Signs You Need an Implant-Supported Solution

People have been wearing dentures or “false teeth” for hundreds of years.  With advances in dental materials and technology, the solutions for replacing missing teeth have gotten better and better.

The traditional, removable solutions to replace missing teeth include removable partial dentures (typically just called “partials”) and removable full dentures (simply referred to as “dentures”).  A partial replaces multiple missing teeth and rests on the remaining natural teeth.  A denture replaces an entire arch of missing teeth, like all of the upper teeth or all of the lower teeth.

Both partials and dentures are quick, inexpensive solutions to replace missing teeth.  However, they are never the best solution.  Many of our patients come to us seeking a better option when they feel the partial or denture is no longer working well for them.

This blog will outline the signs that you may need an implant-supported solution for your missing teeth.

Your Denture Becomes Loose when Eating or Speaking.

This is the most common complaint we hear from patients who wear partials or full dentures.  It happens more often with full dentures, and it is not uncommon with partials.  The more teeth that the denture replaces, the more likely it is to become loose.  Loose dentures can lead to embarrassment in social situations.  They also make it more likely for you to bite yourself or rub sore spots.

Loose Partials

Partials have dual support: they rest on both the gums of the missing teeth sites and on the remaining natural teeth.  They typically use clasps of either metal or plastic to wrap around and clasp onto existing teeth.  These clasps can loosen and wear out over time.  The pink acrylic material that holds the false teeth and rests on the gums does not loosen, but the gums can shrink, creating a loosening effect.

Loose Dentures

Dentures have a greater risk of loosening over time because they do not have any existing teeth for support.  They rest solely on the gums and underlying jawbone.  Without teeth to maintain the shape and size of the jawbone, it slowly shrinks, becoming shorter in height and narrower in width over time. 

As the bone shrinks, an air space develops between the gums and the base of the denture.  This air space is what makes a denture loose.  Dentures rely on contact with the gums.  The more contact with the gums, the better they fit. 

You Frequently Get Sore Spots Even After Multiple Adjustments.

Sore spots are a consequence of a partial or denture that does not fit well.  Usually, they result from movement of a loose denture or a bite that is off balance.

Sometimes sore spots are the result of a relatively new denture putting too much pressure in one area.  When your dentist adjusts a high pressure spot, you should feel relief of the soreness.  If you have had multiple adjustments, and you continue to get sore spots, you should consider dental implants.  Dentures that have a firm attachment to dental implants do not have to rest on the gums, and they do not move around, rubbing sore spots.

You Cannot Chew Your Food Well.

With removable dentures, the amount of force you can create with the false teeth is lower than what you can create with real teeth.  The support of natural teeth comes from the jawbone.  Because removable dentures do not connect directly to the jawbone, they cannot chew with as much force.

Dental implants are anchored into the jawbone.  They have as much, if not more, support as natural teeth.  Therefore, they are able to exert as much, if not more, force in chewing as natural teeth.

You are Developing Problems on Your Natural Teeth.

This one applies to partial dentures only.  Because partial dentures require the support of the neighboring teeth, they also put pressure on the neighboring teeth.  Over time, these teeth sustain more force than they were made to withstand.  This can lead to gum disease and tooth fractures.

If the adjacent supporting teeth are beginning to suffer, it’s time to consider taking the pressure off of those teeth and putting it onto dental implants.

Your Dentures do not Fit Tightly Even After a Reline.

One of the traditional solutions for loosely fitting dentures or partials is a reline.  The reline procedure adds acrylic material to the inner side of a denture or partial in order to fill in an air space.  These air spaces develop as the jawbone and gums shrink.  As we discussed above, the shrinking of the bone and gums is a natural response to missing teeth. 

A reline adds material to the inside of a denture in the attempt to create a closer fit of the denture to the gums.  Reline often do the trick and give patients a more comfortable and more reliable fit to their dentures.

For those patients who do not see an improvement in the fit of their dentures after a reline, dental implants are the solution.

Dental implants create a solid connection between the jawbone and the denture that does not depend on the gum-denture interface. 

Do You Need an Implant-Supported Solution?

Call your nearest Wellness Dental location today to schedule a consultation with one of our dental implant experts.  Our goal is for each patient to have the right dental solution!

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