Are you suffering from denture problems? Do you miss all the foods you can’t eat anymore? Do your dentures slip when you laugh or talk? You have plenty of company in your struggles. More than 25% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have no teeth at all—and many of them wear dentures.
What’s more, over 150 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Some of these people are also challenged by their replacement teeth. They may have bridges that don’t quite fit or partial dentures that present many of the same challenges as full dentures.
Recent Survey Reveals Most Common Denture Problems
What kinds of problems do denture wearers report? A recent survey asked that question. The answers were:
- Feeling the need to avoid social situations like parties and weddings in order to avoid embarrassment related to their dentures.
- Getting food struck under the dentures and so needing to avoid certain foods like corn on the cob, apples, nuts and steak.
- Negative effect on romance, like being uncomfortable kissing or not wanting a romantic interest to know they wear dentures.
- Being uncomfortable in the workplace, speaking up in meetings or networking with other professionals.
Seven percent of those who answered this survey were even keeping their dentures a secret from their spouses!
There are other, more serious, problems with dentures as well. When a person is missing teeth, the whole dynamic structure of the jawbone does not receive the stimulation it was designed for. The bone is accustomed to absorbing the pounding of your chewing and when this is missing the bone deteriorates and reduces in size. This bone loss is a health problem in itself. Additionally, the changing bone means that dentures will no longer fit and must be relined or perhaps even rebuilt.
A Far Better Solution
For many hundreds of years, dentures have been the only choice for those missing some or all of their teeth. (Remember George Washington and his false teeth?) In the last few decades, however, wonderful technical breakthroughs mean that dental implants offer a much better solution.
Dental implants are porcelain teeth replacements that are anchored on titanium foundations. Titanium is a metal that bonds well with bone, making it the go-to material for procedures such as joint replacement and dental replacements. A dental implant is a permanent solution, long outlasting a typical bridge or denture. With care, an implant can last for 25 or more years, compared to the seven to ten that most dentures last before needing to be replaced.
With dental implants, there are no restrictions on what you can eat and, because your new teeth are anchored firmly, there’s no embarrassing slippage. Plus, your jawbone will receive the stimulation it expects and needs, maintaining the health and appearance of your jaws and face.
What Happens When You Get a Dental Implant?
After your damaged tooth is removed, a small titanium root would be placed in the empty location. It would be capped and allowed to heal, which means it bonds with the jawbone. When healing is complete, an abutment would be added—this is a mounting on the top of the implant onto which your new tooth will be attached. The final step is the addition of a new porcelain replacement tooth that is locked onto the abutment.
If you have been missing a tooth for a long period, your bone in that area may have deteriorated. In that case, the first step would be to add bone material to that area and allow it to join with existing bone. This is called a bone graft. When the bone in this area has healed fully, the implant would be placed.
If you feel you may be a candidate for dental implants to restore your smile permanently, contact the Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center for a consultation with Dr. Virginia Lee. Her extensive training in oral and facial surgery and nearly two decades of experience enable her to advise you on the best way to restore your smile.