Loose dentures: It's the plight of many denture wearers, especially those who have had them for many years. Over time, dentures can cause resorption, a wearing away of the alveolar and basal bone found in our upper and lower jaws. This bone loss causes a denture to become unstable, and can make eating, speaking and smiling a chore. This is especially true of lower dentures.
Unlike upper dentures that derive additional suction and stability from adhering to the palate, the lower denture must rely primarily on the height of the remaining jawbone or "ridge." Once the ridge becomes flat, the lower denture becomes little more than an ornament -- okay to look at, but useless when it comes to eating, speaking or chewing.
At this point, a patient will come to my office and ask if there is anything that I can do to help. Unfortunately, remaking or relining a lower denture with a flat ridge would only be a waste of time and money, and aside from using a pound of denture adhesive every day, the only solution is dental implants. A dental implant is a small titanium rod placed into the jawbone and functions as an artificial tooth root. A tooth bridge (a series of joined caps) or denture can be attached to the implants after they have healed for several months.
Dental implants can be a great solution for an ill-fitting denture. After the implants heal, attachments can be fastened to the implants and denture to greatly improve the bond. Although there are many types of attachments, I prefer magnets. And as much as I like magnets, I was pleased to learn that the already excellent technology had been improved. The new generation of magnets, or "smart magnets," are shaped to have a cup and saucer effect. Now, the magnets in the denture have the dual benefit of having magnetic attraction to the stainless steel fittings on the implant surface and also some mechanical retention as an added bonus.
People with loose dentures should ask their dentist for all of their options. Those who are in poor health, who smoke, or have deficiencies in their jaw anatomy may not be good candidates for dental implants. Even so, many people with loose dentures can greatly improve their fit and their quality of life with the use of dental implants and "smart magnets."
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.