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Steinberg Dental Team 2023

Can I Get a Pretty Smile After 30 years?

Question submitted by Andrea:

I have been in dentures for 30 years. They looked like false teeth because there were. That was 30 years ago, though. I have a friend who recently got dental implants and they are so pretty. Is it possible for me to switch to dental implants? I would love to have a pretty smile.


Dear Andrea,

an illustration of a full arch fixed bridge and the implants that secure it in place

As long as you are in good general health, you can get dental implants. However, you’ve been in dentures for so long that you are going to need one additional procedure. In fact, I’m fairly certain you are probably having trouble even keeping them in. This is because when your teeth are removed, your body recognizes that and will begin to resorb the minerals in your body in order to be efficient with your body’s resources. This slowly shrinks your jawbone. Eventually, you will no longer be able to even keep in your dentures in your mouth. In dental circles, we call this facial collapse.

Because that jawbone is necessary to retain the dental implants, it will need to be built back up again. There is a bone grafting procedure which does this. Then, after a period of healing, you can then have the dental implant surgery.

This is an advanced procedure and I highly recommend you have it done by someone with post-doctoral training. You will also want to make certain they have some artistic skill in order to give you the beautiful smile you deserve. It is the artistry of the dentist that will be the determining factor in that. Even thirty years ago, when you had your removable dentures placed, you could have had a beautiful smile. The reason you did not had nothing to do with the fact that it was dentures and everything to do with the cosmetic skill of the dentist who designed them.

This blog is brought to you by Tucson Prosthodontist Dr. Howard Steinberg.