Dentures can be a lifesaver for those who have lost their teeth, but if you’ve been diagnosed with bone loss in your jaw, is wearing dentures even still an option? The short answer: absolutely! Whether you’re facing severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, dentures still remain a viable solution — as long as some key considerations are taken into account. Let’s take a deeper dive to understand how denture care is managed when faced with the unique complications of jawbone deterioration.
Types of Dentures and Bone Loss
Wearing dentures, in general, can prove to be challenging. Depending on the type of dentures you wear, wearing dentures can be more frustrating when there is less bone. In addition to having less bone for dentures to rest upon, bone loss can also contribute to your face having a collapsed look that makes you appear prematurely older than your actual age.
- Full Dentures
After the extraction of all of the teeth, the jawbone no longer has the function to support natural teeth. Without a purpose, it begins the process of naturally dissolving away.
- Partial Dentures
Partial dentures can be the easiest type of denture to transition to and to wear with localized bone loss because the support for the partial is derived from the remaining natural teeth. As long as the supporting teeth remain solid and free from disease, a partial can be a very comfortable and economical solution to replace a few missing teeth.
- Immediate Dentures
Immediate dentures are a “best guess” idea of what is likely to happen after dental extractions. When patients have experienced bone loss before the removal of their teeth, the amount of bone resorption and tissue shrinkage that occurs right after extractions is generally more dramatic than a patient without bone loss will experience. This means that the immediate denture will likely be loose right away.
Can You Wear Dentures If You Have Bone Loss?
Certainly, even with bone loss, you can wear dentures. Wearing dentures is challenging for all denture patients in the beginning. Getting used to wearing and chewing with a prosthetic substitute takes time, practice, and patience. Dentures are a foreign object; they don’t automatically feel comfortable the first time you wear them. Persevere and don’t give up. Look at all of the people before you, with or without bone loss, who have mastered dentures. You can too.
Bone Grafts for Dentures
Depending upon the severity of your bone loss and overall health, it may be possible to undergo bone grafting surgery for dental implants to be placed. Doing this allows a denture to be stabilized and anchored into place. Many people go from wearing traditional dentures that are okay to experiencing a world of difference when their dentures snap into place, making the denture feel much more natural to speak and chew without worrying that it might slip. Bone grafts put back the bone you’ve lost and enable you to improve your appearance and comfort while preventing additional bone loss. Talk about revolutionary treatment!
Process of Preparing for Dentures with Bone Loss
If you have some of your natural teeth remaining, don’t go down without a fight. Wearing partial dentures stabilized by some natural teeth is almost always more desirable and easier to wear than complete dentures. That’s why it is important to maintain the health of your remaining teeth and gums for as long as practical.
While traditional dentures are a suitable solution for people who have lost all their natural teeth, implant-supported dentures can improve your quality of life. If you are a candidate for implants, the results can be life-changing! Proper maintenance is required to assure that the investment in your better health lasts for a lifetime.