I’m wondering if I should give up the last two upper teeth I have and get dentures. The two teeth are still healthy. I still have all except two of my bottom teeth. Is it best to extract or keep the two upper teeth before I get dentures? I’m currently wearing a cheap partial denture for my top teeth. I’ve always hated the feel of my partial denture. Will a full upper denture be more comfortable than my partial denture even if I keep the two teeth? I really don’t want to spend more than $5000 or $6000, but I think it’s worth it because at 62 years old, I have an active social life.
A dentist, like Dr. William Becker, would need to examine your mouth, teeth, x-rays, and other diagnostics to give you an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. But we’ll give you some principles to help decide comfortably.
It’s better to save natural teeth
- Almost always, it’s best to save natural teeth that won’t harm your oral or overall health
- A dental implant is the closest match to a natural tooth, but teeth that aren’t anchored—like dentures—will have some movement
- When most of your upper or lower teeth are missing, eating—and the force of the upper or lower teeth they touch when you bite or chew—puts a lot of stress on them.
A full upper denture is more comfortable than a lower one
- Suction holds a full upper denture in place, so it doesn’t move around as much as a lower denture.
- A well-made upper complete removable denture is gentler on your teeth than a partial denture and a few remaining natural teeth.
- Severe underbite puts more stress on lower teeth.
Your jawbone resorbs when all your teeth are missing.
- Teeth stimulate the jawbone and keep it intact. When all your teeth are missing, without stimulation, the jawbone resorbs.
- When your lower jawbone shrinks, sharp ridges form that make wearing a denture uncomfortable. An upper denture—even with severe bone loss—is more comfortable. You’ll still have the suction to keep the denture in place.
- Within 10 to 20 years, there isn’t enough jawbone to support your facial muscles, and your face will sag.
What Can You Expect from Treatment Options?
Remember, Dr. Srinivasan’s is basing her explanation on the information you provided. She hasn’t examined your mouth or teeth or seen your x-rays. You’ll need to schedule an appointment with an implant dentist for an examination and 3-D x-rays to determine your treatment options.
- Best clinical treatment – A dentist can replace your missing upper teeth with an implant-supported denture. But the cost will exceed your budget. Dental implants will anchor your denture and stimulate your jawbone to prevent further shrinkage. Your denture will feel stable and comfortable.
- Alternative treatment – Your dentist can extract your remaining upper teeth and replace them with a complete removable denture. It will look and feel better than your partial denture. It will be easier to speak and eat with a complete denture, too. If your budget allows it, in the future, you can receive two or more dental implants to secure your denture.
This post is sponsored by Hoffman Estate dentist, Dr. William Becker, of Poplar Crossing Dental.