On one hand, dentures provide a tried-and-true solution if you have few or no remaining natural teeth. Modern dentures are lighter, more realistic, and better fitting than the dentures of a few decades ago. Dentures can help you look younger and, with practice, they can help you eat and speak better than you could without them. On the other hand, dentures will always be a problematic treatment option at best, because wearing them involves near-constant nuisances like slippage and impaired chewing and speaking. Dr. Marco Cueva, a periodontist and implant dentist in Allen, TX, examines a few common complaints about dentures and discusses one alternative that might just change the way denture wearers enjoy life.
Common Problems with Traditional Dentures
A few of the most frequently reported problems with removable dentures include:
- Denture adhesives. Suction holds your dentures in place but most denture wearers have to use special adhesives to achieve a more secure bond between the gums and the denture plate. Unfortunately, frequent use of denture adhesives can irritate the gums and does not provide a long term solution.
- Impaired chewing ability. Experts estimate that the average denture wearer experiences a 10-20% improvement in chewing ability. While that’s certainly an improvement over simply gumming food, it still limits the variety of textures you can eat.
- Reduced taste. If you wear an upper denture, a palate plate helps to hold the appliance in place. This plate covers the soft and hard palates which, surprisingly, are covered in tiny taste receptors that help you fully experience the flavor of your food. The result: people who wear upper dentures report a significant reduction in their ability to taste their food.
- Fear of embarrassment. No matter how much you practice, no matter how often you reapply your denture adhesive, at some point, you will probably experience the embarrassment of a denture plate slipping out of your mouth. Many denture wearers choose to avoid eating or laughing in social situations for fear of slippage.
- Refitting and replacement. The shape and size of your gum ridges and jaw bone continue to change after you lose your teeth and wearing dentures can actually speed up this process. As a result, denture plates must be relined or reshaped at least once a year to maintain a close fit. Dentures need to be replaced entirely every 5-8 years. Both refitting and replacing dentures involve a significant investment in both time and money.
All-On-4: A Proven Denture Alternative in One Visit
If you’ve worn dentures for several years or if infected, compromised teeth portend a set of dentures in your near future, you should consider All-On-4 implant-retained dentures, says Dr. Cueva. Dental implants, titanium posts surgically embedded within the jaw, can secure a full denture plate. Thanks to All-On-4’s innovative design and procedure protocols, a trained periodontist or oral surgeon can place fully functional implant dentures in a single visit. With implant dentures, you won’t need denture adhesives or frequent refittings, your dentures won’t slip out of place, and your ability to chew and taste the foods you love is dramatically improved.
About Dr. Marco Cueva
Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience placing dental implants, including Nobel Biocare’s All-On-4 single visit implant dentures. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Periodontic Excellence by calling 972-390-9944.