A loose denture is frustrating and at times embarrassing. Before we get to the solutions, let's understand the problem with dentures.
- The bite force generated by dentures is about 20% of that created by natural teeth. So if this is your first denture or immediate denture, you are now experiencing 80% less biting force now. That's significant!! It's also hard to get used to especially after the healing time after extractions.
- After extractions, your remaining ridge shrinks. It reabsorbs. About 80-90% of that bone loss occurs within the first 6 months. A gap develops between the denture and the ridges losing suction. After this time with an immediate denture, you will need a reline.
- The amount of bone lost varies from person to person. Especially on the bottom ridge. Some people have nice supporting ridges. Others have flat ridges.
- Facial muscles play an important role. Tight and strong muscles in the check or tongue and dislodge a denture.
- Your bottom jaw moves. A denture sitting on a flat ridge will move too when the jaw moves.
- Gravity takes a toll on the upper denture.
So what can be done to solve these problems? Most of the time a reline will solve the problem - especially on the uppers. A reline to fill the gap cause by bone resorption will add suction. The lowers might stabilize with a reline, but it depends on the ridge. With a flat ridge, lower dentures may always be loose. Implants can solve this. Two large implants or four mini implants are placed into the bone. Housing units are placed in the denture. The denture snaps into the implants like the snaps on infant clothing. Generally a uppers don't need implants, but they can be placed for addded retention.