I have had dentures for a little over ten years. I am in a better position financially right now and wondered if it was too late for me to switch to dental implants. I have hated my dentures this whole time and would love to get something better.
It is never too late to get dental implants. That being said, because of the length of time you have been wearing dentures, you have lost some bone structure in your jaw. One of the side effects of long-term dentures use is what dentists call facial collapse. When your teeth were removed, your body recognized that and immediately began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. It does this because it realizes you no longer have any teeth in your mouth, so it no longer has to support the roots of those teeth. In a conservation effort, it redistributes those minerals to places where they’ll be better utilized. This has the unfortunate effect of shrinking your jawbone. Usually, around the ten-year mark you will start to notice that your dentures are not as secure. Eventually, you won’t be able to keep them in at all.
That bone structure is necessary to retain the dental implants. This means you will need to have some bone grafting done in order to make sure your implants will be able to be retained. This is an outpatient procedure. Once you’ve had some time for healing, you can then move forward with your dental implants. Your dentist will place between four to ten implants. Once those have integrated with the bone, you will be able to have a new set of denture anchored to it. These are known as implant overdentures.
One of the first things you will notice is how secure they are. But there are other benefits as well. In addition to no slipping or sliding, you will see your chewing capacity go up dramatically. The biggest benefit, however, is that it will protect you from facial collpase. Your body interprets the implant fixtures as the roots of your teeth. As a result, it will keep all of the minerals for your jawbone in place.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Carl Embury.