I have been in complete dentures for twelve years. I have never really liked them. Is it still possible for me to get dental implants or is it too late?
Technically, it is never too late to get dental implants no matter how long you have been wearing dentures. The only issue may be how much bone structure you have lost in your jawbone. There is a nasty side effect with removable dentures that I hope your dentist warned you about. Once your teeth were removed, your body recognizes that you no longer have any teeth roots. In an effort to be as useful with your body’s resources as possible, it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. After ten to twenty years, you will have lost so much jawbone that you are no longer able to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse.
When you see a qualified implant dentist, he should do a round of diagnostics in order to determine how much bone structure you have. If you have lost too much, hope is not lost. There is a bone grafting procedure that will help to build up the bone in your jaw and allow you to get the dental implants you want.
It is important that you find a dentist who has the qualifications necessary to do this right. There are way too many dental implant horror stories. This is likely because dental implants are not really taught in dental school. It is such an advanced procedure that dentists really need to invest in significant post-doctoral training. Without that, you are at a much greater risk of serious complications.
I would look at some of Dr. Marion’s qualifications to get an idea of what type of implant dentist you need.
What your dentist will provide you with is between four and six dental implants. Then, once your bone has had time to integrate with the bone your dentist can anchor a denture to them. These are known as implant overdentures (pictured above). You will find that your quality of life goes up significantly once you have your implant overdentures. Not only will your teeth be more secure, but you will find your ability to eat skyrockets. Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%, but once you add those implants, you can eat steak if you want to.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dr. David Marion.