Do you have loose bottom dentures? Nothing can be more embarrassing or stressful. You have tried denture “glue”, denture “cushions”, not smiling, relines, and you are still terrified your dentures will fly out of your mouth. You may find it impossible to bite or chew with your dentures. You know that denture implants would be great…..but…. you wonder “what if I don’t get implants??? Can I still eat, chew, and be happy with my dentures? My dentist keeps telling me “just get used to your dentures – it takes time.” Is this true? Is there no hope? You feel frustrated with your bottom denture – but you are not alone.
Yes, there is hope! Loose bottom dentures are one of the most common complaints from dentures wearers. Unfortunately, how do you know if it is “a problem with the denture” or is it “just you”. Or both? You resign yourself to using tons of denture adhesive and being discouraged. As dentists, I think we could do a better job discussing with our patients about specific denture problems and figuring out how to fix these problems. In my experience – 90% or more of patients who have loose bottom dentures – can have their situation improve significantly even without implants.
How? First the cause or more likely – the causes of the looseness must be determined. While this may seem obvious – looseness can be caused by many many factors other than the common explanations of “flat bone”. In fact, even without implants - with proper attention to the details of denture shape and teeth placement – success can be obtained even in the most frustrating denture situations! How do I know this? Because in my last 20 years of denture making….I have helped many patients without implants who come in with flat bone and wrongly shaped bottom dentures.
First – the denture shape must be correct! And here’s the “rub”:rarely do instant denture relines fix the underlying “shape” problem. It’s more complicated than that. Bottom dentures can be loose for many reasons – here are a few of the more common reasons:
- the denture pushes too hard on the major muscle attachments
- there are no grooves for the “mini” tissue attachments
- the thickness of the sides of the denture is incorrect
- the denture edges are too thick, too thin, too short, or too long
- the area where the tongue touches is not molded correctly
- the back and/or the front denture teeth are not placed at the ideal level causing the denture to move when chewing or talking
- tissue was compressed too much/too little during the impression
- inadequate time was spent at the delivery phase
- pressure indicating cream was not used
Fortunately, there are methods and materials for fabricating bottom dentures even in patients with flat bone. Remember this: Even without implants and “flat bone” it is reasonable to expect, in the clear majority of situations that a bottom denture can be made that will be stable, comfortable, functional, and beautiful. You may need denture adhesive for denture retention, but you should be able to function with confidence. No amount of denture adhesive will keep a poorly shaped denture in your mouth. Did you know that it is possible to look at a denture even without putting it in the mouth and tell if there is a good chance it is poorly shaped? Insist that your dentist has experience making bottom dentures for people with bottom flat ridges.
One more interesting reality……even though bottom dentures always get the bad “rap”……flat upper jaw bone is a bigger problem to overcome than flat lower jaw bone!!! More on this in a later blog…..
Take a moment to Google “denture complaints”. You can read the common denture problems people experience and be better prepared for specific questions for your dentist. If you think the price of the dentures are “too good to be true” ask more questions! Quality dentures may not be “cheap” but they can indeed be quite affordable.
And remember – at Geriatric Dental Group in San Antonio – we have denture solutions for even the most difficult situations!