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Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants

Missing teeth in denture?

12/20/2007

Question:

I recently had my 8 front upper teeth pulled and a complete upper denture made to replace those 8, plus the 6 (three molars on each side) from an older bridge. My new denture has a total of 12 teeth with plenty of plastic denture material on back for more. I have my own 16 teeth on the bottom. Is this a standard to have natural teeth (bottom) biting on plastic (top)? If so.... why?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Answer:

Yes, it is the customary protocol to have plastic teeth in the denture against natural teeth on the lower. The ultimate goal is "to preserve that which is remaining" or preserve the lower teeth as much as possible. The plastic teeth will wear faster than the natural teeth, so the natural teeth will be well-preserved. If porcelain teeth were to be used, they can cause wear on the natural teeth. It is possible to make the chewing surface of the back denture teeth out of gold, but it costs significantly more. Gold will last longer than plastic.

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Response by:

Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD
Professor of Restorative & Prosthetic Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University