The worst denture you hope you’ll never wear
Dentures are right up there with root canals when people talk about frustrating dentistry. Now I’ve previously debunked the root canal pain myth (see articles under our root canal tab). What about dentures?
When I write about dentures I’m speaking of FULL dentures. These replace a full arch of teeth, be it upper or lower.
When someone has to lose all of their teeth in an arch there really are only two options: a full denture or implants with bridges. The difference in function and costs are huge.
Implants are surgically placed in the bone and are as close as we can get to a fully functional replacement of teeth. A denture, on the other hand ﬁts fairly snugly over the gums and is removable by the patient. The former can cost the price of a nice car. The latter less than a tenth of that.
When I was in school they told us that a really good set of dentures replaced only 30 percent of the function of a healthy set of teeth. For someone with virtually zero function that’s great. But we wish it was better.
Upper dentures are, in my experience, the most common. Which is good because they are much easier for patients to wear.
Consider that the upper arch is a part of the skull. It doesn’t move and the denture can be made to cover the entire arch providing stability and ideally good solid suction to keep the denture in place.
The lower arch on the other hand moves and the tongue is in the way and also moves. So the lower arch is a challenge to make and for patients to wear. It often requires the patient to learn to use their tongue, lips and cheek muscles to help keep them in place. Adhesives are more often used on lower dentures too.
So the worst denture you may ever wear? — the lower one.
Whenever possible we try and work it out so our patients get a couple of implants under the lower denture. This allows us to create a denture that actually locks down on the implants and makes a HUGE difference in wearability for the patient.
Call us today for your denture consultation. We’ll do our best, even on the lower, to make them work for you. (708) 576-1900.