Would you be able to tell me if I will ever be a dental implants candidate? My teeth were always terrible growing up. They were so bad that I ended up getting dentures in my early twenties. I’ve always been ashamed of my smile. I have never had much extra money so fixing my teeth wasn’t a priority. Now, that my daughter is about to move out, I should have some extra money. The last time I mentioned the possibility to my dentist, he said I couldn’t get dental implants. Do I have any options?
-Linda in Texas
Thank you for reaching out. The good news is that you do have options. Here are some possibilities based on what you have described.
It sounds like you haven’t loved your dentures for a while. If you’ve had them since you were 20, they are probably getting dingy. The good news is that dentures can be made to be beautiful. Not all dentists focus on the aesthetics of dentures. They may end up looking fake and lifeless. But, if you find the right dentist that is focused on cosmetic dentistry, they can be beautiful.
Dental Implants & Bone Grafting
If you’ve had dentures for a long time, it is likely that you are struggling with bone loss. When there are no longer teeth present, the body resorbs the minerals to be used in other parts of the body. The result is bone loss, which is called facial collapse. It can cause problems for getting dental implants. This is because the implant post is surgically placed into your jawbone. So, if you don’t have enough bone present at the implant sites, you will not be a dental implants candidate. However, you can get bone grafting surgery, which will build up your jawbone. This may make it possible to get dental implants done. You need to know that choosing this option is a major investment in time and money.
Implant-supported dentures may be the best option for your particular case. For this option, several dental implants are placed and then the denture is attached to them. This will stabilize the denture and it will stay in place all the time. It is important to realize that you still may require some bone grafting. Also, you will need to plan for healing time between the procedures. But, if you find an excellent implant dentist that has a proven track record with cases like yours, this may be the way to go.
Hopefully, this gives you some options to explore.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Lane, a dentist in Petaluma, CA.