I have been in dentures for about 20 years. Lately, they will not stay in my mouth. I’ve even tried using those denture adhesives, yet nothing is working. I went to see a dentist and he told me that my lower ridge is almost completely gone and that is why my dentures won’t stay in. Do you have any recommendations for me as to whether there is any way to fix it. The dentist I went to see just said that it was a result of wearing dentures for so long. What else was I supposed to do?
I certainly understand your frustration. Whatever dentist you went to see certainly did not expend any effort to be helpful. While he is correct that it is a consequence of having worn completely removable dentures for an extended period of time, that does not mean there is not a solution for you. The good news for you is that there is.
First, let me explain what happened. When your teeth were removed, your body recognized you no longer had a tooth roots in your mouth. As a result it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources. Unfortunately, as you have experienced it has the negative side-effect of shrinking your jawbone. I’ve posted an image of this above. In dental circles, this is known as facial collapse.
The first thing you will need to do is have a procedure known as bone grafting done. This will build up the bone that is now missing from your jawbone. Once that is healed, you have two choices. You can simply get new dentures. Though you should be aware that the process of losing your jawbone will start all over again.
A second option is to have dental implants placed in order to serve as prosthetic tooth roots. This will signal to your body that you still have teeth and as result need to keep your bone structure.
You can do this with as few as two dental implants. Though, obviously, the more implants you have the more bone struture will be preserved.
I hope this helps you.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn Dentist Dr. Alan Yount.