As a person ages, the likelihood that they will lose a large number of teeth increases. Many older people suffer from a condition called periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease. The condition causes deep pockets to develop between the gums and the teeth. These pockets harbor large numbers of bacteria that can migrate to the bones of the jaw.
Since the teeth are held in place by the sockets of the jawbones, they can loosen as bone material is lost. Once the teeth fall out, they do not regenerate and must be replaced to restore the chewing capabilities of the patient.
Some people use traditional dentures to replace their lost teeth. However, a conventional denture may not be preferred because the device may move about as the patient eats or speaks.
Conventional dentures are held in position primarily by the suction created as the appliance rests against the soft tissues of the mouth. Still, this suction may not be enough to prevent the device from slipping uncomfortably about. As a result, your dentist may offer additional options to replace your missing teeth. Here are a few of them.
A conventional denture can be fitted with a specialized mechanism on its underside to connect to strategically placed dental implants. The denture patient can disconnect their appliance from the implants to clean the device and then reconnect the denture in the mouth as desired.
A dental implant that supports a denture is positioned in the bone of the jaw as it would be for the replacement of a single tooth. The device is inserted through the gums into the jawbone during an in-office surgical procedure.
Once the implant is in position, it stabilizes through a healing process called osseointegration. The cells of the jawbone integrate with the device, securing it in place. Since a dental implant can withstand bite pressure similar to a natural tooth, the device offers substantial stabilization for a denture.
All-on-Four Dental Implants
Some patients who have lost all of the teeth in a palate desire a more permanent tooth replacement option than an implant-supported denture, such as all-on-four dental implants. Replacement teeth can be attached to four dental implants by specialized screws that can only be removed by the dentist.
The patient can enjoy the full stabilization created by the device and the look of natural teeth. There is no need to remove the appliance for cleaning.
If you have lost your teeth and would like to learn more about teeth-replacement options that may work for you, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.