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Dentures and Implants

6 March 2022
Nicholas Fournier, DD, College of Denturists of Ontario

No one wants to be caught in such an embarrassing situation whereby the denture dislodged during a social interaction.  Unfortunately, this could happen to anyone who wears loose-fitting dentures.

One should never underestimate the effects of loose dentures, as it can lead to oral and health problems. Below are some of the problems encountered by denture wearers with ill-fitting dentures.

Soreness and ulcers – the uneven load placed on the gums can result in soreness or even ulcers, leading to chewing problems.

Bone loss may be accelerated – the excessive pressure on the gums can also accelerate bone loss, leading to difficulty in using the dentures – they no longer fit!

Oral Cancer – In more serious cases, the constant irritation of the gums may lead to the development of oral cancer.

Increased risk of tooth decay – Denture wearers are also at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease if proper oral care is not exercised since food can get stuck under the dentures or between the teeth and the dentures

Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies – Studies have revealed that those with ill-fitting dentures have a higher risk of developing diseases caused by malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. They may be unable to chew certain foods such as meat (high in proteins), fruits and vegetables (high in fibers). Instead, they resort to a soft diet such as mashed potatoes, cakes and pastry, which are high in sugar content. The result is weight gain while not getting the necessary nutrients.

All these issues can be avoided if one has properly fitting dentures.  If you are experiencing this problem, see your denturist for a proper assessment.  In some instances, a new set of dentures may be made.  In other cases, alternatives such as dental implants to help patients regain oral health, function and esthetics.

New technology such as Implants may be suitable for those with missing teeth.  Frequently, the addition of two implants and the provision of a good over-denture may make a significant difference to those with problem dentures. In other cases, implants would be much more likely to resemble the natural teeth in fuction and esthetics.

What are the factors to bear in mind on well-fitting dentures?  The most important features of well-fitting dentures are support, stability and retention.

The dentures must feel comfortable with no pain while chewing.  Speech and enunciation must be good as well. At any time, the denture wearer should not feel that the dentures are in danger of falling out of their mouth. Cosmetically, the denture must look good with proper teeth showing and providing lip support.

Denture Care Tips

Denture wearers should also take note that one denture does not last forever, as our gums and jawbone are not static.  Both undergo changes and reduce in volume and dimension as we age.  Since dentures are made of resin and are a foreign body in the mouth, they will not adapt to the changes.  Over time, dentures will become loose and thus ill-fitting.