Lower Denture Woes

Is your lower denture loose?  Do you have to use gobs of denture adhesive and you still can’t keep the denture in place?  Your upper denture functions well, so why do you have problems with the lower denture?

An estimated 8% of the U.S. population has no teeth in at least one dental arch.  In people 75 years and older, 44% have no teeth in one arch.  It is more frequent for the upper arch to be edentulous than the lower arch.  That is, more people wear upper dentures than lower dentures.  But lower dentures cause most of the problems, resulting in a decreased quality of life.

The extraction of a tooth results in a loss of bone width by 25% and a loss in bone height of 4 mm during the first year.  The loss of bone width occurs on the lip side of the ridge so the ridge is shifted back.  This bone loss continues throughout the patient’s life, thus making retention and stability of dentures more and more difficult.  The remaining bone is sharper and irregular – resulting in sore spots.  Muscle attachments and the tongue are also closer to the resorbed lower ridge, thus causing the lower denture to lift up during use. The upper ridge also resorbs when teeth are missing but the larger surface area of the palate allows for better retention of the upper denture as opposed to the lower denture.

However if dental implants are placed, the bone loss is minimized.  Implants help stabilize dentures and also preserve facial height.  A revolution in dentistry!

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