Do Your Old Dentures Need An Upgrade?

At the time, complete dentures may have seemed like the most practical option to replace your missing teeth. They look reasonably natural, allow you to consume most foods (even with reduced bite force when compared to natural teeth), and were probably the most cost-effective choice. But as the years have gone by, your dissatisfaction with your dentures has grown. What are your options for upgrading your removable complete dentures?

As the Years Go By

The reasons why a wearer might become dissatisfied with their complete dentures can become more evident as the years go by. Dentures rest on your oral mucosa, which are the tissues that line the interior of your mouth. Everyone's mouth has different contours, and the base plates of dentures are made to be compatible with the wearer's palate. It hugs the tissues beneath it so that only a small amount of saliva is needed to create suction.

Reduced Stability

Your palate and the mucosa that covers it are living tissues, and change slightly over the years. As such, your denture base plate will lose its grip as time goes by. Your dentures will then shift slightly as you bite into your favorite foods. The already reduced bite force of your dentures will reduce even further. Your dentures can look less natural as their fit changes too. 

Anchoring Dentures

But how can you upgrade your dentures? The best practice is less about doing away with dentures and more about anchoring dentures in your jaw by using dental implants. In most circumstances, a dental implant is for a single tooth. A small titanium screw is implanted into the jaw, which then regrows around it, fusing the implant into a fixed position. A false tooth can then be connected to the implant. Dental implants to hold a denture don't require a single implant for each tooth in the denture.

Four Implants, Full Dentures

All-on-4 dental implants are a method for permanently attaching dentures by providing false teeth with an anchor in the jaw. You only need four implants in your upper and lower jaw (for a total of eight). The implants are strategically spaced out along the dental arch for maximum support of the installed denture, but a dentist is able to place implants where the jaw bone is thickest. And the denture is usually attached to the implants during the same appointment.

Implant-supported dentures look and feel infinitely more natural than removable dentures. Your dentures are now supported by your jaw, so you'll notice increased bite force too. So if your dissatisfaction with your old dentures is mounting, talk to your dentist about the all-on-4 method.