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FAQ:  Dentures

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Dentures Occlusion: Are your top and bottom teeth suppose to come together when you smile? ... Visitor from PA

Denture teeth are usually set so that the teeth come together when you close your mouth and eat your food. The front teeth are not set end to end, but set where the bottom front teeth hit right behind the incisal (biting) edges of the top front teeth. They contact the top front teeth about midway down the back surface. This anterior set up of the front teeth is termed a Class 1 Occlusion (Bite).

If the bottom jaw is retruded (positioned far back from the top teeth), then the teeth cannot be set in a Class 1 position which is almost end to end. In this denture set up the bottom teeth would be set farther back from the top front teeth and may not even contact the top teeth. This type of bite, or occlusal classification, is termed Class 2 Occlusion.

The 3rd major occlusal classification is termed a Class 3 Occlusion which gives the classic bulldog type of appearance to the smile. This is where the bottom jaw sticks way out,and the top teeth are positioned behind the bottom teeth.

So, depending on how your jaws are positioned, will determine how the denture lab can set your teeth. A lab will always try to set the teeth in the most pleasing, cosmetic way, which is a Class 1 occlusion or close to it.

I hope this information has helped you understand how teeth are positioned in the different jaw classifications.

Editorial Staff

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