Can I Replace My Dentures With Dental Implants? Burbank’s Ramsey Amin DDS explains

"When should a denture be replaced?" “Can I replace my dentures with dental implants or an implant overdenture?” These are two questions that patients in my Burbank, California office ask on a routine basis.

There are instances where your dentures may have been replaced after 1 year or less, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are people who have worn the same dentures for 25 or more years. These ranges obviously are extremes.

Between four to eight years is the ideal. This would seem to imply that the average denture fabricated from contemporary materials will wear out and deteriorate within that time and/or the average denture patient's jaws have changed so much that a new denture must be redone. Each individual's denture needs are different. There are many factors that I take into consideration when evaluating the need to replace dentures.

Denture Longevity Considerations
Lost vertical dimension: The proper linear distance relationship between the upper and lower jaws is called vertical dimension. This is unique for each individual.

As one's jaw changes and the ridges upon which dentures rest shrink, a denture becomes loose and vertical dimension begins to change. Additional plastic (acrylic resin) is added to the inside of a loosening denture (called relining a denture) to stabilize it by reducing looseness caused from jaw shrinkage.

The current position held by most dentists is that when vertical dimension has been lost by three millimeters or more, a new denture should be fabricated in order to restore vertical dimension and maintain functional health.

You may have worn the same denture for extended periods with considerable loss of vertical dimension over time. Since vertical dimension loss is a slow, but nevertheless progressive, process, you may have gradually adapted to a continually increasing closed bite position. These individuals often have a sunken facial

appearance and usually appear much older than their chronological age.

Functioning with an abnormal vertical dimension may eventually result in alterations of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ, the jaw joint located in front of the ears). This can lead to significant pain and difficulty with eating and even the jaw motions involved with speech. It frequently becomes quite difficult, if not impossible, to restore such individual's proper vertical dimension and chewing efficiency by relining and repairing this older denture.

Denture Tooth wear: Yes..denture teeth wear out! Aside from impaired ability to chew effectively, excess tooth wear will adversely affect esthetics and cause other problems associated with lost vertical dimension, as described above. While porcelain denture teeth will wear at a slower rate than plastic teeth, they nevertheless will wear and are more susceptible to chipping and cracking. Multiple cracked teeth will need to be replaced.

Here is the same man above after I made him new dentures last week.

Deterioration:While the biomaterials used to fabricate dentures today are quite durable, they still deteriorate and exhibit dimensional change over time — no longer fitting properly, even after relining.
Aging plastic looses its natural appearance and texture, and coloration fades, making dentures look quite artificial.

Deteriorating plastic also makes it easier for dentures to become excessively contaminated with microorganisms. This contributes to mouth irritation and bad taste, and socially unacceptable odors will develop that no amount of denture cleaning will seem to eliminate.

Keeping regular dental check-ups so that your dentures, soft tissues, and jawbone may be checked is essential to extending the life of a denture and maintaining oral health.

Feel free to comment below

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Burbank, California

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11 thoughts on “Can I Replace My Dentures With Dental Implants? Burbank’s Ramsey Amin DDS explains

  1. Wayne Cooksey

    I am a 68 year old male. I lost a molar (middle of three) about 8 years ago. I have not had that tooth replaced in any fashion. Is it too late to consider an implant?

  2. Roycie

    I have had my dentures for about 7 or 8 years… and my bottom bone is slightly deteriated would it be possible to replace my dentures with implants, im so very tired of my dentures and i just figure having implants would be closer to having real teeth?

    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      That is correct!! It really is going to depend on whether or not you want a fixed or removable option for your bottom jaw. Oftentimes that choice is made for financial reasons. A fixed Bridge is more costly than a removable overdenture.

  3. Mika

    I wondered and google rendered nothing of substance, you are better than google from what I read

    I have an underbite grade 3 or class 3 something in dental term I cant pronounce. I need dentures for top and bottom. Is this possible. One dentist many moons ago said “take care of your teeth cause with ANY UNDERBITE no dentist can get you dentured up”

    Scared to death now. Any thoughts. I cannot be the only one who has an underbite in need of full dentures, no way I am that lucky 🙂

      1. MikaAgain

        I got a consult today who said almost what you said. Its doable, just complicated – I am worried. I had two other consults where they basically told me with a class 3 underbite its not possible without a jaw surgery and months of healing. Terrified who is right but I am to continue my quest with this DR who said its ok.
        He said your teeth now are underbite the dentures will be the same but nothing major and it is completely workable. Why am I so worried?

  4. Susan

    I am 49 yrs old. I had my upper teeth removed 2 yrs ago, and had them replaced with an upper denture. Now i look buck toothed. About how much would it cost to replace it with dental implants, and are there other alternatives?

    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      You can always just remake another denture with the teeth in a better position. Oftentimes a same day, immediate denture, tends to be thicker in the front. If you don’t mind a denture, re-making a new one will be far less costly.

      The upper jaw is the most costly and complicated replacement that dentistry has to offer. This is because the upper jaw is very soft bone and you typically need more implants on the upper jaw to make it work and last a long time. Cost can vary for a full upper jaw from $25,000-$60,000. They are not all the same. Make sure you research of this extensively.

      Ramsey Amin DDS