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What Can I Do If Dentures Won’t Stay in Anymore?

I’m over 60 and have had dentures for a bunch of years. I’ve been having trouble keeping them in. I did notice my ridge is almost gone which I’m guessing is why I can’t keep them in anymore. Is there anything I can put under them which will make a ridge again?


Dear Evelyn,

and image of dentures side by side to a dental implant

You are right that the ridge in your jawbone is why your dentures won’t stay in any longer. Once your teeth were removed, your body began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone, perceiving they’re of more use elsewhere.

It is an efficient system for mineral distribution, but devastating to your jawbone. As you’ve noticed, it causes your jawbone to shrink. In dental terms, this is known as facial collapse.

The Solution to Denture Complications

In order to fix this, what you’ll need to do is start with a bone grafting procedure. This will build back up the bone in your jawbone. Not all dentists know how to do it, so if you can’t find one, you may want to call an oral surgeon.

After the bone is built back up you have two choices. The first is to have new dentures made. If you were happy with dentures, that should be fine, just know that the same degradation of your jawbone will happen again causing you to need to build the bone back up again.

If you want to keep the bone from shrinking, the best thing for you to do is to get dental implants. These place prosthetic tooth roots into your jawbone, signaling to your brain that the minerals in your jawbone are still necessary.

It’s more affordable to get implant supported dentures than it is to get a one-to-one ratio of teeth to implants. Both procedures preserve your jaw very well.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.