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My Dentures Will Not Stay In


My Dentures Will Not Stay In

Posted by writeradmin

I am almost 61 years old. I’ve worn dentures for the last 22 of those. Lately, I cannot keep the dentures in, even with dental adhesives. Is there anything I can do to fix this?


Dear Evelyn,

before and after facial collapse

What you are experiencing is known as facial collapse. When your teeth were first removed for your dentures, your body immediately began the process of bone resorption. How that works is it senses you no longer have any teeth because the roots are no longer in your jawbone. As a result, it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where it perceives they will be more useful. After ten or so years, you no longer have enough jawbone left to keep your dentures in, hence the problem you are having now. In addition to not being able to wear your dentures, it ages your appearance, sometimes by decades.

The good news is that there is a solution for you. The first step is to have that bone built back up with a bone grafting procedure. Once that is completed and you’ve had time to heal, you have two choices. First, you can just remake removable dentures. Though the least expensive option, it does start the whole cycle of facial collapse over again.

Your second option is to have dental implants placed and then have implant supported dentures anchored to the implants. The implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots, which signals to your brain that you still have teeth and it will leave your jawbone intact. This is actually the best option, not just because of the bone preservation, but also because you will have a higher quality of life. Even the best fitting dentures cause you to lose 50% of your chewing capacity. With implant overdentures, you can eat anything you want without fear of slippage.

The one thing you have to be careful about with dental implants is in the dentist you choose. This is an advanced procedure that is not adequately taught in dental school. You want a dentist who invested in post-doctoral training in dental implants. Your safest option is to look for a dentist who is a fellow with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. These dentists are highly trained and skilled in implants.

This blog is brought to you by Mt. Dora Dentist Dr. Michelle Stillman.