Implant over-denture blog By: Dr David Gwyer


Implant over-denture blog

In my 10 years as a qualified dentist not many days pass without a patient coming to see me trying to find a solution for a loose denture. These patients have often seen several dentists, who have provided them with several different dentures to try and improve on the fit of the previous denture. Unfortunately, the problem is usually more than remaking a denture that is not correctly made. Often, there is not a problem with the denture – the issue lies with the tissues supporting the denture.


When a tooth is extracted the gum and bone that once supported the tooth simply become redundant and shrink away. Previously the only option to restore a space quickly would be to fit a denture. Therein lies the problem – dentures are not teeth. As any denture wearer will tell you a denture sits on top of the gum and usually fits well to start with. Over time, however, the gum shrinks away from the denture as it puts an unstable force on the gum. This continues until the annoying loose denture prompts the patient to visit their dentist, usually with the result of a new denture being made to fill in the missing space and the cycle repeats. If left long enough the gum and bone can potentially shrink back to the point where there simply is no tissue left to support the denture and the unfortunate patient is resigned to using fixatives or denture glue to get any support in order to eat or smile.


Recent studies show that over 50% of denture wearers have some degree of difficulty in keeping their dentures from moving around. The impact of loose dentures can be wide-reaching and, in some cases, debilitating. At the very least the denture wearer will be troubled by areas of discomfort caused by the dentures traumatizing areas of soft tissue that aren’t used to bearing the weight of day to day biting forces. However, social embarrassment often tends to be the main driving force behind patients seeking solutions to improve the fit of their dentures with reports of avoidance of certain types of food or giving a natural smile for fear of dentures being displaced to an uncomfortable position or falling out completely.


The solution to all these problems is implant retained dentures. By placing as few as 2 implants in the lower jaw and 4 in the upper you can confidently say good bye to loose dentures and their associated problems. By placing dental implants the surrounding bone is preserved so your dentures will fit better for longer. You can laugh and smile without fear of your denture falling out and enjoy foods that you previously avoided. Steak dinners are a reality once more!


In real terms placing dental implants to retain a denture might actually save you money. According to research the average life expectancy of an implant retained denture is 17 years compared to 3-5 in a conventional denture. Whilst no monetary value can be placed on quality of life and comfort you can expect to receive this and value for money in an implant retained denture. There is not the need for regular relines and replacements, both of which can be costly and require you to be without your denture for several days at a time. The usual maintenance costs, aside from your regular check up, are simply the periodic replacement of retention inserts. These are approximately €50 each every 5 or so years.


Contact our friendly reception team on 0906475387 for a complimentary consultation to see how implant retained dentures can change your life for the better.