Did you know that traditional dentures can take an average of 10 years off your life? Dr. Wayne Brueggen of the Brueggen Dental Implant Center notes, “Traditional dentures put you at risk for malnutrition, cause bone loss in the jaw and gums, increase infection rates due to poor fit of implants.” That’s why Dr. Brueggen (and many other dentists, like Dr. Atcha!) recommend implant-supported dentures over traditional dentures. In addition to giving you those extra years of your life back, they are a permanent solution to having an unstable mouthful of teeth that fall out all too easily!
Implant-supported dentures are not like traditional dentures and they provide a more functional and aesthetic option. Traditional dentures are held in place by suction, whereas implant-supported dentures are an entire set of new teeth secured by dental implants placed in your jawbone. This means that, unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures stay put and don’t move around or slip out of place. Being properly secured allows implant-supported dentures to look more natural, while also functioning more like natural teeth.
There are many benefits to implant-supported dentures: they last longer, they don’t require maintenance like regular dentures, there’s less chance for oral infections with implants because they don’t touch the gums or bone tissue like regular dentures do, and finally – implants offer better chewing ability (for more complex foods such as steak). Besides the fact that these benefits make implant-supported dentures easier to deal with, they can also help you live longer by keeping you healthy. Here’s how:
Prevent Jawbone Deterioration
Natural teeth have tooth roots that provide the jawbone with necessary stimulation. This stimulation occurs every time the tooth root hits the jawbone while biting or chewing on food. The stimulation provides the jawbone with minerals needed for healthy bone growth. Since dental implants act as artificial tooth roots that are placed in the jawbone, they can provide this same level of stimulation, allowing your jaw to maintain a healthy bone mass.
Healthy bone mass in the jaw is important for many reasons. For starters, maintaining healthy bone mass in the jaw helps to preserve your natural facial structure. It is an unfortunate fact that traditional dentures actually make your jawbone shrink over time because the bone mass is lost due to a lack of stimulation. This is because of a natural process known as bone resorption. Bone resorption occurs when the body starts to reabsorb bone tissue from the jawbone and distributes it to other areas of the body. As your jawbone continues to shrink from bone resorption, your facial structure starts to shrink as well.
When the jawbone shrinks, this means that traditional dentures will no longer fit as well. Although the dentures themselves do not change in shape, the underlying bone structure changes, which decreases the ability of the denture to maintain the proper position while eating. As a result, this can make eating uncomfortable, or even painful. This also makes it impossible to eat certain types of food and difficult to eat others types. In some cases, it can even cause denture-wearers to remove their dentures altogether when eating.
In addition to preventing jawbone deterioration, dental implants also preserve a natural chewing ability. People with healthy teeth exert a chewing force of 200 pounds per square inch. As the jawbone deteriorates, however, denture wearers can only exert 50 pounds per square inch after five years of wearing dentures and 6 pounds per square inch after 15 years of wearing dentures.
Since dental implants and implant-supported dentures help to preserve the jawbone and proper chewing ability, they also help to prevent malnutrition. Oftentimes, people who wear traditional dentures suffer from some level of malnutrition because they cannot eat enough foods with beneficial nutrients. Commonly called the “denture diet”, people who have been wearing traditional dentures for an extended amount of time tend to eat foods like oatmeal, soup, mashed vegetables, and soft fruits. This severely limits the variety and amount of nutrients that are supplied through their diet.
Over time, chronic malnutrition can lead to a variety of health problems such as anemia, heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis, to name a few. Malnutrition has also been associated with increasing the risk for different diseases and chronic health conditions. In fact, malnutrition is one of the main reasons why traditional dentures can rob 10 years of your life.
On the other hand, implant-supported dentures help to keep you much healthier. By preserving jawbone mass, dental implants ultimately maintain your natural chewing ability. Being able to comfortably and effectively bite into and chew on foods is an essential aspect of preventing malnutrition. With implant-supported dentures, you can eat a variety of foods that allow you to get more nutrients.
Since implants prevent malnutrition, they also help to keep you healthy. Since people with implants can eat a lot of different foods without difficulty or pain, they are able to get a lot more nutrients. In other words, implants protect you from malnutrition while also helping your body maintain good health and fight off disease.
Decrease the Risk of Infections
Finally implant-supported dentures increase your lifespan by decreasing your risk of infection. Because dentures sit on top of the gums, they are more likely to cause mouth irritations when they stop fitting correctly. These irritations can then become infected when bacteria gets inside. In fact there are a few common complications with dentures including: oral thrush and cheilitis, both of which are caused by excess yeast. These problems also tend to develop as a result of not properly cleaning your gums or dentures.
Although there is still a risk of developing infections with implant-supported dentures, this risk is lower. This is because the dentures maintain a proper fit, which prevents them from rubbing on the gums and causing irritation. Implant-supported dentures also require less maintenance, which means they are easier to clean effectively. With implants and implant-supported dentures, you can avoid having to deal with the common infections that come along with traditional dentures.
Overall, implants and implant-supported dentures can add up to ten years of your life. Implants help prevent malnutrition, decrease the risk of infection, and preserve the jawbone. Implants and implants-supported dentures also help to maintain good health, so that you can enjoy these extra years. For more information about what implant-supported dentures can do for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Atcha at New Teeth Chicago Implants today!
Irfan Atcha, DDS, DICOI, DADIA at New Teeth Chicago Dental in Chicago, Illinois is a board-certified general dentist and a nationally recognized expert in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry. Dr. Atcha is now serving patients in Naples, Bonita Springs and SW FL area with All-on-4 implants, teeth-in-a-day, same day dental implants and the complex zygomatic dental implants for the no-jaw bone solution approach. To schedule a consultation please email Dr. Atcha at firstname.lastname@example.org.