I think my lower denture doesn’t go back far enough. When I chew, I can feel my gums where my wisdom teeth used to be. My denture stops before the wisdom teeth location. Is that normal? I’ve had the denture for a month and told my dentist about the discomfort, but I am not sure that she is concerned. How far back should the denture go? Thanks. Curtis from San Diego
Although you can expect discomfort with a removable denture, based on your description, your dentist can improve the fit of your new denture
How Far Back Should a Denture Go?
A denture should go as far back as possible beyond the former location of your wisdom teeth to the retromolar pad area. However, if a denture extends too far on the retromolar pad, it can interfere with the upper denture.
How to Correct a Denture that Doesn’t Extend Back Far Enough
If a denture does not extend far enough in your mouth, your dentist will need to take new impressions of your mouth, and the laboratory will need to do some extra work. Perhaps your dentist doesn’t understand your concerns or doesn’t want to correct her mistake.
Preliminary impression of your mouth
A lower denture requires a preliminary impression made with a stock tray for denture impressions that measures the retromolar pad. The top right photo on this page shows an impression tray for lower teeth, but the bottom picture is a lower denture impression tray.
The back of the denture impression tray has flanges that extend further than the impression tray for natural teeth. The extension registers the retromolar area and as much of the mandible or lower jaw as possible. A lower denture is more stable if it extends farther back than your wisdom teeth.
A dentist can ensure the impression goes as far back as possible with these steps:
- Gently pull on your cheek
- Ask you to move your tongue to register how far the denture can go without affecting your tongue or cheek movement.
We wonder if your dentist was sloppy in taking the impression or had reasons that she wanted to keep your denture shorter. Since you paid for the denture, your dentist may not be willing to redo it. Also, you need more than your concerns for a legal case. You can share this post with your dentist or leave a negative online review.
You can also get a second opinion from a skilled cosmetic dentist and get a properly fitting new denture. For your long-term comfort and denture fit, the dentist may recommend supporting your denture with at least two dental implants.
Baton Rouge family dentist Dr. Ryan Perry sponsors this post.