- Loose dentures
- Chronic sore spots
- Unacceptable chewing
These are just some of the reasons patients are now flocking to have dental implants placed. Although a well made denture with custom engineered bilateral balance will certainly help and often eliminate these problems, there are still situations where even the most well made denture still just doesn’t cut it. This is especially true with patients who have –
- Excessive jaw bone deterioration
- Shallow palatal vaults
- Short ridges
- high lip attachment
- uncontrollable gagging
- loose or thin gum tissue
- irregular “lumpy” jaw bone
Any of these complications can potentially cause problems that only dental implants will resolve.
For those of you who are unacquainted with them, dental implants are basically special crews, usually titanium, that are placed in the jaw bone, extend through the gum tissue, and then have various dental appliances attached to them. In the case of dentures, the most common use is to have snaps placed on the implant that then fit into receiving snaps that are place inside the denture.
Originally cost limited the availability of dental implants to just the more wealthy patients. But as with all new technology, innovation and competition have combined to drive prices down to where high quality implants are now affordable to anyone who is seriously interested.
There are also some other advantages to having implant supported dentures that even people with no current problems should consider.
Prevent osseous deterioration – From the moment your tooth is pulled, your jaw bone starts to dissolve away. This is a major problem leading to pain, difficulty, and risk of jaw fracture that just continues to get worse as one gets older. Implants prevent this.
Fix LD dysfunction – As good as I am at denture fabrication, I have never seen a conventional lower denture that I would consider satisfactory. Because of the shape of the lower jaw, it is impossible to get enough suction to hold them firmly in place. Also, because the lower jaw is so much smaller than the upper, the chewing pressure (pounds per square inch) is nearly four time that of the upper jaw. This makes the lower jaw more susceptible to painful sores, loose bone faster, and means lower dentures are always loose. Implants solve these problems.
Restore maxillary gustation – The roof of your mouth contains an enormous number of taste buds that get covered up with conventional dentures. Implants in your upper jaw mean that denture can now be horseshoe shaped more like a lower one thus uncovering all those taste buds and allowing you to really taste your food again! This is also gives your tongue more room making these less intrusive dentures feel much more natural.
So for anyone suffering from difficult to fix denture pain or looseness, anyone wanting to chew better, or anyone wanting to prevent those inevitable problems from developing, dental implants may be the perfect solution.