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FAQ:  Dentures



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Question:
I guess you could say I am at my wits end. All my life I've had problems with my teeth.I've been going to a dentist twice a month since I was a young child. Anytime i would eat anything harder than jello they would break off. The dentist would fix them and a year later they would break off. I brushed and brushed and it didn't seem to matter.

I am now 29 and recieved immediate dentures 1 week ago. The bottom is a overdenture. The top is just a full plate denture. The thing is I have been miserable since. They had told me months ago that I have an extremely small mouth. Its almost like I have too much teeth (dentures) for the size of my mouth now. I can't even close my lips together if you know what I mean.

The dentures don't even stay in. The top one falls down and the bottom ones pop out anytime I move my mouth. So I have to use Fixodent just to keep them in and they are only one week old. Its also frustrating because no one understands me when I speak.Before I got dentures you couldn't even see my bottom teeth when I talked. Now you can see all of my bottom teeth from the gum line up.. when I talk.

The dentist told me I am being paranoid, but all my friends and family say the appearance of my face has changed. Like I am long in the mouth. I look in the mirror and I don't know who I am looking at. The dentist also told me once the swelling goes down you won't be able to see so much teeth on the bottom. The thing is..what swelling? My bottom teeth is an overdenture and those were done 3 months ago. Its not like I had any teeth pulled recently for them to be swelled up. I knew this would be hard but I never imagined it would be this hard in my wildest dreams. Do you have any advice that would help me?

Answer:
I am sorry to hear that you are so miserable. It does not sound like there is anything that you did wrong. Granted it is a big transition going from teeth to an immediate set of dentures as you have. It is normal to have to adjust to having something foreign in your mouth.

Many patients experience excessive salivation, difficulty chewing, and gagging. However, in your case it does not appear that the dentist got correct records. From your description, it seems that the occlusal plane is off (Level of the btining surfaces from the anterior to the posterior) and the vertical dimension is too large as well. The vertical dimension, as you read in my web site, is the height of the teeth when biting ( a simplistic definition).

Apparently, the teeth were set too high in the denture base causing you to clench. There should be space between the upper and lower teeth when your jaw is rest Moreover, it also sounds like the dentures do not fit correctly if they are falling out. Perhaps because of poor impressions. Bear in mind that when teeth are removed to immediately place a denture there is a certain amount of inaccuracy in the fit.

The lab must approximate where the tissue will be when the teeth are removed; howvever, the borders of the denture should have been extended appriately if the impression was done correctly. If the borders of the denture are tooshort you will not get a good peripheral seal, hence the denture dropping. If the borders were over extended you will get sores and the denture could drop as well.

My recommendation is that you find another dentist to evaluate the problem and have him fix it or reutrn to your original dentist. I would demand to have something done.

Editorial Staff

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