My denture is too short in the back and does not extend to where my wisdom teeth used to be, so I’m chewing on my gums. Can I find a dentist to extend the denture, or will I need a new one? – Thank you. Leighanne from RI
Although removable dentures are not entirely comfortable, your denture should extend back as far as possible. The area just beyond the former location of your wisdom teeth is the retromolar pad. A denture should partially cover the bad without interfering with how your upper and lower teeth meet.
Can a Dentist Lengthen Your Denture?
Although a dentist cannot lengthen your existing denture, they can take new impressions of your mouth to make a new denture extending far enough in the back of your mouth. It is essential to note that an impression tray for natural teeth will not reach the retromolar pad for an accurate denture impression.
A prosthodontist (tooth restoration and replacement specialist) will use steps like these to provide an optimal fit for your denture:
- Use a denture impression tray to take an impression of your mouth that registers the retromolar area.
- Pull your outer cheek and ensure your tongue’s position does not interfere with an accurate impression.
- Use an articulator, an instrument that recreates the motion of your jaw when you chew or speak.
Consult a Prosthodontist
If you have paid for your denture, asking for a refund or for your dentist to make a new denture will be challenging. We recommend consulting with a prosthodontist to examine your denture and how it fits. The dentist may schedule another appointment to take impressions of your mouth.
If the prosthodontist’s evaluation includes any findings of your dentist’s negligence, you may have enough evidence to request a refund or file a complaint with your dental insurance company. Otherwise, you will have the expense of a new denture. You may talk to your dentist about planning for implant dentures to minimize jawbone shrinkage over the years and ensure your denture continues to fit well.