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Why leave last 2 teeth for bottom denture?



Junior member
May 26, 2016
New York
I had 16 of 18 teeth extracted in January. My dentist told me if he pulled the other 2 (#21 & #22) my bottom denture would move around in my mouth, that's why he left them there.

Is this true? If I had them all removed would my bottom plate move around in my mouth? And why not my uppers? All my upper teeth are gone, how come he wasn't concerned about movement there?
Hi viwi,

I see how this doesn't make sense to you. The thing with uppers is that your palate is hard and the denture stays in place through the suction effect. Bottom denture has a horse shoe form that only covers the arch and there is no suction effect. There is also your tongue that moves around the whole time. This combination makes it hard for the denture to stay in place. Any remaining teeth can really make a difference here as they can act as anchors and hold the denture in place.
Definitely true. As Enarete explained, the uppers will not move around much because of the structure of the upper jaw & gums and how the plate fits. But the lowers, well... sometimes they do whatever the hell they want when there’s nothing to help anchor them in place. Using denture adhesive helps but it isn’t ideal.
So you will not have a full lower plate but a partial with some material, usually metal, that will wrap around the remaining teeth. Sounds weird I know, but it’s a good thing. It’ll help you adjust quicker and make eating easier.
Hi Viwi,

I agree with the others and had a partial with 7 teeth on bottom , and with metal . The metal that wrapped around my other tooths that anchored it was really a blessing and I felt alot more secure this way. When I had to get it replaced once a dentist tried Valplas without the metal. to me I couldn't stand it and told him I had requested metal again so he remade it. It really does help.

Its hard to know this or grasp until you've experienced it. I really wish you the best in your journey here and getting this done.
Bit late to the party and I see you’ve had good explanations above. All sounds valid to me. Lower full dentures can be really challenging. Uppers are generally a lot more predictable for the reasons mentioned above.

I can see how you’d maybe just prefer to be done with the natural teeth at this stage but as you have a couple worth holding on to on lower it will improve the function of the denture eg eating, speaking. You’ll also gradually learn improved muscular control which will make your transition to a full denture easier if/ when required.

All the best with it all :)