I have periodontal disease which has caused me to lose almost all my teeth. The rest will be lost soon. My dentist said I’ll have to get dentures, I’d really like to get dental implants. Is that possible?
As you can see from the image, dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. With periodontal disease, you begin to lose bone. This is likely the reason you started losing your teeth to begin with. Without that bone to support the tooth roots, there is no way to keep the teeth in. The same is true for your dental implants. It doesn’t mean you can NEVER get dental implants. It just means you will have to deal with your gum disease first.
Once that is under control, you will probably need some bone grafting done in order to have enough bone again to support dental implants.
The Problem with Dentures
At this point, you’re probably thinking. I’ll need TWO procedures in order to even start dental implants?! Will it be worth that effort?
The answer is a resounding yes!
Dentures come with a myriad of problems. First, even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Secondly, they are not secure. The top arch is held in by suction. The bottom arch just rests on the ridge of your jawbone. This leads me to the most serious problem with dentures— facial collapse.
Because your body strives to be as efficient as possible with its resources, when your teeth come out (or are extracted), it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. This has the unfortunate effect of shrinking your jawbone. After ten or so years, you’ll no longer have enough of a ridge for your jawbone to keep your dentures in.
Having dental implants placed signals to your brain that you still have teeth and need to keep the minerals in your jawbone, which protects you from facial collapse. In addition to protecting your jawbone, implant-supported dentures are completely secure. They won’t move or fall out. You can even eat whatever you want with confidence.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.