Denture Wearing… A Balancing Act


The lower denture is like a little horseshoe floating on a sea of saliva with the big tongue pushing it all around. It’s not stable and chewing with it can be quite a difficult and an embarrassing balancing act. Thank goodness for titanium posts (implants), that dentures can be attached to, to hold them in place. There is a great variety of implants and ways to attach them to people’s dentures. I have chosen to use a system that you might compare to a trailer hitch. On the end of the implant is a round ball that fits into the bottom of the denture which has a housing (keeper cap) that fits over and holds onto that ball. This keeper cap has a little rubber O ring that snugs down onto the ball for retention. Snapping on is not a good description of this type of retention. The “snap on” types of attachments are, in my opinion, like riding in a car with no shock absorbers. The ride is jarring and rough. With a rubber O ring the ride is cushioned and resembles the small give of tissue and so the bite feels more natural while still being retentive, and less stressful on the implant.

For stability and balance the use of four or more implants is better. A teeter-totter is comparable to a denture with only two implants for retention. It rocks from the front to the back of the mouth on the implants. My preference is to place four implants as far apart as possible avoiding the nerves in the jaw bone. This distributes the pressures of chewing. The types of titanium implants I use are called mini implants. I can use four and get the greater stability for less money than the two wide body implants with the “snap on” feature (the rough ride type)