After 23 extractions and dentures, when will my face collapse? I know it’s inevitable, but I want to anticipate it and save money for plastic surgery or whatever it takes. I am 52, so settling for a droopy face is not an option. Will implant dentures help a little, or will I need something more? – Thanks. Alonzo from Solon, OH
We understand your concerns. However, we want to know why your dentist recommends removing all your remaining teeth. We don’t have details about your treatment plan, so did your dentist determine that none of your teeth can be saved? If so, we recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist who prefers to save natural teeth whenever possible.
When Does Facial Collapse Occur After Losing All Your Teeth?
If you have lost all your teeth, it takes about ten or twenty years for complete facial collapse to occur. Your body gradually resorbs the jawbone. However, dental implants can stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. According to the Academy of Osseointegration, missing teeth result in vertical and horizontal jawbone loss. Getting implant dentures as soon as possible can minimize bone loss. If you must have extractions and dentures, talk to a dentist with advanced implant training about implant-supported dentures.
How Many Implants Do You Need for a Denture?
Four to eight dental implants can stabilize your denture while stimulating your jawbone. Four implants will stimulate the jawbone, but increasing the number of implants extends the area of stimulation. A snap-on denture can stay in place with two implants and improve denture function.
In contrast, a removable denture will initially support your facial muscles. However, dentures rest on your gums and bones, pressure them, and accelerate bone shrinkage. Nevertheless, removable dentures are better than living without any teeth because they support speech and chewing.
Schedule consultations with at least two implant dentists. An exam and X-rays will reveal your teeth and bone condition and whether you need 23 extractions or if a dentist can save some of your teeth.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley and his team do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.