Q: Dr.Crapo: I just turned 80. I’m in great health but I’m really unhappy with my teeth. Four years ago I had my upper teeth taken out and now have an upper denture.
At the time, and to this day, I had nine teeth left on the bottom. The upper denture is just fine and I like the way I look but my lower teeth look terrible – in fact they looked bad four years ago. At that time, I asked what could be done.
The dentist who took out my top teeth said I could have bonding but it probably wouldn’t last so I rejected that idea immediately.
Recently I saw another dentist who gave me some good understanding. Right away he saw the problems I was having. He picked up on my bad bite. Every time I bring my teeth together my upper denture shifts. He said that wasn’t good for the underlying bone of my denture.
He also said my upper jaw was bigger than my lower jaw, so I was actually hitting on the plastic of the upper denture and not the teeth. He said my jaws were over closed so that I had creases at the side of my mouth. He said that means that the teeth had to be longer so my mouth wouldn’t sag. He also said there were many avenues of treatment but they would not be inexpensive. He gave me some ideas but I want to understand my options.
A: There are many options that can give you what you want. From your description, you have a class II bite. That means in your case, that your lower jaw is small and retruded as compared to your upper jaw. If your remaining lower teeth have good bone support (not loose), they can be restored with crowns and bridge work that will support your facial muscles and lips to their correct position. You may be forced to have a new upper denture made or have the teeth on your upper denture reset.
A second option would be to have “teeth-in-a-day” placed. If your teeth are not easily restored as described, this is an exciting and immediate transition to a bridge anchored with implants in such a way as to correct facial deficiencies by supporting lips and cheeks while fitting perfectly with the teeth of the upper denture.
A third option would be to create a new lower denture (yes, these last two options do include removing your lower teeth), placing implants that support and retain the denture with attachments that keep it firm in your mouth.
All these options will work well. Look them over and decide what you want. You’ll be happy in your choice.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation or visit us today.
Based on actual patient cases
© Calvin Ross Crapo
Victoria Implant Centre