Getting traditional dentures to fit properly is as much as an art as is it a science but the reality is there may always be issues with lowers simply because of the physiology involved. It’s why implant-supported dentures are the recommended choice for most patients.

Lower dentures tend not to fit as well as uppers for two basic reasons: One, because there just isn’t enough tissue to create a good seal with the mandible – the jaw bone – and two, because the act of chewing forces the tongue and food against the denture and moves it around, breaking whatever seal exists, trapping food and creating problems.

As professional denturists, we can only work with what we have and while we strive to provide patients with aesthetically pleasing and functional dentures, we’re limited by the anatomy of each individual’s mouth. Some dentures will fit better than others but some patients will struggle with loose fitting dentures, sore spots and limited food choices.

It’s why the majority of patients with dentures coming to our practice are investigating implants. Simply put, they’re not happy with their traditional dentures and who can blame them? They want to go out for dinner with friends and family, to enjoy a range of foods and not be restricted and forced to opt for less healthy food choices.

As such, implants are the best option and have all but replaced conventional or traditional dentures. No more struggling with denture sealers, no more taking them out at night to soak, not more worries they’ll slip out at inopportune moments.

Modern implants are light years away from your grandfather’s dentures and have become the number one choice for patients of all ages and needs. More so, they’ve also been recommended by an expert study published by McGill University.

“Complete  denture wearers  are  usually  able  to  wear  an  upper  denture without  problems, but  many  struggle  to eat  with  the complete  lower  denture  because  it  is  too  mobile,” the study noted. “Numerous  people  wearing conventional  dentures  report  they  cannot  eat many  foods,  particular  those  that  are  hard  or  tough. This  forces  them  to  change  their  diets  in  unhealthy ways and causes their nutrition  to be poorer than  that of people  with  natural  teeth.”

What the panel found in looking at all the evidence was that two-implant overdentures were a far better choice than traditional dentures secured with adhesive.

“Mandibular  two-implant  over dentures  have  been shown  to  be  superior  to conventional  dentures  in randomized  and  non-randomized  clinical  trials  that ranged  in  duration  from  six  months  to  nine  years. Regardless of the type of attachment system used (bar, ball, magnet),  participants  are  significantly more satisfied  with  2-implant  overdentures  than  with  new conventional  dentures.  Patients  find  the  implant overdentures  significantly  more stable, and  they  rate their  ability  to  chew  various  foods  as  significantly easier.  In  addition,  they  are  more  comfortable  and speak  more easily  with  implant  overdentures. Studies  of  several  populations  have  shown  that ratings  of  quality  of  life  are  significantly  higher  for patients   who  receive   2-implant   overdentures than  for  those  with  new  conventional  dentures.”

It concludes implants are the way to go: “There is now overwhelming evidence that a 2-implant overdenture should become the first choice of treatment for the edentulous (meaning no teeth) mandible.”

The Royal College of Dental Surgeon of Ontario standard for implant supported dentures is for a minimum of two titanium posts to be set into the mandible, or jawbone. The dentures themselves snap onto these posts making them secure and preventing them from slipping around. You have the option of permanent fixed dentures much like natural teeth or removable ones which snap out for cleaning.

Now, understandably, there’s a fear factor involved. The idea of surgery to implant the metal posts into your jaw sounds scary but, in fact, there’s minimal pain involved and few complications with a 96 to 98 per cent success rate.

Lower implants are the most common since it’s the lower dentures which give most patients problems. With the dentures secured to the implants, patients can exert more force while chewing food without worrying their dentures will slip out of place and this in turn means they can just about any foods they like.

As professional denturists our goal is to make our patients happen and we do that by giving them the best possible outcomes with their denture options. If you’re thinking about implants, come in and talk to us, we’ll explain the steps, the costs and what to expect – and what not to expect.

If you want to read more about implants, click here.