If you have a number of missing teeth, we may recommend that you consider dentures to fill in the gaps and restore your smile as well as the ability to chew on your back teeth. As you’re probably aware, dentures are removable appliances that can either be partial - to replace a few missing teeth - or full - to replace all of your teeth. You can have dentures for your upper and/or lower jaws.
Dentures are typically made from acrylic (like a plastic) or a metal alloy, such as cobalt chrome. When creating a bespoke denture for you, we will advise you on the best choice of materials and options for your available budget, as well as for your individual case.
The Importance of Well-Fitting Dentures
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of tooth loss is that jaw bone immediately around the missing tooth and root can gradually soften and disintegrate. In essence, once the tooth has been removed, the bone no longer has a function and so it shrinks. For denture wearers, this means that a once excellent fit may need reviewing after 2-3 years to correct any looseness or sore spots. This is why it is important to continue to attend regular check-ups, even if you have few or even no natural teeth left.
If you’re new to dentures, it’s normal to go through an adjustment period as you get used to wearing them for the first time; it’s a bit like wearing new shoes. We will usually ask you to come back for a follow-up appointment within the first month of fitting to see how you’re getting on and make any necessary adjustments to your dentures.
If you wear partial dentures, it is still critical that you give your remaining natural teeth lots of TLC (e.g. excellent tooth-brushing). This is because partial dentures can trap food and plaque against your teeth, causing gum disease and tooth decay. This may eventually lead to loose teeth and/or more teeth being removed or a new denture needing to be designed, all of which can be avoided with good care.
Your Denture Appointments
If dentures are the right treatment option for you, we will ask you to come in for the first appointment, during which we will take ‘basic’ initial impressions (moulds) of your upper and lower teeth and jaws. We’ll send these first impressions to our laboratory, where a skilled technician will use them to make new bespoke custom-fitting impression trays, as well as wax blocks. These are both made from the models created from your first impression.
You’ll then come back to Kenilworth Dental Practice for a second appointment, during which we’ll take a second set of even more highly accurate impressions using the bespoke impression trays. We’ll use the wax blocks made in the laboratory to record how your teeth and jaws should bite together. Finally, during this appointment, we will carefully choose a shade for the teeth on your new denture, colour matching them to any natural teeth.
At your third appointment, you will be able to try a pair of trial dentures created by our dental technician. We will look carefully at the fit and appearance of these dentures, making any necessary adjustments. Once you and we are happy with the trial dentures, we’ll send them back to the laboratory for the technician to reproduce the final definitive version.
Finally, you will need to come in for a fourth appointment, during which we’ll fit your dentures. You may also need some final adjustment appointments as it is rare for a pair of dentures to fit perfectly without some minor tweaks.