I was getting dentures to save money, but the stupid thing won’t stay in. I’ve heard after ten or so years I might have that trouble, but I thought I’d at least have ten years before having to get another one. There’s practically no suction. At first, my dentist said to give the gums a couple of weeks to adjust, but that didn’t work. Now he’s talking about doing a reline. Will that do any good?
While the reline will help, it’s very likely your dentist skipped a step that would have made a huge difference in the fitting of your denture, especially when it comes to the fit with suction. Because there is some pretty fierce competition in the denture market and most of that is based on patient’s price shopping, it is not uncommon for dentists to cut a couple of corners to try to get an edge on price compared to other dentists in their area.
One way they do that is with the impressions. The most accurate impressions are done in two steps. First, a heavier impression material is used for what is called border molding. The border of your denture is what creates the suction. Following this is a wash and then a lighter impression material to get the fine details on the soft tissue.
Where your dentist may have cut a corner is combining these two steps into one just using a medium impression material. Make sure when he does the reline you ask him to do the full two-step process to ensure the best fit.
The whole rigamarole about giving your gums time to adjust is completely bogus and just a delaying tactic. Don’t let him pull that one again.
A Word about Long-Term Denture Use
You mention you had been warned that eventually your dentures would have trouble staying in. This is true. However, you can’t just have new dentures made to fix that. It’s not that the dentures have stretched. Rather, it is because your jawbone has shrunk.
Once your teeth were removed, your body immediately began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. It does that in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources. It knows you no longer have teeth, and sees no reason for the jawbone. After ten or so years, you’ll no longer have enough bone to keep your dentures in at all. This is known as facial collapse.
In order to have “teeth” again, you’ll have to have a bone grafting procedure done to build the bone back up. After that, you can have new dentures made, but the process will begin all over again. The only way to prevent this cycle is to get dental implants. These serve as prosthetic tooth roots. Your body interprets that as you still having teeth and, as a result, leaves your jawbone intact.
This blog is brought to you by Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis of Kalamazoo.