Dentures solve missing teeth problems by replacing both the form and function of lost natural teeth. However, dentures may be the cause of problems in the long run because of the removable nature. Long-term use of dentures can lead to deterioration of the jawbone, resulting to dentures that lose the once tight and comfortable fit.
As dentures become loose, they will become uncomfortable for the wearer. The loose dentures will move around in unexpected ways inside the mouth; they will start rubbing against the soft inner mouth tissues and the gums, and can cause painful mouth ulcers to develop. Eating and chewing on food will also become difficult to manage, and can result to unnecessary pressure on the gums. When dentures move unexpectedly, they can fall out of the mouth any time causing embarrassment to the denture wearer.
Dentures and Jawbone Deterioration
Dentures replace the healthy function and appearance of lost natural teeth, but they do not replace the lost natural tooth roots. The jawbone needs constant stimulation from tooth roots to maintain its healthy structure; without this stimulation, the quality and structure of the jawbone will gradually deteriorate as the years pass. The jawbone ridges will slowly become thinner, and the dentures becoming loose and ill-fitting in the process.
Jawbone deterioration will also lead to visible changes with the facial bone structure. As the jawbone deteriorates, the lips and cheeks area become hollow in appearance making a person look much older than his or her actual age.
Dental Implants to Prevent Bone Deterioration
Dental implants provide ideal solutions for missing teeth problems, as the implants replace the form and function of the missing teeth and the lost natural tooth roots as well. The implants are loaded directly into the jawbone, and act as tooth roots that provide the necessary bone stimulation. As the titanium screw continuously provides stimulation, the jawbone will be preserved and deterioration of the bone will be prevented.
Dentures that are supported by dental implants are more secure (compared to regular removable dentures), as the teeth replacements will be firmly attached to the jawbone. Problems with ill-fitting dentures will be solved with implant-supported dentures.
In cases when bone deterioration has already started in the jawbone area because of long-term use of removable dentures, a dental implant treatment can still help preserve the existing bone structure. The implants can be used to stabilise dentures so that the bone deterioration can be stopped, or can be prevented from further progressing.