Can you tell me how far back dentures should go? As it is now, I am chewing on the wisdom teeth gums. I’ve tried to explain to my dentist how uncomfortable this is, but he doesn’t seem to understand (or care) how it feels. Is there anything that can be done about this?
To answer the question directly, yes, your dentures should cover the area of your wisdom teeth. In fact, it should go a smidge past that too. My guess is that your dentist understands this and is just pretending not to understand the problem. The reason for this is that the denture would have to be completely redone. That is a lot of work and my guess is your dentist isn’t too interested in more work for no money. That’s not fair to you, but it happens. Different dentists have different work ethics, as well as professional ethics.
Before you try to fight him on this, I want to bring up a different issue. When your teeth were removed, your brain recognizes that and in an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources immediately begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere. With fully removable dentures, this is not preventable. Within ten years or so, you will no longer have enough jawbone to keep your dentures in place anymore. This is known as facial collapse. Another issue you’ll fight from the beginning is chewing capacity. Even the best-fitting dentures will reduce your chewing ability by 50%.
The Solution to Facial Collapse
If you want to prevent the loss of your jawbone, the only way to do that is to get dental implants placed and anchor your dentures to those. These are known as implant overdentures. They will not only prevent facial collapse, but they will be completely secure. You’ll find your chewing capacity problems will be over. You can once again eat anything you want to eat, including steak.
If you are going to re-do your dentures, you may want to consider getting implant overdentures instead. I will not lie, they are much more expensive, but your quality of life will be significantly higher.
That being said, I do not think your dentist is going to be the one to do it. If dentures are out of his reach (and effort), I would go elsewhere for your dental implants. It requires someone who has post-doctoral training. Otherwise, you can end up with a disaster.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn Dentist Dr. Yount.