Although traditional dentures have worked well for many people over the years, there are some patients who find them nearly intolerable. They are uncomfortable, they reduce your chewing efficiency and your enjoyment of food. They also make it difficult to articulate words and can make it hard to just smile and laugh as you used to. We’ll discuss the problems with complete dentures here.
Loss of Bone and Facial Collapse
By far the most serious problem with complete dentures is bone loss, which can lead to facial collapse. The simulation to the left shows the result of facial collapse.
Many people don’t understand this process, but when you lose even one tooth, your body naturally reabsorbs the minerals in the jawbone that supported it. And when you lose all of your teeth, this bone reabsorption eventually atrophies the jawbones and causes facial collapse. You may have seen this in older people who have a shriveled look around their mouths.
Because the bone is receding, the dentures no longer have a stable surface on which to rest, and they become even more unstable. In as few as ten or twenty years, this process can make it so difficult to eat that people find their health impaired.
Loss of Chewing Efficiency
Even the best fitting dentures reduce chewing efficiency by at least 50 percent. The reason is that they move around. Unlike your natural teeth, which are anchored by roots, dentures have no support structure. The uppers are held in place by suction. But you have to train your tongue and cheeks to hold the lowers onto your gums and jawbone. In addition to interfering with your ability to chew, many people find this hard to adjust to.
Loss of Taste and Articulation
The upper denture covers your entire palate. Because there are taste sensors in your palate, this interferes with the enjoyment of your food. And most people find it more difficult to articulate words with the palate covered.
Loss of Self-Confidence
Because complete dentures float in your mouth without any anchor, they can shift and fall out. Because of this, many people lose a great deal of self-confidence.
There Is a Solution
The problems with complete dentures can be addressed and prevented. Dental implants can replace all of your teeth, or they can be used to anchor a set of full dentures. There are many options available. Click here to find out more about dental implants. Or read more on our implant overdentures page. And if you’re wondering about how you can have implant-supported dentures on a budget, read our affordable dental implants page.
Drs. Murphree and Reed can help you find the solution that best suits your unique situation. Call our office or fill out our online request an appointment page.