I’m 62 years old and have been wearing dentures for almost twenty-three years. Lately, I’m having the hardest time keeping them in. I went to see a dentist and he said there was nothing he could do for me because my ridge is almost completely gone. I’ve tried all the adhesives, but they just don’t work. At this point, I can hardly eat anything. Is there any solution for me?
I’m curious that your dentist said there is nothing he can do for you because there is definitely a solution. First, I want you to understand why this happened, so the solution will make sense to you. When your teeth were first removed, your body recognizes that you no longer have any teeth roots in your mouth. In an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources, it will resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. This has the side effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. You are at the point where there is hardly any bone left. This is known in dental circles as facial collapse. Not only does it make it impossible to keep your dentures in, but it also will also shrink your jawbone so that you look years older than you are.
The Solution to Facial Collapse
There is a bone grafting procedure that can build back up the bone that you’ve lost. After that, you can have new dentures made, but you will start the cycle of facial collapse all over again and depending on a variety of circumstances, it may go faster the second time around.
The way to prevent that is to have dental implants placed and then anchor your dentures to them. The implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots, which signals to your body that you still have teeth there and it needs to preserve your jawbone to secure them. Obviously, the more implants you have the more bone is preserved, but if money is an issue, you can get as few as two with snap on dentures. This will at least protect some of your bone and prevent you from not being able to retain your dentures in the future.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.