I don’t want people to know I have dentures, I want a fuller smile, I want to show teeth, I want to wear lipstick on my lips and not my teeth, I want fewer wrinkles around my mouth, I think my nose and chin are closer together. Surely, with today’s advanced technology, I should look better and eat better than this!
For Mrs Jones to understand these concerns we can start with the airplane analogy I have used before. In previous articles, I have compared the jaw to an airplane landing tail first or nose first. Look at the first picture. It looks like a plane coming in tail first with the nose so high it is hidden by the lips. Not only does it not look right, this uneven landing creates an unstable bite. In the second picture, the plane is making a smooth straight landing that is parallel to the ground with the end result being better looking with a more stable bite.
The pictures make it very apparent that the teeth have to sit in the right place in the face in order for it to look natural and youthful. Nature designed it this way and it is the job of the dentist and the denture to mimic Mother Nature.
It is important to know that dentures do more than show teeth. They also replace the lower one third of the face. When people lose all of their teeth, they lose bone also. The teeth and bones fill in the areas of the cheeks and lips. If a denture is made too small, and many are, they simply do not fill in all the areas where the teeth and bones were and it gives the face a hollow look instead of a full, youthful look.
The upper and lower teeth also determine the distance people have between their nose and chin. When the teeth are lost, there is nothing stopping the jaw when it closes so the chin comes too close to the nose making it obvious the person is toothless. A denture that is too small or too short creates the same kind of look just not as pronounced.