I am in my 60’s and have had dentures for over 30 years. I’m so mortified because my denture keeps falling out! I use adhesive but it isn’t helping anymore. I’ve been told that my ridge is almost gone and there may be a point where it won’t even stay in at all. Please tell me there is something that can be done.
-Paulette in Idaho
This is not a good place to be. When all your teeth are gone, the body actually resorbs the minerals and vitamins to be used elsewhere in the body. It doesn’t think you need the bone any longer since the teeth are gone. So, the bone shrinks and eventually it will get so bad that the denture will not stay in. This condition is called facial collapse and occurs in patients that have had dentures for many years.
It may take some work, but it is possible to build the bone back up. You’ll need to find a dentist that is experienced in bone grafting. It is a complicated surgery. But, the right dentist mabye be able to help build your jawline back up. It may take some time and possibly traveling to a different area to find the right dentist.
There are some other options available for you, depending on your budget. The most economical would be to have a new denture appliance made to fit over the new ridge created by the bone grafting. However, you are young enough that you will experience the same condition where the bone is resorbed.
So, you may want to consider using dental implants. A dental implant is surgically implanted into your jawbone and it stimulates the bone to help prevent facial collapse. The more dental implants you have placed, the more the bone will be retained.
Implant overdentures may be a possibility for you too. It is a combination of dental implants and dentures that snap into the them. This can be done with as little as two dental implants. Remember, the more dental implants that are used, the more secure your denture will be.
Good luck as you try to find a dentist that can help you work through this. Also, thank you for sharing your story. Many patients feel that they don’t have any options left once their teeth are falling out. They choose dentures and may not realize that facial collapse can cause a lot of problems. There is a good chance that if you fully understood the position you would be in now, you may have considered other alternatives thirty years ago.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Rick Lane, a dentist in Petaluma.