One of the most common problems patients experience with dentures is that their dentures slip out of place and become loosened. In addition to causing embarrassment in social situations, loose dentures can also cause sore spots to develop on the gums, which can be quite painful. Patients who have dentures and are experiencing this issue should schedule an appointment with their periodontist to see if they are a good candidate for denture stabilization.
The denture stabilization procedure is a safe and effective method for improving the overall strength and stabilization of your denture. This is accomplished by placing a titanium post into a hole that is drilled into your jawbone. Once this post is properly positioned, it will begin to naturally fuse with the surrounding jawbone over a period of several months through a process called osseointegration. Once the osseointegration process is complete, you can attach your new denture to this implant, which will provide much greater stability then your traditional dentures, which rest on the gums.
If you would like to learn more about denture stabilization and whether you may be a good candidate for this procedure, please refer to the following.
Is Denture Stabilization Right for Me?
Denture stabilization is an excellent treatment option for patients who are dissatisfied with their dentures. While dentures do provide a cost affordable and fast treatment for missing teeth, there are also many issues that make traditional dentures a less than ideal solution. Dentures require a great deal of specialized cleaning on a daily basis. Traditional dentures can also have an odd taste, and dealing with dental adhesives on a daily basis can become an inconvenience. Additionally, they are prone to slipping out of place and severely limit the types of foods one can enjoy. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, traditional dentures do not halt the decay of your jawbone because they do not provide sufficient stimulation. As such, patients with traditional dentures will continue to experience jawbone decay, which can result in other oral health issues developing.
If you have been experiencing any of these issues, you may be a perfect candidate for denture stabilization. It will be necessary to be evaluated by your periodontist before you can have denture stabilization performed, however, as they will need to ensure that you are a viable candidate for the procedure and address any underlying issues. For example, if during your evaluation your periodontist identifies that you have gum disease, it will be necessary to first correct your gum disease to reduce your risk of developing an infection or your implant failing.
One common issue among patients who have worn traditional dentures for some time is that they have lost enough jawbone material that there is no longer an adequate amount of material to support an implant. If your periodontist identifies this issue during your evaluation, they may recommend a dental bone graft, which involves using grafting material to restore the density of your jawbone, which will then be able to undergo denture stabilization.
What Happens During the Denture Stabilization Procedure?
Prior to performing the denture stabilization procedure, your periodontist will administer a local anesthetic, which will ensure you do not experience any pain or discomfort while the denture stabilization procedure is being performed. Patients who have dental phobia or extreme tooth or gum sensitivity, or patients who struggle to sit still for extended periods of time may also be given dental sedation, either in pill, gas, or IV form. There are different levels of strength available, with the heaviest forms of sedation resulting in most patients having no memory of the denture stabilization procedure even being performed.
Once you are comfortable, your periodontist will begin the denture stabilization procedure by making an incision in your gums in order to drill a hole into your jawbone. Once this hole is drilled, they will place a post (usually made of titanium) into this hole. Over the next few months, this post will naturally fuse with your jawbone, and once it has, it will act as the root for your new dentures, which will attach to the post.
Benefits of Denture Stabilization
Two of the biggest reasons patients may be hesitant to undergo the denture stabilization procedure is because of the cost and time involved. These are very understandable concerns. Compared to traditional dentures, denture stabilization is much more expensive. Additionally, the process of having denture stabilization performed can take several months or over one year, whereas traditional dentures can be fitted within a few weeks or even days.
If these concerns are keeping you from pursuing the denture stabilization procedure, it may be helpful to keep in mind some of the many benefits you will enjoy once the process is over, which include things like:
- Your ability to speak and enunciate will improve dramatically
- Because of your stronger chewing forces, you will be able to enjoy all different types of foods. Also, because you are better able to chew your foods, your digestion and physical health will improve as well.
- Denture stabilization eliminates the need for dental adhesives and requires far less specialized daily maintenance
- Once the denture stabilization process is complete, you will no longer have to worry about your dentures slipping out of place while you are talking or eating
- Your smile will look and feel more natural
- Halts the process of jawbone deterioration, which reduces your risk of developing complications associated with jawbone loss. This will also preserve the structure of your face and smile, allowing you to maintain a more youthful appearance.
- Because of the many improvements to quality of life and the improved aesthetic appearance of their smile, many patients experience enhanced feelings of self-worth and confidence once the denture stabilization procedure is complete.
If you are experiencing frustration with your dentures, do not wait any longer. Contact your periodontist today to see if the denture stabilization procedure is right for you. Doing so is the first step to improving your quality of life and restoring your natural looking smile!