I’ve Had Missing Teeth for a While: Can I Still Get Dentures?

September 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 4:34 pm
a closeup of a patient holding her dentures

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dentures are perhaps one of the most recognizable and tried-and-true solutions out there! These lifelike restorations have helped countless patients rebuild their smiles in terms of appearance and functionality, regardless of how many teeth they’ve lost. But what about patients who’ve been without their pearly whites for quite some time—is there a certain point when dentures are no longer an option due to the associated bone loss caused by missing teeth? Continue reading below to learn more.

How Missing Teeth Leads to Bone Loss

Our teeth are pretty important for several reasons, mainly those that have to do with eating, speaking, and smiling. However, our pearly whites also serve another purpose: they provide your jawbone with a healthy amount of stimulation, which prevents it from deteriorating and ensures your face remains full in shape and supported.

When you bite and chew, the roots of your teeth extend down into your jawbone and encourage it to grow and remain vital. However, if you lack teeth, you lack the means to stimulate your jawbone, which ultimately leads to issues like resorption (jawbone loss), facial collapse, dental drift that leads to additional missing teeth, and more. This means that in theory, a tooth replacement solution shouldn’t just replace lost teeth, but should also account for the diminished stimulation being provided to the jaw.

Why Dentures Are Still Viable for Patients with Jawbone Loss

The good news is that jawbone loss, as problematic as it can be, doesn’t necessarily disqualify patients from receiving dentures; in fact, it’s possible for restorations like dentures to even slow down the process.

In some cases, the solution lies in implant-support dentures, which rely on the support provided by dental implant posts to provide stability and encourage jawbone growth. In other cases, partial dentures can efficiently stimulate the jaw since the majority of the natural tooth roots are still intact. However, the challenge with dentures is that while they’re applying pressure and stimulation against the gums and jaw, there are no nerves, which may not provide enough stimulation.

The bottom line is that you can still wear dentures even if you’ve been without teeth for a while and suffered jawbone loss; however, it’s crucial that your restoration fits properly and suits your needs in order to prevent worsened issues.

About the Practice

Our team at Community Dentists of Worcester has proudly assisted patients and families in Worcester and the neighboring communities with their dental needs for several years. Under the leadership of Dr. Timothy Zajac, we’re excited to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic and restorative services, including high-quality dentures. If you have any questions about the blog or would like to arrange a consultation for you or a loved one, feel free to contact us online or by phone. Telephone: (774) 371-4131.

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