Two hundred year old solutions to missing teeth, dentures are here to stay! Inevitably, some teeth just don’t last as long as we last and are lost prematurely. When no other options are on the table, dentures are the most economical solutions to missing teeth. They come in various forms, shapes, sizes, and materials. They can replace teeth in the short term (interim dentures) or long term, a few teeth (partial dentures) or all the teeth (complete dentures), they can be flexible (Valplast) or rigid (metal frame and acrylic). Most importantly, dentures are either supported by the natural tissue (gums and/or teeth) or by implants. Upper complete dentures supported by patient’s gums tend to work fairly well because they are staying in place by suction. Unfortunately, lower dentures stay in place by the patient balancing them between the tongue and cheek muscles and are notorious for being difficult to chew and speak with. Dental implants were introduced in the 1970’s to provide relief to patients who were experiencing major challenges using lower dentures. Since then, dental implants have evolved and have transformed the world of dentistry. Today, tissue supported dentures are no longer considered optimum solutions to missing teeth. The standard of care involves combining minimum of two dental implants in additional to a lower denture. The result is a safe, secure, comfortable way of replacing multiple teeth and giving patients the ability to live without chewing challenges, fear of losing dentures, or need to constantly buy and apply denture adhesive.
When dentures no longer fit well, they are carefully evaluated by our doctors to estimate benefits of replacing them vs relining them. Dentures can be relined and their usefulness to the patient is extended considerably; we are happy to see our patients get more out of their current dentures and live a happier life.
We want our patients to enjoy a completely comfortable denture solution and are willing to work with existing dentures so long as the final outcome pleases the patient!
In most cases, patients can postpone their decision on receiving dental implant treatment. Our experience is patients who have experienced loose fitting dentures are the most compliant dental implant patients in our practice. They have experienced the pain and discomfort of dentures alone and are more than ready to receive a solution to this difficult problem.