Have you thought about getting new dentures but are unsure where to start or who to see? Are your dentures loose, uncomfortable to wear, or do you feel self-conscious when you smile? Do you need full dentures, or do you need to replace just some of your teeth?
These are just some of the situations we have advised people about over the years, to help them clarify their needs and goals, and to give them a feeling of reassurance about the way forward.
So what are the important things to consider when sourcing new dentures?
It's important that the person you choose to make your dentures has the relevant experience required, as denture making is both an art and a science. There are two registered groups of people legally able to provide dentures. Dentists and Clinical Dental Technicians.
Dentists perform a wide range of dental procedures with dentures being just one of those. Clinical Dental Technicians focus exclusively on making and fitting dentures.
While both groups are competent to provide dentures, Clinical Dental Technicians tend to be more experienced in providing dentures as this is what they specialise in, all day, every day. It is important that your dentures are well made and crafted to fit your individual needs. Not only should they fit well and be comfortable, they should look like natural teeth.
2. Quality of Materials.
Like most things, the materials that go into making dentures come in varying degrees of quality. It is important that the materials used in your dentures are high quality as this will ensure your dentures look natural, and are durable and long lasting. Dentures made from quality materials should last ten to fourteen years before they need replacing.
The critical factor with the longevity of your dentures is the quality of the denture teeth used. High quality teeth are made from multi layered, extremely durable cross linked plastic, or Nano-hybrid composite. They have high resistance to abrasion and can last two to three times longer than denture teeth made from lesser quality materials. High quality denture teeth are layered to give a similar structure found in natural teeth, that gives depth to the tooth colour, resulting in a vital and natural appearance.
Unfortunately, not all denture providers use quality denture teeth, so you need to have confidence that the person making your dentures is using the best materials available. This alone will save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Working with Someone You Can Relate To.
Getting new dentures can sometimes be an intimidating and emotional process. It is important that you work with someone who takes the time to listen to your individual needs and tailors a treatment option that best meets those needs and fits within your budget.
At no stage of the process you should feel rushed and your input should always be considered. Your denture provider should commit to looking after you for the life of your dentures, and recall you periodically to ensure your oral health is in optimal condition.
4. Partials Dentures.
Partial dentures are a great option for people who still have some healthy teeth. A partial denture fits between your existing teeth like a puzzle piece to complete your smile. There are a number of options when it comes to partial dentures. All partials are supported by existing natural teeth and therefore these teeth need to be assessed prior to treatment to ensure they are healthy enough to support the partial denture.
Plastic Partial Dentures: Plastic partials are made from denture acrylic and stay in place by engaging contact points between your natural teeth and wire clasps that engage the undercuts of carefully chosen existing teeth. They are supported by the gum tissues and the teeth are chosen to blend in with your existing dentition.
Metal Partial Dentures: Metal partials consist of a cast metal framework that fits over your teeth and has denture teeth attached to it to fill in the missing gaps. They are less bulky than acrylic partials and tend to be stronger. They are supported by the existing natural teeth and therefore these teeth need to be assessed prior to treatment to ensure they are healthy enough to support the metal framework.
Flexible Partial Dentures: The latest innovation in partial dentures are partials made from flexible materials that are virtually unbreakable. The properties of these materials allow them to be made less bulky than conventional materials which makes them very comfortable to wear. The flexible material allows the partial to flex around the natural teeth, and the translucent material blends with the gum tissue to make them virtually impossible to see. These are a great option where aesthetics are important.
5. Having Your Teeth Extracted and a Denture Fitted.
If you need to have teeth extracted and a denture made, you need what is known as an immediate denture. Immediate dentures are made prior to having your teeth extracted by your dentist and are fitted on the day of extraction. They can be either full dentures or partial dentures. Many people are apprehensive that immediate dentures will negatively impact their appearance. However this need not be the case.
It is important that your denture provider works closely with you to give you exactly the appearance you desire. You may want your denture to copy your natural teeth intimately or may want to make changes to your appearance. The choice should always be yours.
As part of the denture making process your denture will have the teeth set in wax. It is important to ask to see the denture at this point to verify the aesthetics, as changes can easily be made at this stage if you are unhappy with the result. Only when you are completely satisfied with the aesthetics should you give the approval for the dentures to be finished.
6. Implant Retained Dentures.
If you would like to improve the stability and retention of your dentures then dental implants could be a solution for you. Dental implants are often used to secure dentures, preventing movement and the discomfort this can sometimes cause. A small titanium screw is that replaces the root of your missing tooth is surgically placed in your jaw bone.
Depending on the number and location of the implants, the denture can be completely retained, supported and stabilized.
7. Loose Dentures. What to do About Them.
After your teeth are extracted your gums will shrink. Unfortunately this is a fact of life. This will happen quite rapidly for the initial six months following extraction, then at a slower rate after that.
It is essential that your denture is relined after this six month period and then every five to six years after this. This will ensure your denture remains functional and your oral tissues remain healthy. This is a straightforward process and can normally completed the same day.
8. Adding Teeth to an Existing Denture and Denture Repairs.
If you have a tooth extracted and need an addition to an existing denture or you have a broken denture, this can easily be repaired within a day. You need to contact your denture provider, make a booking, and they will do the rest.
Finding the right denture provider is important as your dentures are going to affect your quality of life for many years. Do some research. Go online and search for “Dentures”. This will give you a myriad of information. Ask your friends for recommendations. Talk to Dental professionals. Informing yourself with the right information will ensure you end up with dentures that look good, allow you to eat what you like, and provide you with many years of service.
For more information
Visit the Denture Concepts website: www.dentureconcepts.co.nz, or phone 0800 642 383.