My lower denture will not stay on. What would it cost to have them stabilized with implants?

My bottom denture has made a small lump on my gum from pressure and is affecting a nerve. My bottom lip gets numb when I wear the bottom denture. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 2

Implant Supported Dentures

If your bottom lip gets numb when you are wearing your bottom denture, you may have severe atrophy of  the jaw bone from many years of being toothless and wearing a denture. This causes the exit of the mental nerve to be located on the top of the jaw instead of the side, and when you have your denture in, it is causing pressure on this nerve resulting in the numbness. In a case like this, you will need to have enough dental implants placed in the lower jaw (usually 4 to 5) to support the denture and keep it completely off the gum tissue. 4 to 5 implants could also be used to support a fixed bridge eliminating the need for a denture. Placing less than 4 to 5 implants will not alleviate the pressure on the nerve caused by the denture, because the denture is still resting on the gum tissue where the nerve is located. 

Implants for Lower Denture

There are several treatment choices to help you. The simplest and most cost effective is to place two dental implants and Locator attachments and retrofit them into your existing denture. That is, if your existing denture generally fits well and you like the look. Depending on where you live, a real implant will run between $1600 and 2100. The attachment, either a Locator or Equator (brand dependent) will be between $600 and 800. Two implants is enough to give you some stability. If you don't like the existing denture, then it will need to be remade, also. 

Another path is a fixed-detachable, or screw-retained denture. This will run around $25000. This type of prosthesis requires more involved surgery, 4 or more implants, and a final denture that is fabricated over a milled titanium bar. These are a great option, but much more involved.

A similar path to the fixed-detachable is a newer concept called a Conus denture. It will probably cost a little less than the screw-retained, maybe $22000. It still requires 4 implants and involves more surgery. But, in the end, it is totally implant supported and won't bother your tissue. It may be taken out at night, just long enough to clean it and then it can be inserted back in by you. It never has to be unscrewed by your dentist and there is much less follow up needed. And, since it is removable it is easier to clean. 

All are good options. It depends on how much you can spend and how much involvement you want.

E. Drew Moore, DDS, MS
Lewisville Periodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.