Dentures are removable ‘false teeth’ made on either a plastic or metal base. They fit snugly over the gums to replace missing teeth.
Gaps left by missing teeth can cause problems with eating and speech, and teeth either side of the gap may grow into the space at an angle. It may also put more strain on surrounding teeth which may lead to fractured teeth. Dentures can help to prevent these problems, they are also used to improve appearance of your smile, fill out your face and give you confidence.
Complete dentures are a full set – these replace all upper and lower teeth.
Partial dentures – replace one or a few missing teeth.
How are dentures made?
Dentures are made over a number of appointments, usually four; these appointments are approximately 7-14 days apart depending on the type of denture you are having made. Between each appointment the work is sent to a dental laboratory.
The appointments are;
Impressions – your dentist will take impressions of your mouth.
Bite Registration – the laboratory will send the dentist ‘wax blocks’ that will be placed in your mouth. Your dentist will take a number of measurements to ensure when the dentures are made your teeth bite together correctly and do not cause any excess force on any teeth and the bite is even. At this appointment you dentist will also select a shade for the teeth on the denture. This will match you natural teeth.
Try-in – at this stage your teeth will be ready in a ‘wax’ mock up denture. You can see how your teeth will look in the mouth and any final adjustments made.
Fit – you denture will be ready for you to take home. The dentist will fit the denture in your mouth and adjustments may be made. Your dentist will show you how to remove and place the denture in the mouth, instructions will be given on how you should clean and care for your denture at home. Adjustments can still be made and you may need to return at a later date for further adjustments or for the dentist to review your progress with the denture.
Metal or Acrylic Dentures?
Metal dentures are usually made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium. The base is made of metal, which is able to be smaller in design and thinner than an acrylic denture, and a gum coloured plastic is added, along with the teeth to ensure a natural look. These are usually an independent option, they tend to be stronger than an acrylic denture and cover less of the palate so speech and eating are easier. Metal dentures require other, stable, teeth to support them so it is not possible to have complete metal dentures. It is very difficult to add teeth to metal dentures. Metal clasps may also be used to provide more stability for the denture – these are sometimes visible in the smile line
Acrylic dentures are made out of plastic, these are often a more economical option and widely available on the NHS as well as independently, they can be used to replace one tooth to a full set. Acrylic dentures are used often for partial dentures when other teeth may need to be replaced in the near future- they are easily added to at later dates. Unfortunately, especially in the case of upper dentures when the plastic may need to cover some or all of the palate which may affect speech and taste to a certain extent. This type of denture relies on a ‘suction’ within the mouth to remain firm and not move about, some patients may require a denture adhesive to keep them securely in place.
In recent years flexible dentures are becoming more and more popular – these are available on an independent basis only.
The flexible dentures that we provide at Regency House are ‘Valplast’ which are made from a nylon resin. These dentures are extremely durable against fractures and breaks. As the name suggests they are more flexible than traditional acrylic/metal dentures – they can adapt to the shape and movement of your mouth which aids in a higher degree of comfort. Valplast boast a high level of aesthetics – made from such materials, which allow the colour and markings of natural tissue to appear through, it is virtually invisible in the mouth. Unfortunately, the cost of a Valplast denture is usually higher than a traditional denture. Flexible dentures require other stable teeth to be present in the mouth, therefore flexible full/complete dentures cannot be provided.