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I Can’t Keep My Dentures In

Posted by writeradmin

I am in my late 50s and have been in dentures since I was 30. Now I cannot keep my dentures in anymore. I went back to see a dentist and he told me the ridge that holds my denture in is almost gone. Is there anything I can do? He didn’t think there was.


Dear Jenn,

An image showing a woman's profile before and after facial collapse.

You are in a bit of a difficult position. I don’t know if your dentist warned you about the dangers of long term use of dentures. When your teeth were first removed, your body began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where they would be more useful. This has the unfortunate side effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. That bone is needed in order to keep your dentures in place. This is known as facial collapse and it is also the reason that you can no longer retain your dentures.

The good news is there is a solution for this. The first thing you will need to do is have some bone grafting done. This is a surgical procedure that will build back up the bone you need to have a jawbone again. Once that is done, you have a couple of options.

The first is just to get dentures again. Though, the entire cycle of facial collapse will start all over again. The second option is to get dental implants placed and then have your dentures anchored to them. This is sometimes called implant overdentures. Having the dental implants in your jaw will signal to your body that you still have teeth which need to be retained and it will leave your jawbone completely intact.

Not only will you not have to worry about facial collapse, but you will also have a much higher quality of life with dental implants. With this procedure, your dentures will be completely secure with no slipping or sliding. Additionally, you will find that your chewing capacity will go up significantly. You will once again be able to eat anything you want.

This blog is brought to you by Nashville Dentist Dr. David Wickness.