How are Dentures Made and Fitted?

What are dentures made from?

Dentures are artificial substitutes for missing teeth and the lost structures of your mouth. Designed to look like natural teeth, they are usually made from a gum coloured plastic base with the artificial teeth attached. Injection moulded denture bases generally fit better and are stronger compared to normal plastic. More skilful Clinical Dental Technicians are able to produce the denture base using multiple colour tones, to perfectly recreate natural gum colours.

The denture teeth are made from layers of plastic or from a more durable composite. The latest innovations in dental materials now mean dental manufacturers are producing denture teeth using a mixture of composite and porcelain particles.

Partial dentures can be made from a plastic base or from a combination of plastic and a light alloy framework.

Who makes dentures?

Clinical Dental Technicians are trained and qualified to provide a range of dentures direct to patients – a service that was previously only available through a Dentist. With many years' experience working as Dental Technicians, CDT's have the advanced technical and clinical skills needed to carefully design and hand-craft every denture to your individual requirements.

You will find CDT's operate from their independent denture clinics or work as part of a dental team within dental practices. Every Clinical Dental Technician listed on dentures.org.uk has the credentials and qualifications that allow them to work directly with patients.

Dentures can also be made in a dental laboratory by a Dental Technician who follows the prescription of a Dentist.

What does the procedure involve?

Having dentures made and fitted will involve several trips to your denture provider.

Patients who have experienced total tooth loss can be treated by a Clinical Dental Technician directly, who will make and fit their complete dentures.

However, if you need partial dentures or you have dental implants or some of your own natural teeth remaining, you must first be seen by a Dentist before a CDT can begin your treatment. Your CDT will advise you at your initial consultation.

In order to create a detailed treatment plan that is tailored to your needs, a detailed clinical evaluation will be undertaken and you may be referred to a Dentist or Implant Dentist.

The CDT may undertake one or all of the following:

  • Investigate your dental and medical history in full
  • Take x-rays and photographic images of your mouth
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal effects of ageing, especially relating to tooth loss
  • Make referrals to other dental professionals where necessary
  • Advise you on how to take care of your dentures and achieve optimum oral health

Partial dentures

If you have natural teeth you must see a Dentist before a Clinical Dental Technician can begin treatment.

To plan your treatment correctly, your CDT together with the Dentist will need to consider any possible complications that might require treatment now and in the future. Together, the Dentist and CDT would also consider what dental treatment may be needed to prepare your mouth for a new partial denture.

Also, you may have gum disease present and this may have a bearing on a new partial denture.

  • They will discuss findings from any dental x-rays
  • They will consider your previous dental history
  • They will agree which of your remaining natural teeth can be used to retain your denture and which type of partial denture design would be best for you.

The dentist may need to extract teeth or treat any gum disease you might have. If so, you will be given 'immediate' dentures to wear while your mouth is healing following the treatment.

Stages will involve:

  • Initial consultation
  • Assessment by a Dentist
  • Treatment planning
  • Possible restorative and healing phase
  • Impressions of your mouth
  • Recording of your bite
  • Try-in of your dentures
  • Fitting of your dentures

Complete Dentures

Patients who have experienced total tooth loss can be treated by a Clinical Dental Technician directly, who will make and fit their complete dentures.

Stages will involve:

  • Initial consultation
  • Treatment planning
  • Impressions of your mouth
  • Recording of your bite
  • Try-in of your dentures
  • Fitting of your dentures

Implant-retained dentures

As part of your consultation, an Implant Dentist will assess the condition of your jawbone, discuss your general health and the type of dentures you require.

They may also take impressions and ask you to return for x-rays before they can tell you if you can have implant-retained dentures.

Some clinics offer a joint consultation with the Implant Dentist and Clinical Dental Technician. The Implant Dentist is responsible for prescribing the treatment and treatment planning and the Clinical Dental Technician will work to this prescription.

Implant dentistry is a complex treatment option, with stages of treatment that involve:

  1. Planning
  2. Surgery
  3. Restoration
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