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Oral Surgery/Tori and Overjet

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Question
Hello.  First of all I would like to thank you for your time.  

I am going to have to get a full upper denture.  My dentist told me I would have to have tori removed first and then a denture could go in immediately.  Also, I have a very high palate.  Not sure if that is the term, but I have been told I have what is called an "overjet".  I have never really been too bothered by the overjet...most people say it is just me and they don't even notice it.  However, apparently due to the two issues I have described I have been told it will be impossible to fit me with a proper fitting denture unless I have the tori removed and the overjet corrected.  Since I have had my partial it seems that the upper portion of my mouth (that big hump in there...sorry for my terminology) has gotten wider and there is a tight "canal-like area" on the right side, not so on the left side of it.  Any patients you have had with issues such as mine?  Now, for my MAJOR concerns with all of this.  I am a 54 yo female, diabetic, ex-addict (been clean for 14 years) and cannot take opiates as that is what I was addicted to.  I'm worried about the pain issue to all this work.  I'm so tired of not being able to chew and I'm also concerned that major work on my mouth is going to make me look older because it will alter my mouth area and probably make my nose appear larger.  I know this all probably sounds pretty stupid to you and vain, but at 54 a girl needs everything she has going for her that she can get.  Of course nice looking teeth would be a plus.  Any advise, experience, etc. would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Answer
Donna - I, of course, am not able to define if you actually have an over jet that needs to be corrected.  The tori removal is usually necessary to provide a situation where the denture will sit properly, without being loose, and if you do have an overjet that does usually not affect the fitting of the denture only the appearance.  If you are comfortable with the overjet, you now have, that does not necessarily have to change, but for a more balanced bite it is corrected.  

So a quality dentist can change your bite to look better, but the quality of the dentist is key.  I, of course, cannot evaluate that dentist, but you should ask the dentist for patients he has treated you can speak with or those patients with similar bites to yours that you can see the changes.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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