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HEY DOC, I CAN’T EAT OR TALK WITH MY FULL BOTTOM DENTURE!
CAN YOU HELP ME!? (Part 1 of 2)
Out of all the treatment modalities in dentistry, complete or full lower dentures probably have the lowest success rate. Many people who have lost their bottom teeth, especially those with their bottom teeth removed a long time ago, and have to relegate to wearing full lower dentures, often complain of their inability to keep the dentures in place for proper eating, chewing and speech. They can’t enjoy their food anymore and it becomes a social embarrassment when their full lower dentures fall out of their mouths during eating or talking at social functions or at family gatherings!
Why don’t they stay in?
Continual bone loss- After teeth are removed, human’s jaw bone will continue to shrink away in height and in width throughout the person’s lifetime. This phenomenon is due to the lack of stimulation to the jaw bone during eating and chewing through the teeth. Unfortunately, the lower jaw bone shrinks away much more rapidly than the upper jaw bone. Some research studies show that lower jaw bone can disappear up to 4X as fast as the upper jaw bone after teeth removal! The lack of lower jaw bone means the lack of suction to support a full bottom denture.
Presence of the tongue- Human’s tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body and it can easily push on and dislodge the full bottom denture during eating and speech.
Limited surface area for denture support- A full upper denture can rely on the roof of the mouth for support and stability. The lower jaw is “U” shaped and it simply lacks the amount of surface area of bone that the upper jaw has for denture support.
What can be done?
Denture reline- As the lower jaw bone shrinks away, a space will develop between the full lower denture and the lower jaw bone. As a result, the denture does not seat tightly on the jaw bone anymore and the denture becomes loose. By having a denture reline, new plastic denture material is added to the bottom of the denture so that the lower denture will again fit tightly on the lower jaw bone. However, if the patient has lost a substantial amount of bone, denture reline will not help much at all as there is still inadequate bone for the lower denture to grip onto.
Denture adhesives- There are many types of denture adhesives/glues available over-the-counter that people can purchase to help stabilize their full bottom dentures. Again, just like denture reline, if there is inadequate bone, denture adhesives can only help marginally at best.
Dental implants- For those who have a really tough time keeping their full lower dentures in place, dental implants most likely will be the best solution to their problem. As I have discussed in my previous article, dental implants are pegs/screws made of titanium alloy that are inserted into the lower jaw bone to help stabilize and support the full lower denture. The more implants that the patient chooses to have, the more stable the denture will be, taking into consideration the anatomical boundary for the placement of the implants. After the implants are integrated into the lower jaw bone, “attachments” will be inserted into the bottom of the lower denture. The attachments will allow the lower denture to “snap” onto the heads of the implants for stability and support.
In the next article (part 2), I will examine the different types of implant treatment modalities for full lower denture stabilization.
Give us a call!
If you are having trouble with your lower denture or want more information call Dr. Sun at 705-324-0050 for a consultation. Victor Sun, DDS, serving the Lindsay area and surrounding Ontario community.
My dentures are loose! I can’t eat with them and I’m nervous to talk or smile for fear that they’ll fall out. Does this sound familiar? At Dr. Victor Sun’s practice, he has been helping patients stabilize their dentures for years with great success. How? With dental implants – the modern approach to stabilizing your smile.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small metal artificial tooth roots that are placed under your gums, just like real teeth. Depending on your individual needs, Dr. Sun will come up with a treatment plan suitable for your dental needs. There are different types of implant overdentures to choose from; they provide varying degrees of support and stability all much better than conventional full bottom dentures that rely solely on suction.
Depending on your situation you might be a candidate for implants to help stabilize your partial or full dentures on the top or the bottom!
Let’s talk specifics.
Locator Overdentures: As few as two dental implants in the lower jaw can help stabilize a full bottom denture. The caps inside the denture snap onto the head of the implants. This connection provides the support and stability to the lower denture. The more implants placed, the more stable the denture becomes! Since part of the denture is still supported by the gum tissue, there is potential for gum irritation. To avoid this, Dr. Sun will check the denture to ensure there are no ongoing sore spots on your gum tissue. It’s important to schedule annual visits for this reason so that any reline adjustments can be made prior to irritation occurring.
Case Completed in 2017:
Problem: Remaining lower teeth in poor shape, no bone to support a full lower denture
Solution: Remove the remaining lower teeth, place 3 dental implants into the lower jaw at the time of teeth removal, wait for the healing to complete, secure the full lower denture onto the 3 implants
Result: Patient can eat/chew/talk without the fear of the lower denture falling out. Quality of life has improved tremendously!
Bar Overdentures: With more implants, such as four or five on the lower jaw, a metal bar can be fabricated to join the implants together. The full lower denture then snaps onto the bar, creating a very stable base. This option is more stable than the locator overdenture as it sits exclusively on the bar. That means less gum tissue issues because the denture doesn’t touch your gums at all.
Case Completed in 2003:
Problem: Lower denture rocking due to lack of bone support.
Solution: Five (5) Implants placed in lower jaw, joined together with bar to provide stability to the lower loose denture.
Result: Stable lower denture stays in place. Patient can eat, talk and smile without discomfort.
Mini-Implant Overdentures: Dental implants that are less than 3mm in diameter are called mini-implants. Mini-implants are an excellent option for patients who have undergone severe bone shrinkage. Due to their smaller size, mini-implants can be placed in areas with limited bone volume to help retain loose full bottom dentures. A minimum of four mini-implants in the lower jaw are required to support a full bottom denture. Again, the more implants placed, the more stable your denture will be.
