Stabilizing dentures or Replacing Missing Teeth with Dental Implants

QUESTION ASKED OF DR. ATKINSON ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS: My dentures bother me so much that I have to remove them to eat.  How can Dental Implants make this better?

ANSWERED BY DR. ATKINSON, PERIODONTIST, HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS:I am assuming that you have been a denture wearer for quite some time.  What has occurred is a change in your jawbone that results from long-term tooth loss.

When natural teeth are missing, the tooth roots that once provided stimulation to the jawbone are absent as well.  Without this stimulation, the jawbone begins to slowly melt away, or “resorb”.  As the bone shrinks in depth and width, the gum ridge that balances the denture begins to change.  The pressure of wearing dentures actually accelerates the rate of bone loss since the pressure on the jawbone is present both day and night. 

When the shape of the jawbone changes, the fit of your denture does as well.  This is why a denture that fit well when it was first made eventually loosens.  In time, adhesives and pastes do little to hold the denture in place.  Eventually, even relines don’t help. 

While eating is difficult, you are probably experiencing other symptoms of bone loss.  Typical signs are deep wrinkling around the mouth, a sunken in appearance of the mouth, a pointed chin, and corners of the mouth that turn downward even in a smile. 

Not being able to eat a proper diet poses many problems.  Being unable to bite and chew comfortably deprives you of adequate fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.  Soft foods that tend to dissolve easily in the mouth often lack the necessities to maintain those foods that are satisfying, healthful, and nutritious.  It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems, take more medications, and even die at an average age that is ten years younger than those with their natural teeth. 

No matter what your age, you deserve the enjoyment of healthy foods, eating with friends, laughing with confidence, and smiling in comfort.  We frequently place Dental Implants in adults in their seventies and eighties. 

The placement process of Dental Implants is simple.  It is performed in our office while you are comfortably in a state of “twilight sleep.”  Because Dental Implants are positioned into the jawbone, they have the foundation that your natural teeth once had.  This restores chewing and biting strength and stability.  Dental Implants also halt bone loss since they recreate the presence of tooth roots. 

If you have lost a great deal of bone, you may require a bone rebuilding process prior to implant placement.  This is necessary to restore the proper height of jawbone to support Dental Implants. 

As a long-term denture wearer, you should weigh the advantages of Dental Implants over continued denture wear.  Your situation will only worsen without treatment and Dental Implants can restore a healthy diet, confident smile, and eating comfort.  Imagine eating all the foods you love without worry of embarrassing slips or clicks or pain.  With Dental Implants, you’ll have the stability and strength of natural teeth once again. 

To learn what type of Dental Implant is most appropriate for your needs, a thorough exam is the first step.  Call 501-262-4010 or visit

Dr. Ross Atkinson

2633 Malvern Avenue,

 Hot Springs, AR  71901

(501) 262-4010 or (501) 922-9211

Your comments are welcomed. If you have questions, please feel free to call our office.

About rossatkinsondds

After receiving his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1980 from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, Dr. Ross Atkinson continued his education at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry, achieving a Masters of Science degree and specialty degree in Periodontics in 1982. He then completed an extensive two-year program in implant dentistry at the renowned Misch Implant Institute (Pittsburgh). On an ongoing basis, he furthers his understanding and skills in dentistry through completion of advanced courses. Dr. Atkinson has staff privileges at Hot Springs’ St. Joe Hospital, National Park Hospital and Healthpark Hospital. He has held numerous consecutive terms as President of the Arkansas Society of Periodontists and has achieved Fellowship status in the International Congress of Oral Implantology and is also an active member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Central District Dental Society, Arkansas State Dental Association and Garland County Dental Society. Dr. Atkinson is a frequent speaker to dental professionals and the public on topics involving Dental Implants and Periodontics. He is supported by staff members who share a compatible commitment to the highest level of patient care. Together, they make each visit a pleasant experience where your comfort and satisfaction are always a priority.
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