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Permanent Dentures, a Revolution

Thursday, 30 April 2015

For anyone who has had to wear dentures before the development of dental implants, it was common knowledge that dentures were a poor substitute for natural teeth with many downsides. To a great degree, they felt like a necessary evil.

Dentures worn with no anchoring support on your jaw will slip out of place when pressure is placed on them. This makes eating a real hassle, often requiring that you blend or mash foods that take some biting or chewing strength to eat properly.

The denture will also slip out of place when talking. This can cause an unsightly protrusion of one of your dentures in the front of your mouth or a strange clicking sound while speaking.

Further, bone loss in your dental arch is a normal consequence of losing teeth. It is only accelerated by the pressure placed on the arch by a denture that has no anchoring support.

And let’s not forget the irritation of your gums caused by the denture rubbing against them.

Thankfully, the development of dental implants has made it possible for denture wearers to avoid most of these conditions and live a near normal life. The implants are placed in strategic positions on your dental arch and act as strong foundations for the denture to rest on. Further, the denture can be fixed into the top of the implants, which stably anchors the denture in your mouth.

How many implants per arch are necessary? Usually between four and six implants are quite sufficient.

And the result? To put it mildly, it is a near complete turnaround. The pressure of biting and chewing pushes on the implants and not directly on the jawbone. No irritation of your gum occurs. The implant pressure in the jawbone stimulates the bone and keeps it from withering away. Your implants do not slip, and they have much higher biting and chewing power than before; it can be as high as 80% of the power of natural teeth.

An added advantage of implant-supported dentures (especially the dentures that are solidly fixed into the implants and cannot be removed except by your dentist) is the fact that you can taste food much better.  That large piece of false palate that is usually part of the upper denture becomes unnecessary when the denture is anchored into an implant. Thus the gum section of the upper denture is much smaller and does not cover the roof of your mouth. And you can taste things again that before were apparently tasteless.

Life can be very near normal again, in terms of aesthetics, comfort and dietary options, with implant-supported dentures.  It is well worth the investment.