I’m hoping you can help me. I’ve had dentures for a while now. I’ve never loved them, but now they’re becoming intolerable. They keep slipping and are even falling out at the most embarrassing times. I spoke with my dentist about it, but he just said that is normal at this stage of dentures. He suggested I use an adhesive (as if I hadn’t already tried that). Do you have any different advice for me?
Marsha K. – Wyoming
My first piece of advice is for you to get a new dentist. But, I also have some more practical advice. There is a reason this is “normal” at this stage of dentures. It’s because you no longer have enough jawbone to support your dentures. That’s why they’re sliding off. I wish your dentist would have warned you about this before you settled on your treatment options.
When your teeth are removed, your body begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. The reason it does that is efficiency. If you don’t have teeth, you don’t need your jawbone to help support the roots. Eventually, you’ll have so much reabsorption that you no longer have enough jawbone to support your dentures. That’s where you are now.
If you had gotten dental implants instead of dentures, this wouldn’t be an issue. The implants replace the tooth root, so your body makes the correct assumption that you still need your jawbone, leaving the minerals in place and your jawbone intact.
The only way to fix this now is to get some bone grafting done. This will restore your jawbone. After that, you can either get dentures again (which wouldn’t be my recommendation) or get dental implnats to prevent the cycle from happening again.
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