There are many people who have lost their teeth and are now wearing dentures. However, over a period of time, these people may discover that their dentures don't fit like they once did. This occurs because the jaw bone will undergo changes after the teeth have been removed. The changes are not immediate, but occur over a long period of time. They will notice that their dentures begin to slip, slide, click, float and hurt. The latest techniques in surgery and biomaterials allow Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons like Dr. Roberson to help patients with dentures eat, talk, laugh, and smile. Patients don't have to be embarrassed because their dentures no longer fit.
If the jawbone has shrunk, several options are available so dentures can fit. These include placing bone or bone substitute to buildup the jawbone's height and width. This will provide a more stable base for the denture. Another technique to consider is vestibuloplasty. Vestibuloplasty is performed when there is enough bone, but the muscle and gum tissue is repositioned and a skin graft is placed over the bone to provide a larger ridge.
Overgrowth of bone may occur in the roof of the mouth (palatal tori), the front side of the jaw bone (exostosis), or the back side of the lower jaw (mandibular tori). These occurrences will interfere with the proper fit of dentures and will need to be smoothed.
Overgrowth of soft tissue can occur and interfere with the placement of a denture. It can also cause irritation or inflammation underneath the denture. This overgrowth may be called a frenum or epulis. A frenum occurs when the muscle attachment is positioned too high. A frenectony will be performed to reduce the position of this muscle. An epulis occurs when the soft tissue is redundant and overlaps. It created a mobile soft tissue base that compromises denture stability. This is done by surgical excision with possible skin graft.
Finally, Dr. Roberson may decide you are a candidate for dental implants. Implants can be placed in the upper or lower jaw so the denture can attach to them. If you have any questions, please contact the office for more information.