Denture Stabilization – Securing Your Smile
Dentures have been around since before the days of George Washington and have only improved in the three hundred years or so since then. Dentures are usually made to sit on top of your gum line and act as a replacement for your missing teeth. While you can adhere your dentures to your gums using denture glue, dentures aren’t known for their ability to stay in place very long. While dentures can make chewing your food much easier than if you had no teeth, the unstable, removable nature that makes dentures so easy to clean and fit also can make trying to eat things like steak and corn incredibly hard. That is where denture stabilization comes into play.
Denture stabilization, also known as the all-on-four stabilization system, is the process by which your dentist can attach a full or partial set of dentures to your jawbone using dental implants. By providing secure anchor points for your dentures, you don’t have to worry about them moving around while you’re trying to eat. Secured dentures function almost identically to your natural set of teeth, meaning you can have the feel and appearance of a brand-new set of teeth with just a couple dental procedures.
Denture stabilization is a fantastic way to retain some of the stability you had with your natural teeth while still providing you with an easy-to-maintain smile. While dentures alone give you the appearance of your real teeth, stabilized dentures can help give you a natural-feeling set of teeth that you can use to chew, sleep in, and smile to your heart’s content. By taking your dentures to the next level with denture stabilization, you can prevent gum and jawline decay and help keep your smile looking young and healthy for years to come. But what is denture stabilization really, and what are some of the perks (and downsides) that come along with this dental procedure?
What is Denture Stabilization
Denture stabilization takes advantage of dental implants to help secure your dentures to your actual jawbone. Dental implants are small metallic anchor points installed into your jawbone that stick above your gum line slightly. To install dental implants, your dentist will first have to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure to avoid any unnecessary complications. Then, they will clean the area where they are going to place the implants and drill a small hole in your jawbone itself. Then implant is placed in this small hole and allowed to heal for two to four weeks. This healing process lets the bone regrow around the implant, securing it into place much like your natural teeth roots do. Once this process is complete, your dentist can attach things like dental veneers or full denture sets to the implants to provide additional security.
By attaching your dentures to a set of dental implants, your denture set can function as a set of natural teeth all while helping to preserve the structural integrity of your jawbone. After any dental extraction, your jawbone adjusts to close the areas left behind after the removal of your teeth. This can lead to bone deterioration along your jawbone, making your jaw appear to sag or shrink upwards depending on what teeth were removed. This can also affect your gum line, leading to shrinking or receding gum lines as time goes on. Because of the way dental implants are inserted into your jawbone, they can help preserve some of the structural support of your jaw and will ensure that your dentures are closely attached along your gum line, which can help prevent jawbone and gum line shrinkage.
Denture stabilization can help make sure your teeth and even your facial structure remains intact for years to come and can help increase your youthful appearance by preventing natural jaw deterioration. They can also help give you a natural-feeling set of teeth that can be cared for like your normal teeth by brushing normally. And, much like normal dentures, stabilized dentures are nearly impervious to decay because of their ceramic or porcelain structure, although your dentist should replace them once every 5-7 years on average to ensure the best fit for your mouth. However, denture stabilization may not be for everyone. Here are some of the ways to know if you are a good candidate for denture stabilization.
What Makes a Good Candidate for Denture Stabilization
If you are considering denture stabilization, make an appointment with your dentist today. They can help answer any questions you may have and can help ensure that you qualify for denture stabilization. In many cases, your dentist will perform a general checkup, such as x-rays to check on the structure of your jawbone as well as testing your current dentures to make sure they are still a snug fit. In some cases, simply remolding the base of your dentures can help provide the needed stability to prevent your dentures from slipping. A well-fitting pair of dentures can prevent frustration while eating and can improve the overall comfort for the patient.
If your dentist thinks you qualify for denture stabilization, they will walk you through the steps needed to prepare you for the procedure. If you have a history of infections or other medical complications your dentist may advise against dental implants, as they can increase your risk of bone infection. Here are some of the signs that you may need denture stabilization.
Ways to Check if You Need Denture Stabilization
If your dentures are constantly slipping or seem to not provide a constant surface for chewing, you may need denture stabilization. Denture stabilization can help with issues such as gapping, slipping, and discomfort caused by your dentures. Denture stabilization can also improve the quality of your bite and help you enjoy foods that may be problematic for traditional dentures, such as chewier or tougher foods.
Stabilized dentures are also easier to care for and are attached constantly, meaning you don’t have to take out your dentures when you sleep. This can help with the feeling of natural teeth replacements, as they are functionally indistinguishable from your natural teeth
If your dentures are constantly moving around in your mouth or feel like they are floating above your jawline, you may need a more secure set of dentures. Unstable dentures can cause uneven enamel wear on your remaining teeth or on the dentures themselves, leading to your dentures wearing out or breaking down. Uneven wear on your natural teeth can lead to increased sensitivity as well as a risk of cavities forming in areas where the enamel is thinner than others. A well-fitting pair of dentures can help your overall dental health, as well as help increase your self-confidence.
If you are looking for a set of secure, easy to care for, long-lasting dentures, denture stabilization can help. By anchoring your dentures to your actual jawbone, your full or partial denture set becomes indistinguishable from your natural teeth. In cases where a patient requires a full set replacement, they can care for your dentures can almost exactly the same as your natural teeth would be, meaning that you don’t have to mess with complicated soaking routines or food build up under the dentures themselves.
What is the Process of Denture Stabilization
First, you will set up an appointment with your dentist to find out if dental stabilization is right for you. If you have never had dentures, your dentist may suggest trying a traditional set of dentures first, as dental implant surgery does have a healing period. It is important to note that dental implants do have a chance of your body rejecting them, leading to frustrating reinstallation processes or gaps in your jawbone. However, if you and your dentist decide that dental stabilization is right for you, they will take an impression of your gums as well as an x-ray of your jawbone.
Before the procedure, your dentist will apply a sedative or localized anesthetic to help prevent discomfort during the installation process. Your dentist will drill a small hole in your jawbone and insert the dental implant. Once this process is complete, you will need to wait 2-4 weeks for the bone to grow around the implant to ensure that they are securely attached. After this process, your dentist will take a mold of your gumline and have a set of dentures made to fit your unique mouth shape. Once this is done, the full denture set is attached to your jawbone using the four dental implant posts. While it may take a few weeks for you to adjust to your new set of teeth, they should feel natural within 3-6 days. If you experience discomfort or pinching talk to your dentist, they may need to adjust the fit of your denture set to ensure the most comfortable fit for you.
If you are looking to find out more about denture stabilization, contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our dental team is happy to answer any questions that you may have and are committed to helping you achieve a comfortable, beautiful smile.