June 3, 2010
We have become passionate about learning more about dentures over the past several years. Early in our dental practice we saw a new patient who was in her thirties and had dentures since she was sixteen years old. She had absolutely no bone left and could not wear her dentures. Back then we did everything that was known at the time to help her and this sent us on a quest as life-long students in dentistry. In today’s dentistry we have better answers, but at the time she was still unable to chew with her dentures. Our newest technology gives us options such as bone grafting, implants, and other stabilization. However, if a patient loses their teeth and simply puts plastic over the gums, they are going to be orally handicapped. For this reason, we do the best restoration that we can that is functional and aesthetic. This approach makes the patient look like they should look if they had their original teeth. That was a problem for most dentures in the past because, as the lower jaw shrinks, the neutral zone between the tongue and lip moves back. To keep your denture from having this constant movement of being pushed back and up, you couldn’t support that lower lip like you normally would. That’s why so many people with dentures look older-because they are not supporting the lips plus they wear them way to long and the jaw is over closed. As the jaw is over closed then you get the “Andy Gump” look where the chin almost meets the nose.