Getting New Dentures
Whether you need dentures for the very first time, or if you are replacing your old dentures, your denture professional will take great care to assure proper fit and comfort. The process varies depending on the type of denture chosen, but there are multiple stages involved. Let's take a look at one of the most frequently used types of dentures and how they are custom fitted.
Standard dentures, whether a full plate or a partial, are typically chosen when the natural teeth are already gone. The fitting process consists of four basic steps, but fittings and adjustments will continue until the denture sits just right on the jaw.
Step one. The first visit usually consists of an oral examination where your denture professional will check the size and shape of your gums to determine if any surgical alterations are necessary to ensure a better final fit for your new dentures. Extra gum tissue can interfere and cause dentures to leave sore spots and can be surgically removed where necessary. Better in the long run to take care of this now. Next, impressions will be taken of the upper and lower jaw ridges. Plaster is then poured into these impressions in order to form the best possible model for your new dentures. Finally, the shape, size and color for your new teeth will be chosen. This can actually be the fun part. With today's computer technology denture programs, you can actually pick from a number of shapes and shading to achieve the exact smile you want. Even the color of the denture base itself can be chosen to best match your natural gums. The outcome? Dentures that look and fit so naturally, no one will suspect they're not your real teeth!
Step two. Wax rims attached to a basic denture base will be inserted into the mouth to determine the exact size and placement for the new teeth. This will assure the upper and lower dentures line up correctly. You will be asked to smile, and the position of your lips will be marked on the wax, enabling the denture technicians to choose the best tooth size for you. Once all measurements have been taken, the wax rims are sent to a lab to make a wax try-in. This will be the prototype for your final dentures.
Step three. On this visit you will try on the wax try-in. It looks quite similar to the final dentures, but the teeth are imbedded in wax, to allow for more adjustments if necessary before the actual denture is manufactured. You will have the opportunity to see how the final denture will look, and see if any positioning needs to be changed. If necessary, the wax try-in can be sent back to the lab and the teeth can be reset. This process can be repeated as many times as needed until the denture's look and fit are perfect. The wax try-in is then sent back to the lab and used to make the actual plastic dentures.
Step four. Finally, you get to try on your new dentures. Some final adjustments to the plastic denture base may be needed to assure the proper suction to hold them stable, but if all goes well, you will be ready to face the world with a confident new smile!