Dental Implants for Stronger Permanent Dentures
By 65 years old 57% of people wear dentures. Unfortunately, nearly half of all denture wearers are unhappy with them, and only 5% are completely satisfied. The number one complaint about dentures is how they fit, followed by concerns about an unnatural appearance. Because of these worries, denture wearers report feeling uncomfortable in social situations, often worried about food getting caught in or under their dentures. They also feel less confident in professional and romantic environments because of anxiety about problems such as bad breath and dentures slipping. Comparing dental implants vs dentures reveals a large list of issues, and while these may sound like many different problems, they all tie back to the big, often overlooked, problem with dentures: the jaw.
How teeth keep the jaw strong
When dentures are first made, they usually fit the gums perfectly. However, over time this fit deteriorates, making the, originally, stronger dentures loose. Poorly fitting dentures can slip or fall out, and it’s easy to get food trapped underneath them. They look less natural than permanent dentures, and they can be irritating and even painful to wear. The reason this happens is that dentures may chew like teeth, but they don’t affect the jaw in the same way.
With every bite, a tooth relays pressure through its roots to the jaw. This pressure is what signals the body that the jaw needs to be strong, to support the action of chewing and keep the teeth in place. It activates cells within the jaw to create new bone tissue and clear away old bone tissue. This remodeling process maintains the jaw’s shape and strength.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures and the Jaw
How dental implants affect the jaw
Dental implants, or permanent dentures, were designed to replace the function of an intact tooth. The post of the implant is embedded in the jaw, similar to the function of a tooth’s roots. Pressure on the tooth is transferred to the jaw, activating the remodeling of the bone. This helps maintain the bone health and shape.
How dentures affect the jaw
Dentures don’t provide the same pressure to the jaw. Instead, the pressure of chewing is spread out evenly across the plate to the surface of the gums. Over time, not having this pressure causes the jaw bone to start to thin. This not only weakens the bone, it causes it to shrink. Eventually, the loss of bone even changes the shape of the face. Those perfectly fitting dentures no longer fit the new size of the jaw.
Implant supported dentures are stronger together
Another significant advantage of dental implants is that they can provide an anchor for stronger dentures. “Permanent” dentures can be attached to just a few dental implants for huge improvements. This creates a more stable fit, so people can eat and talk without anxiety. Implant supported dentures don’t require adhesive, and they don’t cover the roof of the mouth, making eating a more natural and enjoyable experience. Having a superior fit and stability means that patients can chew with more strength, and the appearance is more natural.
Most importantly, the implants’ stimulation of the bone helps the jaw to maintain its shape and size. With a stable and strong jaw bone, all the initial benefits of stronger, implant supported dentures remain, with very little need for adjustment.
If you think implant supported dentures may be right for you, consider Peak Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Our singular focus on oral and maxillofacial surgery means that Dr. Haeman Noori and the Peak OMS team are uniquely qualified to provide you with the most expert care in dental implants and permanent dentures. Although there are many companies that manufacture dental implants, we only work with the very best, including: Nobel Biocare, Astra, Straumann, and 3i. For more information on dental implants vs dentures or how we can help you with implant supported, permanent dentures, please contact us.
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