What Can I Do With These Dentures by Michael A. Hunting, D.D.S.

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For many patients, putting up with poorly fitting dentures has become a normal, though unnecessary part of life.

Advertisements on TV would have you think that the need to glue dentures in with an adhesive is typical, but in reality, a well fitting denture should not need it.  Common problems associated with poor fit include sore spots, excessive trapping of food, instability, and poor retention.  If you are experiencing these or other problems with your full or partial dentures, be assured that a qualified dentist can help.
Full dentures are used when all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw are missing. Partial dentures are used when some of the teeth are missing in either jaw.   Both rely on accurate construction and precise fit to ensure success.

Partial dentures rely on the remaining teeth in the jaw for support and retention. The remaining teeth need to be stable enough so that they can support the partial denture and shaped properly to provide proper retention.  Partial dentures are removable, and usually have a metal frame on the inside that supports the false teeth and  metal clasps, or precision attachments to hold onto the natural teeth.
A full or complete denture replaces all of the teeth. The upper complete denture relies on suction to hold it in place. The lower jaw has little or no suction and relies on a tight fit and muscle control for stability.

Problems with dentures can be categorized in three groups:  The first set of problem dentures are caused by poor construction, resulting from poor impression quality or improper technique used by the dentist or the lab who made the denture.  Although these dentures can sometimes be fixed by adjustment or by relining, if the problem is severe enough, they may require remaking.

The second category  of denture problems has to do with wear of the denture teeth and changes of the shape of the jaw.  Denture teeth do wear and may require replacement if esthetics or function are compromised.  The jawbone that the denture sits on will dissolve over time and a periodic reline of the denture is required to ensure that the denture continues to fit the mouth properly.

The third category of troubles has to do with the patient.  Some people are just not good candidates for traditional dentures.  Dry mouth caused by medications or health issues can lead to chronic denture irritation or poor retention, even from a well fitting denture.   Severe bone loss resulting from advanced gum disease prior to tooth removal or from normal bone resorption following many years of being without teeth can lead to inadequate anatomical support for a denture.

In most situations, however, even the most challenging  denture troubles can be overcome with help from dental implants.  Once placed and integrated into the jawbone, the implants become stable anchors to which dentures can be attached.  Depending on where they are placed and how many are used, dental implants can not only stabilize a denture to minimize  movement, but also keep it properly seated to prevent excess food packing and accidental dislodgement.  Implants can eliminate the need for a denture altogether, as a properly engineered case can be restored with permanent, non-removable prosthetic teeth. Dental implants have a strong record of predictability over the last thirty or more years, and have increasingly become the treatment of choice.

There is help for denture problems.  Whether your case requires a minor adjustment, or a complete remake, a qualified dentist can guide you down the path to a more comfortable situation.  Dental implants may be an option for you to consider.  The ability to eat, taste, and enjoy food has become a reality for many who have been unable to wear traditional dentures successfully. If you need help with a problem denture, I invite you to make an appointment for a complimentary evaluation and consultation.  I would be honored to have the opportunity to help.