Approximately 35 million Americans are edentulous, meaning they have no teeth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. If you are missing many, most, or all of your teeth, a denture can help you reclaim the appearance and function of your smile, allowing you to speak and chew comfortably again. However, traditional artificial teeth often pose a host of problems. Since they simply sit on top of the gums where teeth have been lost or extracted, these prostheses can slide, pop, or click as you move your mouth. Loose dentures can cause irritation, make you self-conscious, prevent you from eating your favorite foods, and lower your overall quality of life. Fortunately, Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg and our team can use advanced techniques to give your denture a firm, stable hold. In the following blog, we explain how denture stabilization works at our Bryn Mawr dental practice.
Why Do Dentures Become Loose?
There are several reasons the fit of your traditional denture may change over time. The most common is jawbone deterioration. Conventional artificial teeth sit on top of the gum line, allowing you to talk and eat, but they do not stimulate the jawbone tissue beneath the gums like the natural teeth do. Often, the body begins to reabsorb the jawbone material because it is not being used or exercised properly. This can change the shape of your mouth, causing your denture to slip or slide. Jawbone loss can also give your face a narrower, sagging appearance and cause other oral health issues.
In addition, your denture may loosen over time due to simple wear and tear. In the process of chewing, drinking, and cleaning your denture, its material may warp, chip, or crack, causing it to become ill fitting and uncomfortable.
How Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jawbone, where they integrate with your existing tissue to create a foundation for a variety of restorations. Crowns, bridges, and dentures can then attach to these implants, which hold them in place. Since the implants act as replacements for your natural tooth roots, implant-supported dentures typically provide a more secure, comfortable fit and a cosmetic appearance. By fusing with the jawbone, dental implants also help to stimulate the tissue, preventing the deterioration that can lead to loose dentures.
Are You a Candidate?
You may be eligible for denture stabilization with implants if you:
- Have a loose traditional prosthesis or require a denture to replace many missing teeth.
- Are in good oral and dental health. If you suffer from extensive decay or gum disease, Dr. Gershberg may need to treat these conditions before proceeding with implant dentures.
- Have sufficient jawbone tissue to hold dental implants. If you do not, Dr. Gershberg may recommend that you undergo an implant preparation procedure such as a bone graft or sinus lift to build up your jawbone.
- Do not suffer from bruxism. Grinding your teeth could damage your implant dentures and interfere with your treatment.
- Are in good general health, without any immune compromising, chronic, or life-threatening conditions that could disrupt the implant preparation, placement, and restoration process.
At your initial consultation, Dr. Gershberg will examine your mouth, review your dental records, and discuss your concerns with you to determine if you are a good candidate for denture stabilization with implants.
The Stabilization Process
If you qualify for denture stabilization, Dr. Gershberg will begin your treatment by strategically placing titanium implants within your upper arch, lower arch, or both. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia. Next, you will need to wait several months while your tissue heals and the titanium integrates with your existing jawbone. You may wear a temporary restoration during this time. Once you have sufficiently recovered, Dr. Gershberg will place abutment pieces over your implants. After several weeks, he will attach your permanent denture to these abutments, fully restoring your smile and completing your treatment.
About Your Bryn Mawr Implant Dentist
Dr. Gershberg utilizes over three decades of dental experience and his expertise in implantology to help our patients enjoy beautiful, stable smiles. If you have a loose denture or would like to enjoy the benefits of stabilization with implants, call (610) 527-6700 or email us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gershberg.