I have two healthy front teeth. The rest of my upper teeth are gone. I have been wearing two partial dentures but it has been suggested I would be more comfortable by extracting the last two upper teeth and replacing everything with a single complete upper denture. Though, I’m not sure if it will make a difference I will also add that I have an underbite. I can’t get a dentist to give me a real opinion. Right now, I can still eat just using those two teeth.
With everything I say here bear in mind I haven’t actually examined you so I’m going just based on principles of dentistry in generalities. In order to give a firm recommendation, I would need to examine you and do some x-rays.
In most cases, it is always better to retain natural teeth. In cases where that isn’t a good idea, dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option. I am going on the assumption that you are on a tight budget and that is why you are asking about dentures. They have quite a few problems, so if you are at all able to financially, implant-supported dentures would be a much better option for you. These place four to six dental implants then anchor your denture to them.
For the sake of sticking to your question, let’s assume you can’t get implants. Having an underbite and eating on just those two teeth is putting a ton of stress on those last two upper teeth. Even worse, it will also be adding to the stress of your lower teeth. It is extremely important to save your lower teeth for reasons we’ll go over momentarily.
In your particular case, I think extracting those last two upper teeth and getting complete upper dentures will be an acceptable option for you. You will have more security when you chew not having partials trying to work around your two front teeth. Additionally, the acrylic teeth used in dentures will be easier on those lower teeth when you eat.
The Importance of Your Lower Teeth
While your upper dentures are held in by suction, your lower dentures just sit on the ridge of your lower jawbone. Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Even worse, the moment your teeth are removed, in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources your body immediately begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body.
After about ten or more years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left in your body to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse. If you can’t keep lower teeth, then dental implants can help to trick your body into thinking you still have teeth there and thereby protecting your jawbone.
This blog is brought to you by Marietta Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.