How Dentures Are Made

For many, losing your teeth is devastating. Much like losing hair, the loss of teeth can alter the perception that you have about yourself. Once fitted, however, dentures can be a more aesthetically pleasing look. They can also be much easier to care for and a painless and convenient replacement for your original teeth. There are several steps to making dentures. You don't just have your teeth pulled, and dentures are ready to go. There are steps in-between that may take time. Try to be patient and know that, in the end, your smile will be beautiful again.

Step one: The extraction

Once the diagnosis of tooth decay or disease is made, and the need for dentures is identified, the dentist will go in and extract the tooth. The extraction can be done to just one tooth, or to several. Once the tooth is taken, the socket that held it will begin to fill with gum and bone to make the surface more stable. That can take anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. The same is true if you lose the tooth accidentally. If a full denture is needed, it is not unusual for the front teeth to be taken out first, and the back teeth left in place. That can mean more time for healing and adjustment than when all teeth are pulled at the same time.

Step two: A temporary denture is fitted

On the same day that the tooth is extracted, a temporary denture is placed. This denture is made before the tooth is extracted. The temporary denture will serve as your teeth until the final denture set is completed.

Step three: Impressions are made

Once the tooth, or teeth, is gone, an impression is made of the surrounding area that will house the dentures. The impressions are sent off to the manufacturer who will make a mold of the patient's teeth. Once the molds are made, they are returned to the dentist who works closely with a dental lab to alter the molds. The fit is done slowly to ensure a perfect fit. The bite must be addressed to ensure that the dentures will aesthetically appear correct. Also, the fit must be perfect, or there will be room for bacteria to grow beneath the dentures and can lead to infection. The whole process can take as many as four to five weeks.

Step four: Continual readjusting

Once the dentures have been placed, the patient will have to return a minimum of once a week so that adjustments can be made as the teeth begin to take hold with the dentures. A perfect alignment and fit are crucial to good dental health for the long-term.

Dentures are something that not many look forward to, but the dentist will try to make it as quick and as painless a process as possible.