I always do my research, so I’ve been researching dentures because I need them. I keep reading scary stories about how your jawbone and face shrink after you’ve worn dentures for year. I noticed that many of the sites that talk about the shrinkage are from dentists trying to convince you go forget about dental implants and get dentures. I can’t afford dental implants. Can you tell me what it looks like when a person has had dentures for years and what their face looks like? Also what are the ways I can avoid facial collapse when I have regular dentures. Amanda R.
Amanda – After years of wearing dentures, your jawbone shrinks. When there isn’t enough jawbone density to support your facial muscles, your face begins to sag and have a shriveled appearance. The photos to the right of this page show how facial collapse looks.
When teeth are absent, it’s a signal to the body that the jawbone is no longer needed in that space. Jawbone shrinkage occurs when a single tooth is missing, but it usually isn’t noticeable in your face. When all of your teeth are missing, your entire jawbone begins to shrink. The reason that dental implants prevent facial collapse is that they are surgically implanted in your jawbone. The implants have the same effect tooth roots. They provide a signal that the jawbone is needed.
The only way a denture wearer can prevent facial collapse is to support the dentures with dental implants. Two to eight dental implants can be surgically implanted in the jawbone, and dentures are secured to them. Implant supported dentures are a wise investment, not only because they help prevent face collapse, but they also make eating and speaking with dentures a lot easier.
We suggest that you have a consultation with an implant dentist. You can ask questions, discuss your concerns, and find out if implant-supported dentures can be made affordable with you through payment plans or no-interest financing.
This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.