What are Dentures?
Complete tooth loss, or edentulism, affects a large number of people in the United States, and its consequences can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life. Without a full set of teeth, eating and speaking can be painful and difficult, and many patients experience a substantial loss of self-esteem due to their appearance.
Complete dentures first appeared centuries ago, and today, they remain a vital resource for patients with no healthy teeth on their upper and/or lower dental ridges. A denture consists of a complete row of lifelike, custom-designed replacement teeth that are secured along a comfortable, gum-colored plastic base.
How do dentures stay in place?
Depending on your needs, dentures can be crafted to fit along the upper or lower dental ridge, and are designed for optimal comfort and stability. The base fits snugly over your gum to hold the prosthetic in place, and in some cases, strong but safe dental adhesive may be used for improved stability.
However, some patients may find that their dentures become loose over time, which is due to shrinkage in the jawbone caused by prolonged tooth loss. Without roots from your dentition, your jawbone does not receive the stimulation it needs to remain strong and healthy and therefore deteriorates. In such cases, your denture may need to be adjusted to accommodate the new shape of your dental ridge.
Can I support my denture on dental implants?
Like dental bridges and partial dentures, complete dentures can often be secured on a series of biocompatible dental implants. While complete dentures require more implant posts than other prosthetic appliances, you will not need to receive a separate post for every tooth you’ve lost. Each implant will be strategically placed to withstand a certain amount of bite pressure. In addition to restoring your smile, the stimulation from biting and chewing will help prevent jawbone deterioration in the future.