submitted by Dr. Michael Spadafora, D.D.S., Bucks County Dental Design
As people age, some things that were important at a younger age become even more important. One example is movement.
When you are younger you need to have regular exercise. As you grow older, the need to exercise is still there. The actual exercise may change but you still need to move your body. The saying “Use it or lose it” is so true.
The same holds true with eating. As you age, it becomes even more important to have a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber. This becomes a problem for many seniors who have had to negatively change their diets to adapt to dentures.
Regardless of the “why” in terms of your dentures, the issue now is to live a healthy and comfortable life with them. In the last decade or so, several options to make your dentures fit better and give you confidence in eating have become more popular.
These are implant-supported dentures. Implants are permanent titanium fixtures placed into your jaw bone to secure the prosthesis (dentures) or replacement teeth (crowns or bridges).
Dentures can be attached to the implants either permanently or as a removable appliance. The removable option will be addressed in this month’s article.
With as little as two implants (possibly four based on your needs) you can have an implant-retained denture. This is a significant improvement from a traditional denture, providing more support, comfort, and confidence in your ability to chew most foods.
Removable overdentures do have the advantages of being able to clean underneath the denture and allow for less expensive repairs. One disadvantage is that occasional relining may be necessary as the jawbone and tissue changes over time.
Your general dentist or specialist will consider many factors in determining the best options for an individual’s dentures, but the goal remains the same – comfort, confidence, and the ability to eat well and live a longer healthy life.