Are you considering dentures? They’re a good option if you’re missing teeth and want to instantly improve your mouth’s look and function. So, how are dentures made? The process requires a skilled dentist and dental technician, special equipment, and a number of dental visits by the patient. We’ll take you through the whole procedure, step by step.
- It all begins with an impression. For this, the dentist uses a stock tray, which is a pre-made tray. These trays come in a variety of sizes, and the dentist will use the one that best fits the patient’s mouth, but it won’t fit exactly. The stock tray is used to make what’s known as the primary impression. This impression is given to the dental technician, who uses it to cast plaster models called primary models.
- The primary models are used to make new impression trays. These trays, known as special trays, can make a much more accurate impression because they are customized to fit the patient’s mouth more closely than the stock trays. The dentist takes new impressions with these trays and passes them off to the dental technician, who casts up new models. These are called working models, and they’ll be used to construct the dentures.
- The dentures are made using registration blocks. These are constructed from wax, often with a resin base to hold them firm. The blocks are created to fill the space in the mouth where the dentures will be. In this way, the dental technician can record where the teeth will need to be placed.
- The next step requires the presence of the patient. The dentist places the registration blocks in the patient’s mouth and adjusts them to make sure they’re the right height and contour. The point at which the upper and lower teeth will meet is recorded, and the blocks are contoured to match the patient’s missing teeth as closely as possible. After that, the blocks go back to the dental technician.
- The models and blocks go onto the articulator. This is a device that mimics the jaw movements of the patient, allowing the teeth in the dentures to be perfectly aligned. The technician then places pre-made acrylic teeth, chosen by the dentist, into the blocks. Care is taken to place them in alignment with the boundaries the dentist defined during the most recent patient visit. The upper front teeth typically go in first, followed by the lower and back teeth.
- Denture teeth must be carefully placed. The upper and lower denture must have contact on each side so that they don’t move while the person talks or chews. This is called balanced occlusion, and it doesn’t typically occur with natural teeth.
- Once the dentures are placed, they’re waxed up. The wax is used to create soft tissue that mimics the natural gums as much as possible. They’re then sent to the dentist so that they can be checked on the patient to make sure they fit, work, and are aesthetically pleasing. It’s easy to make changes when the denture is made from soft wax, so this is the step where they’re refined. After making sure they’re perfectly customized to fit the patient’s mouth, the dentist sends them back to the technician.
- The next step is molding the dentures. The completed denture is placed into what’s known as a flask, a two-part mold. The technician then pours plaster of Paris over the dentures in a way that allows the mold to be separated later, with a separating medium called sodium alginate as a skin to facilitate this division. In their closed flasks, the wax dentures are placed in hot water. This melts the wax so that it can be washed away with more hot water once the flask is opened. At this point, what’s left is a mold with acrylic teeth embedded in it.
- Now, it’s time to make the “gums”. The technician fills the mold with pink acrylic-resin dough, closes it, and compresses it, putting it into hot water to cure for a few hours. The dentures are now removed from the flasks. This requires the use of saws and chisels, but once they’re out, they’re ready to be perfected.
The dentures go back into the articulator. They’re then ground in to correct any increased height that occurred during the molding process. Once this is finished, they’re cleaned, polished, and sent to the dentist, where they’ll be fitted on the patient.
Now that you know how dentures are made, you’ll want to know where to find the best dentures and dental services. In the Atlanta area, you need to look no further than Atlanta Dentures. Located in Marietta, GA, we’ve proudly served the dental needs of the Atlanta metro area for more than 35 years. We’re committed to providing our patients with peace of mind as well as a pleasant, personalized experience with their dental services. We’re the community’s go-to dental office, and we offer a wide range of services, including dental crowns and bridges, dental implants, dentures, root canals, sedation dentistry, tooth replacements, and tooth extractions. We’re even here when you have a dental emergency, and our dedicated doctors implement all available tools to offer premier denture and dental services and ensure a comfortable dental visit. To schedule an appointment, call 678.391.4662 or contact us through our website.