Is it Too Late for a Palateless Denture?

I have worn dentures for seven years and am ready to remove the palate from my denture. I wouldn’t say I like the hard palate of the denture against the roof of my mouth. It feels like a mouth full of plastic. I am not ungrateful. My dentist reminds me that it is better to have dentures than no teeth at all. If I must wear dentures, maybe there is a way to make them more comfortable. My dentist needs to be more helpful, which leads to the question, why is he still my dentist? Long story. I would like to know if dentures exist with a soft palate and if it’s too late because I’ve worn dentures for so long. Thank you. Ethel from Decatur, GA


The palate of a complete denture is firm to fit well and remain stable when you chew. When “soft” refers to a denture, it means relining (reshaping) the denture with soft materials.

Facts about a soft denture reline:

  • As the shape of your ridge shrinks or changes shape due to missing teeth, a reline helps your denture fit more snugly
  • It resurfaces the upper portion of the denture that touches the roof of your mouth and gums
  • It prevents the denture from rubbing on your gums and making them sore

What Is a Palateless Denture?

A palateless denture is an implant denture that does not cover the roof of your mouth. Instead, dental implants support the arch of denture teeth.

Implant dentures can relieve the discomfort of a hard denture palate.

  • Placing dental implants for a denture – An implant dentist or an oral surgeon can place as few as two implants in your jawbone to support your denture, making them more affordable for many dental patients. However, four to six implants provide maximum stability.
  • Improving denture comfort – Although implant dentures cost more money than completely removable dentures, they restore your chewing efficiency and make you feel more like your own teeth.
  • Preserving jawbone – Dental implants stimulate your jawbone and help prevent facial collapse.

You can schedule an appointment with an implant dentist to discuss your options. It’s not too late, even if you need a bone graft in areas of low bone volume to stabilize dental implants.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.