I have most of my bottom teeth, but on the upper arch I only have the two front teeth. I can eat with them and they are still healthy. I wear a partial denture for the rest of the teeth, but really hate it because it is uncomfortable and hard to eat with. I also have an underbite. The bottom teeth are in okay condition. I am having a hard time dealing with the partial and at this point only wear them when I am going out for a social situation. I had one dentist tell me that I would be happier if I removed these last two teeth and got a denture. I was always under the impression that you wanted to keep natural teeth for as long as possible. Am I incorrect about that?
While you are correct that it is best to keep natural teeth for as long as possible, you are in a unique situation. However, let me give a disclaimer that I have not examined you and there might be some information that an exam and x-ray would provide that would change what I’m about to say.
Eating on just those two teeth is placing a lot of stress on them. Plus, they will be butting against your lower teeth which causes further stress. The very best solution for a situation like yours is to replace the missing upper teeth with dental implant supported partial dentures. Then, you’d have secure tooth replacements on either side of your natural teeth. This would take some of the pressures off your front teeth.
You didn’t mention your budget, which is always a consideration when it comes to any type of dental care. If you cannot afford the dental implants, I believe you would be better off getting a complete denture. I would not say this if it were your lower teeth.
Your upper dentures are held in by suction. However, dentures for the lower arch rest on the bone ridge. When your teeth are removed, your body immediately begins resorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse. In the case of bottom teeth, I would save as many as possible. If they are lost, do everything you can to replace them with dental implants, which prevents the loss of the jawbone.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.