I hate my smile. I have had dentures for 25 years and got them at a very young age. The dentures themselves always looked fake to me, but now my mouth is squishing up and I’m having trouble keeping them in. Is it possible to do something about this after this long? I’d love to have a smile I’m not ashamed of showing. At the very least, one I’m not afraid of falling out in public.
You can absolutely have a great smile again. First, let me explain what is going on with your jaw. When you first lost your teeth and had dentures placed your body recognized you didn’t have teeth there because the roots were gone. Because our bodies are efficient, it decides to use the minerals in your jawbone, which were previously used to support the teeth roots, elsewhere where it perceives they’ll be more useful.
This has caused your jaw bone to slowly shrink. After 25 years, you no longer have enough jawbone left to secure the dentures. This is known as facial collapse and why your face is looking squished at this time.
There is a solution.
The Solution to Dentures
The first thing you’ll have to do is build that bone back up which you’ve lost. There is an outpatient bone grafting procedure you can do. Once that is healed, you have two choices.
- Option One: Have New Dentures Made
You can just go back to wearing dentures again with a new pair. One thing to be aware of is the cycle of bone loss will start again and you’ll be back in the same place before too long.
- Option Two: Have Implant Overdentures Made
With this option, you have implant supported dentures. You’d no longer have to worry about the bone being resorbed or your dentures slipping or falling out. This procedure is done in two stages. In the first phase, dental implants will be surgically implanted into your jaw. These are prosthetic tooth roots which signal to your brain you need your jawbone to support your teeth.
After a period of healing, the second phase can commence. Your dentist will anchor a set of dentures to the implants. They will be completely secure. Not only will they not slip, but you’ll also find you can eat anything you want because your chewing capacity goes up significantly.
Getting Beautiful Dentures
You’ll still want to have dentures you are proud of showing. The key to that is a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. I’m going to suggest you go to the mynewsmile.com website. They screen dentists who wish to be listed for both their technical knowledge and skill along with their artistry. Any dentist they recommend can give you stunning dentures whether you choose to anchor them to implants or not.
Best of luck.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.