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Ask the Warrior Dentist: How do Dentures Stay in Place – or Do They?

Dentures, sometimes called a dental plate, are defined as a partial or complete set of removable, artificial teeth for either the upper or lower jaw.

Full and partial dentures have, for years, been the best solution for the loss of anywhere from one tooth to all the teeth in both the upper and lower parts of the mouth. However, problems can exist with regular dentures.

Most denture wearers complain about their dentures moving about and not staying in place, causing sores in their mouth and difficulty with chewing. This is common particularly with people with lower dentures. Some experience such high levels of discomfort that they only wear their dentures when out in the public but take their dentures out while at home. There is a solution to this painful and sometimes embarrassing situation. The reason for this movement in the dentures is bone loss in the jaw with no teeth remaining. When all of the teeth in one or both jaws are removed or lost, the bone inside the mouth begins to erode away. The “ridge” on the jaw bone gets flatter and flatter until it is no longer capable of holding a denture in place; and a variety of problems ensue, as described above. So, what can one do if he/she has no remaining teeth left?

There is great news here. The dental profession is always advancing in its techniques to help our patients have and maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful natural-looking smile. An implant retained denture is the answer. Implants are tiny steel screws installed in the jaw bone in place of natural teeth. Sometimes, a small steel frame is attached to these little screws. A denture is then custom-fitted and made over the screws or the frame. The denture has small plastic or rubber clips underneath it, which secures it tightly to the frame or the implant. The denture wearer can remove and replace the denture with the same exact ease as with a conventional denture – with one, big difference. This denture stays in place. With the denture in place the wearer no longer has to be introverted into the look and feel of the denture while out at work or with friends and will not need to be anxious about returning home to take them out.

I have made many of these dentures for my patients and every one of these cases has been a success. Most patients are extremely happy with their product. Adjustments are rarely needed, and the denture helps them look and feel younger, and smile, talk and eat with confidence.

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