I think my dentist positioned my dentures wrong because they make my teeth look bulky. It is a new denture for all on 4 implants. Should the front teeth follow the gumline or be a few millimeters away from it? – Anthony P. from Albany, NY
Thank you for choosing our office for your question.
Although you ask about the gumline, which all your teeth are missing, you no longer have a gumline. The gumline is where the gum tissue and teeth meet. A denture includes a pink base above the denture teeth to replace what would have been your gumline. So, we will explain where a dentist should place denture teeth in relation to the jawbone ridge beneath the denture.
Preventing Bulky Lips with a Denture
When you receive an implant-retained denture, your dentist must consider several factors to achieve a natural-looking appearance.
- Denture position – Placing a denture two to three millimeters from the jawbone ridge will promote a healthy bite and help you chew with comfort.
- Facial appearance – Your dentist should make a wax model of your denture for you to try in before a lab makes your final acrylic denture. Many cosmetic dentists take these steps:
- Set the teeth in pink wax or a plastic plate, customized to fit your mouth
- Put the denture in your mouth
- Evaluate the denture teeth’s appearance, your speech, bite, lip fullness, and your facial profile
If your implant denture is complete, your dentist can unscrew the denture, remove it, and reset your denture teeth. Your dentist or a lab can drill out the front teeth and reprocess the denture. If your denture does not look natural, your dentist might be willing to correct it at no cost or a minimal fee.
If You Need a Second Opinion
If your dentist is unwilling or hesitant about correcting your denture to resolve the issue with bulky lips, consider getting a second opinion. Look for an advanced cosmetic dentist to examine your denture, smile, and facial profile. A cosmetic dentist will explain your options for correcting your denture.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA, accredited cosmetic dentist and Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post.