Loose dentures are such a common problem for those who have to put up with it long term. But the sores and ulcers are not pleasant. It seems particularly acute for those who have a full set rather than partial dentures. You might wonder if your denture was fitted correctly or why did a denture start off fitting snugly and now ‘clacks’ during conversation? Here, this is explored as well as the permanent solutions there are with dental implants in Plymouth.
Why do dentures rub?
Dentures are originally fitted with a mold of the gum. In modern clinics, 3D scans have become normal. It is used to create the cup-like interface of the denture. This is meant to hold them firmly to the gum without pinching or allowing the dental arch to rock or come loose.
When a row of teeth is replaced by a full denture, the forces that would have normally been transmitted down the roots and into the jaw bone are no longer present. Instead those forces are spread out over the surface of the gum, with the interface responsible for holding the teeth in place. A new and well made set of dentures will not only hold firm. But they will also not pinch or bruise the underlying gum. Unfortunately, without these forces being transmitted into the jaw, the bone begins to atrophy as its calcium is recycled. Losing bone mass and volume results in a narrowing of the gums and the denture no longer fits. As the denture loosens, movement causes friction and that friction can easily damage the thin epithelial layer on the gums resulting in soreness.
Common temporary solutions
Common temporary solutions involve applying an adhesive and or padding between the denture and the gum tissue. This can provide temporary relief but creates additional steps when cleaning and wearing dentures daily.
These options can also be fiddly to use. Particularly if the patient is also suffering from arthritis or experiencing sight loss.
How oral implants work
An oral implant is a short titanium rod which acts as an artificial root. It is placed in the jawbone and extends up to the gum line where it has a connecting mechanism. This allows it to hold an oral prosthetic in place which could be an individual tooth. Or a denture.
If you have a strong, stable jaw, this opens up the options beyond repairing damaged teeth to replacing them entirely. When used to support a denture, a set of implants spread out evenly across the dental arch is needed.
How many implants are needed?
The number of oral implants required varies from patient to patient. Somewhere between 4 and 8 is normal and is only suitable for fitting a denture in the most optimal conditions.
Cleaning and maintaining a denture once it is implanted
Once the titanium root is fully implanted, the normal cleaning and maintenance with overnight soaking is no longer appropriate. Regular brushing is recommended, along with 6-month dental check-ups. For many patients this is seen as a big plus, as returning to their original oral hygiene routine can make having dentures feel more natural.