After wearing upper and lower dentures for 12 years, nothing worse to help them fit well. My lower denture floats whenever I eat or talk. It’s embarrassing and distracting to hear it click when I talk. I am thinking about implants for the dentures. Is it too late for me to get Implant dentures after 12 years of wearing removable ones? Thank you. Marty from Westlake, OH
Thank you for contacting Dr. Brooksher’s office. After seeing many patients who are frustrated with dentures and want dental implants, we understand your frustrations.
Is It too Late for Implant Dentures?
Even if you have worn removable dentures for many years, it is still possible to get implant dentures. Although you have experienced bone shrinkage, which naturally occurs in areas of missing teeth, a skilled implant dentist may recommend ridge augmentation first.
What Is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure to replace missing bone. Your implant dentist or oral surgeon will add bone grafting material in areas of bone shrinkage and cover it with a protective material. According to the 2020 article, Ridge Augmentation in Implant Dentistry, you can expect the following healing time after a bone graft:
- Autogenous (your own) bone: Four to six months
- Non-autogenous (donor or synthetic) bone: At least twelve months
Why Is Your Lower Denture So Loose?
A lower denture loosens faster than an upper denture because the lower denture rests on your gums and the bone beneath it. As the jawbone shrinks from lack of stimulation from tooth roots, pressure from the denture accelerates bone loss. In contrast, suction from your palate, or the roof of your mouth, helps retain the denture.
What Are Your Implant Denture Options?
Two to six dental implants can secure a denture. After reviewing your medical and dental histories, a skilled implant dentist will take a 3-D cone-beam CT scan to measure your bone volume. Your oral health and bone quality affect how many implants you need to support a denture. Options may include the following:
- Snap-on removable denture – Your denture can snap onto two to four dental implants. A snap-on denture is among the most affordable dental implant options.
- Clip-on removable denture – A denture base can clip onto a bar supported by dental implants.
- Screw-on fixed denture – A denture will screw your denture onto implants.
We recommend consulting with a dentist who has completed advanced implant training. After an exam and 3-D CT scan, the dentist will explain your options.
Baton Rouge dentist Dr. Steven Brooksher sponsors this post. Dr. Brooksher is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.