Floating dentures are annoying. When dentures float, lift, or shift, it’s always at a bad time. That’s because most people who wear dentures mainly use them during social situations—in public, during dinner with friends, or for other times when they are not at home and around other people.
But why do dentures float, and what can be done about it?
Three Reasons Dentures Float
- Poor fit – Dentures should be well designed to provide the best fit possible. This requires accurate impressions of your mouth, high-quality denture material, and proper lining. If any of these details are overlooked, your dentures can fit poorly and are more likely to float around in your mouth.
- Old dentures – How old are your dentures? Depending on the quality of your dentures, they should at least last five years. But if your dentures haven’t been maintained or regularly relined, with time they will loosen. If you’ve had your dentures for years and years, it’s probably time for a new set.
- Bone shrinkage – When all of your teeth are missing, your jawbone starts to shrink. That’s because tooth roots stimulate bone and keep it intact. Over the years, your bone will progressively shrink. A jawbone that is smaller than when you first received dentures will cause the dentures to slip around in your mouth.
What’s the Solution to Floating Dentures?
In short, dental implants will stop the floating. There are several reasons that implants are the solution.
- Surgically implanted – Dental implants are artificial roots, usually made of titanium. If you have metal allergies or sensitivities, you can find an implant dentist who uses zirconia implants. The fixtures are surgically placed in your jawbone. Three to four months after surgery, your jawbone and implants will fuse together, providing a solid anchor for your dentures.
- Denture base is made for implants – The base of dentures can be made to snap on or screw onto dental implants. Your dentures will be secure, and it will be impossible for them to float, completely lift up, or fall out of your mouth.
- Jawbone stimulation – Dental implants act like tooth roots and stimulate your jawbone. In the areas of the implants, jawbone shrinkage will stop. Although as few as two implants can be used, more implants will stimulate a wider area of the bone. Adequate jawbone density ensures your facial muscles are properly supported and helps prevent facial sagging.
Successful implant placement depends on the skill of the dentist or specialist, the quality of fixtures used, and your diligent cooperation during the healing phase. If you’ve experienced significant bone shrinkage, you’ll also need bone grafting to support the implants.
Before choosing an implant dentist to stabilize your floating dentures, check his or her training, experiencing, and credentials. Look for an accredited cosmetic dentist to provide natural-looking dentures that will be secured to the implants.