I am concerned that my snap-on denture arch will be too small, not going back far enough in my mouth. My new denture doesn’t fit right. Can I get it lengthened, or should I get my dentist to fix it before it’s too late? I found a dentist whose presentation convinced me I would get good-quality affordable implant dentures because he would do the work in phases. I would get a denture first and implants within 6-10 months or as soon as I could afford them. It sounded good to me, but the new denture is too small. Won’t my snap-on denture be too small? With the new denture, I feel my upper and lower gums touching when I chew. When I open my mouth and look in the mirror, I can tell that the denture stops short of where my wisdom teeth were. This won’t get better just because I have dental implants, will it? – Thank you. Alysha from VA
Although a removable denture will not feel perfectly comfortable, a dentist can ensure it extends far enough to prevent you from chewing on your gums. If your new denture is too small and your dentist’s plan is to fit it with implants, your snap-on denture will not fit correctly.
How Far Back Should a Denture Extend?
A denture should extend just beyond the retromolar pad, your wisdom teeth’s former location. Accurate impressions of your mouth help a dentist and dental lab produce a denture that fits well without covering too much or too little of the retromolar pad. A denture that extends too far back upper and lower denture teeth to clash. However, when the denture arch is too short, you can feel chewing on your gums.
Your dentist must take new impressions of your mouth using a stock impression tray for dentures. It will require more work from him and the dental lab. You can see from the photos on this page that the denture impression tray extends farther than the impression tray for teeth, registering the retromolar area and broader parts of the lower jaw. Ensuring that a denture extends back far enough improves denture fit and stability.
We cannot speculate on the details of your case, including how your dentist took impressions of your mouth or if he consciously decided to shorten the arch length. Still, you have the right to be satisfied with your current denture before planning to secure it with dental implants. Otherwise, getting affordable implant dentures can cost you a lot of time and money in the long term.
You may give your dentist a chance to resolve your concerns, or you can get a second opinion.