Dentures as we know them today have been a mainstay of dentistry since the early part of the 18th century and even before that, primitive forms of partial dentures were being worn by the ancient Etruscans as far back as the 7th century BC.
While modern appliances are more lifelike, comfortable and durable than their predecessors, they aren’t without their problems. One of the key issues is denture stability.
Denture slippage remains a big problem and the uncomfortable sensation of dentures shifting at the most inconvenient of moments can erode self-esteem and make everyday activities like speaking and eating a challenge. This is where implant-supported dentures can help.
To understand how this innovative solution restores lifelong smiles and boosts confidence, it’s important to talk about why dentures move in the first place.
When a tooth is missing it kickstarts a chain of events that includes:
When a tooth is missing, nearby teeth will start to drift toward the gap. This in turn causes teeth misalignment as adjacent top and bottom teeth no longer fit together. Then, when a person eats or chews food, the bone surrounding the tooth root is no longer stimulated, causing elements of the bone tissue to be reabsorbed back into the body.
Bone absorption can be so great that up to 50% of the alveolar (jaw) bone is lost within 1 year after tooth loss. Although this process does slow down after this point, it doesn’t naturally stop.
Unfortunately, once bone atrophy occurs, it becomes difficult to halt. So, when conventional dentures are made, the jaw continues to shrink, meaning that any new appliances will move around over time because they no longer fit the jawbone.
For this reason, dentures regularly need to be adjusted and replaced. The American Dental Association, for example, recommends that dentures be replaced every 5 years.
So what does this mean for denture wearers?
Imagine trying to share a delicious meal or a hearty laugh with friends, only to find that your dentures have slipped out of position. The constant fear of embarrassment is what many denture wearers live with every day. Thankfully, implant-supported dentures provide a game-changing option.
Unlike traditional dentures that sit on the ridge of the jaw and rely on natural suction or adhesives to stay in place, implant-supported dentures are (as the name suggests) supported by a series of dental implants.
Once implants are anchored into position, they fuse with the jawbone, effectively becoming part of the mouth. After a short while, they fully stabilize, providing a collective platform, able to support an entire denture.
This revolutionary approach eliminates any shifting or slippage while allowing wearers to speak, eat, and laugh without worry. But while much emphasis is rightly placed upon the benefits of denture stability, implant-supported dentures provide other advantages too.
Greater comfort – When dentures become loose, they rub and chafe the gums causing discomfort and irritation. But when implant-supported dentures are fitted, there is little chance of denture movement, and therefore, no chance of irritation. Their superior comfort ensures patients focus on their everyday lives rather than worry about oral discomfort.
Improved speech - When conventional dentures shift in the mouth, it can make speaking difficult leading to patients wanting less social interaction. The stability of implant-supported dentures helps to maintain clear speech patterns allowing you to interact with confidence.
Greater chewing efficiency - A key drawback of conventional dentures is that they only muster around 20%-25% of the bite force of natural teeth. As a result, many denture wearers need to change their dietary intake, often foregoing foods they really like.
Conversely, because implants are set solidly in the jawbone, implant-supported dentures handle the act of chewing with astonishing efficiency, allowing patients to enjoy a range of foods without restriction.
Preserved jaw bone –Dental implants stimulate the jawbone just like natural tooth roots. Stimulation tricks the brain into thinking that the supporting bone is now needed. As a result, any further atrophy (bone shrinkage) is halted, meaning no more sunken facial aesthetics and sagging skin.
But there’s more… The fuller structure that implant-supported dentures provide, often represents a more youthful look.
Longevity - While conventional dentures need to be replaced every five years or so, implant-supported dentures have no such time limits. In fact, the implants themselves are designed to last indefinitely, while the prosthetic part of the denture is designed to last 10-20 years or longer, depending upon wear and tear.
As you can see, implant-supported dentures give those with multiple missing teeth a chance to embrace life to the full. Dentures no longer need to be a ‘necessary evil’ and an obstacle to a healthy, happy life.
Instead, implant-supported dentures combine comfort, style and the utmost functionality, giving dentists the ability to transform a patient’s smile and, indeed their outlook on life. By saying goodbye to the worries of slipping dentures, patients can look forward to a future of lifelong smiles and limitless possibilities.
Want to know more about implant-supported dentures? Give our friendly and experienced team a call at Chesterfield Dentistry.
During a free consultation, we’ll discuss options and answer all questions and concerns, giving you the information needed to make a fully informed decision.
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