeth.  However, adding implants to support the denture have many health and wellness benefits.  You might think we like to add implants to improve the retention of loose dentures, and you would be correct.  However, most individuals that wear dentures do not understand all the changes that will occur with time without implant support.  Below is a list of risks and complications that will occur will long-term denture wear without modern dental implant support.

  • Loss of bone due to atrophy
  • Loss of bone due to pressure on the bony ridge, decreasing blood flow to the area
  • rotation of chin forward
  • loss of tone in facial expression muscles
  • increased length of upper lip showing fewer teeth, aging the patient
  • Bite force decreased from 200psi to 50 psi
  • Bite force of 15-year denture wearer reduced to 6 psi
  • Increased gastrointestinal disorders and medications
  • 88% of patients report difficulty speaking, 25% have significant problems
  • Pyschological effects from minimal to neuroticism
  • Tooth loss affects romantic situations (especially in new relationships)

Below are some solutions to help attach your denture.  The first is called a locator and allows the patient to snap their denture in securely, like the second picture below depicts.  The actual picture depicts the locator while in fabrication. 

locatorabutment

locatorimplants

This solution is a relatively inexpensive solution to aid in the retention of the denture.  The nylon gaskets that connect the implant to the denture, typically need to be replaced at annual check ups to maintain the tight snap of the denture into the implant.  The nylon gaskets are roughly $50 for the pair.   Other solutions give even more chewing stability.  We attach multiple implants with a bar, like the photo below.  The denture either snaps into the bar or is screwed into the bar.  This allows us to remove the denture plastic covering the roof of the mouth, improving the enjoyment of food, and aiding in speech.  Below is a picture of the bar that would be covered with your existing denture or a new denture, dependent on the patient's perception of how their present denture looks.

implant_bar

Implants are a good way to prevent future dental problems, whether you may have one missing teeth or are missing them all. The psychological effects of tooth loss should not be understated.  

While at Keesler AFB, a security dog broke its canine tooth off while training..  I was informed by the dog handler/security guards that if we just removed the tooth, the dog would change his behavior drastically.  For example, when the guard dogs lost their canine tooth, they lose all confidence and self-esteem.  The dogs will place their tail between their legs and seek corners of the room for protection.  They can no longer serve as guard dogs.  That is the reason we root canaled his tooth, then placed a gold crown over his canine.  When the dog woke up, he had no confidence issues, and was able to perform as a guard dog again.  Humans have social packs similar to dogs.  Human psyche is very similar, but the changes are more toward self-esteem and self-worth.   Below is a list of benefits to implant supported dentures when compared to dentures.

  • Bone maintenance
  • Maintenance of facial esthetics and muscle tone
  • improved phonetics or speech
  • reduced size of denture
  • improved psychological health
  • Improved stability and retention
  • Prevention of facial, or soft tissue changes such as the "reverse frown"
  • Improved chewing efficiency
  • Better digestion secondary to better chewing
  • Better self-esteem
  • Improved ability to taste, smell, and feel food
  • Improved confidence when talking to colleagues, romantic encounters, social engagements
  • Reduced need for denture creams that are messy
  • Decreased facial height