It is important to know that just like a conventional full bottom denture, an implant supported full bottom denture still needs to be removed at night and soaked either in water, a half water/half listerine mixture, or in a dental cleanser. And be sure to brush your denture with a denture brush. A well cared for implant supported lower denture should provide you with years of a stable smile.
What if I don’t have dentures but my crown just won’t stay? Can implants help me?
Yes! Many times implants can be used to support a crown for just one tooth. Using an implant to help replace a missing molar can be an effective solution. Additionally, using an implant for the crown will help to prevent drifting of the adjacent and opposing teeth – meaning fewer issues in the long run.
Case Completed in 2018:
Problem: Tooth loss due to fracture of the natural tooth. Patient could not chew as well with a “hole” on the right side.
Solution: One implant-supported crown to replace the missing molar.
Result: Patient can chew much better on the right side and the new tooth prevents drifting of the adjacent and the opposing teeth.
For more information on the benefits of dental implants and how you can take the first step towards achieving your newly stable smile, contact Dr. Victor Sun, DDS, at your earliest convenience. We can’t wait to meet you!
Dr. Victor Sun is a family dentist with expertise in cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and implantology. Serving Omemee, Fenelon Falls, Little Britain, Downeyville, Dunsford, Bobcaygeon, Port Perry, Perborough and surrounding communities. Check out a few of our great reviews below:
★★★★★ review from Yelp: “This is the best dentist I have ever had. I have lived all over Canada. I spent 17 years living in Europe and the middle east. I now live in Vancouver, BC. If possible I would have put Dr.Victor Sun in my suitcase. He is kind, gentle and most important, he care about his patients. Since moving to Vancouver, I have tried many dentist. No one can compare to him. He is up to date on the latest procedures. He does EXCELLENT WORK. If I won the LOTTO, I would fly out to see him twice a year. My teeth are important to me. He made me feel like he actually cared. Also he has the nicest recepetionists that I have come across in many years. I want to thank-you all for being so professional in what you do. It shows..”
“Hey Doc, my teeth are crooked. I don’t like my smile! I want straight teeth. What are my options?
Part 2 – Veneers”
Dental veneers, also called dental laminates, are a superb choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. They are thin, custom-made, porcelain “shells” that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth, giving the teeth a face lift. Think of veneers as “false nails” for the teeth.
After the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent to the laboratory to custom-made the veneers. After the veneers are completed, they are tried-in on the teeth at the dental office. After the esthetics and the fit of the veneers have been approved by the patient and the dentist, the dentist will then condition the teeth and then use bonding agents to adhere the veneers to the front surfaces of the teeth. Often, the front 6 to 10 teeth are involved in a veneer case for a good result.
Veneers are indicated for:
- closing diastemas (spaces between teeth)
- restoring broken/chipped teeth
- covering and whitening
- stained/unsightly/poorly shaped teeth
- correcting minor to moderate crowding
Benefits of veneers include:
- superb esthetics as they are custom-made in the laboratory
- resistance to stain from coffee, tea, red wine as they are highly polished in the laboratory without porosity
- minimal to no anaesthetics is required during the teeth preparation
- minimal to no tooth structure is removed in most cases;however, the procedure is not reversible if tooth structure is removed
- stronger, more durable and more colour-stable than composite bonding
- the ability to cover up dark teeth and make them white and bright.
Even though veneers are stronger than composite bonding, they can still break or fracture due to habits such as nail/pencil biting, chewing on hard foods such as carrots, ice cubes, bones, opening nutshells with your teeth etc. Also, clenching and nighttime grinding can cause damage to the veneers. Therefore, a grinding/ night guard is highly recommended to be worn during sleep to protect the veneers.
If veneers are well-cared for, they can last and look great for a long time!
If you’re afraid of going to the dentist, you are not alone! Fear is one of the main reasons people avoid visiting the dentist. Even patients who see the dentists on a regular basis can find their visits stressful.
Fear of dentistry can be due to:
- Bad dental experience in the past
- Fear of needles or pain or the sound of the drill
- Difficulty with opening the mouth wide
- Strong gag reflex
- Sensitive teeth
Nowadays, with the availability of sedation dentistry, fear of visiting the dentist can be a thing of the past! Sedation dentistry refers to the use of pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The pharmacological agents, called sedatives, exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with “conscious awareness”.
There are different degrees of central nervous system depression, each corresponding to a level of relaxation which ranges from minimal, moderate, to deep sedation:
- Minimal sedation– Patients have reduced anxiety but can readily respond to verbal or physical stimulation.
- Moderate sedation– Patients are even more relaxed and will respond to purposeful stimulation.
- Deep sedation– Patients may not exhibit any signs of consciousness and therefore be unresponsive to stimulation.
Sedation by pharmacologic methods may be obtained by 2 general routes:
- Enteral route- Involves absorption of medication across membranes from the oral cavity, through the digestive tract, ending in the rectum (the alimentary canal).
– Includes medications that are either swallowed, absorbed through the lining of the oral cavity, or inserted rectally.
- Parenteral route– Involves the administration of sedative drugs other than absorption across the membranes of the alimentary canal.
– Includes intravenous(IV), inhalation, intramuscular (IM), submucosal, among others
Sedation dentistry has become very popular because it offers the following benefits for the patients:
- Increased patient comfort and relaxation
- Little or no memory of treatment (amnesia)
- Control of gag reflex
- Movement control
- Decreased pain sensitivity
- Time saving- allowing dental treatment to be accomplished in fewer visits, sometimes as little as one visit.
In the upcoming blog article, we shall discuss the different methods of providing sedation to patients who are nervous of visiting the dentist. Visit us, at http://www.drvictorsun.com.