Whether due to years of decay, a medical issue, or an accident that knocks out several teeth, there are many people who have to turn to artificial teeth – or dentures – to restore the smile and bite that all people need and deserve. People once associated dentures as a set of wooden teeth, or imagine a comical full set of teeth and gums, but dentures are now made very sturdy and discrete.
Dentures have come a long way from what they used to be. Dental procedures have gotten much easier and less invasive, due to inventions and technological advancements in the medical field. You may end up needing to wear dentures for a multitude of different reasons, including tooth loss, gum disease, missing teeth, etc. While dentures can greatly improve your smile and your confidence, it is important to remember that they do require proper care to maintain a good fit, and good oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene when you have dentures, and overall, will allow you to have the smile you have always wanted, and avoid complications.
While dentures may not feel exactly like natural teeth, they are made to look very natural, color-matched to your actual teeth, or made a shade of white that you are happy with. Most importantly, they are made comfortable to wear. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. If you are a candidate, your dentist will help you decide what type of denture is best for your based on your situation, as everyone and their mouths are different.
To make dentures, a dentist creates an impression or mold of your mouth, teeth, and gums. The dentist then sends this impression to a laboratory, which constructs a stone model of your teeth, then creates the dentures out of acrylic to fit the impression of your mouth. This may require multiple steps in which the dentist may need to make adjustments, so they fit properly and comfortably. Generally, at least five appointments are required to make dentures, from the molding to the fitting.
At the first appointment, molds are taken so that a custom-fitting tray can be made for making the denture. At the second appointment the custom tray is used to make the impression of your teeth, with which the dentures will be made. At the third appointment, the bite and position of the teeth are determined, as well as the color, shape, and size of the teeth. At the fourth appointment, the denture is put into the patient’s mouth to see what adjustments need to be made, which is commonly the case. The bite, position of teeth, and if you can talk with them are all checked. Then, lastly, any necessary changes are made to the denture mold, and then this final mold is sent to the lab for final processing. When the denture is delivered to the patient, usually at their fifth appointment, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure a proper and lasting fit.
Your smile is something that will shine if you take care of it, just like anything else. Whether you still have your natural teeth, or you have or need dentures, it is important to know that taking care of your dentures as if they are your real teeth, will help them last a long time and give you the confidence to smile again.