There are many options for replacing teeth that are missing. The most common method is with a denture (plate) that can be taken in and out of your mouth. If you are keen to replace any missing teeth in your mouth, it is important to talk to your dentist about the best method for this. The following outlines the stages involved in making a denture. This method can vary between patients and dentists and some stages may not be required depending on the number of missing teeth. There are a number of types of dentures which can be discussed with your dentist.
- First Moulds
Your dentist will take moulds using general trays and a material called alginate to record the teeth that are present and the shape of the gums where the teeth are missing. Alginate starts of a gloopy, runny material that becomes rubbery once it has set. These moulds are sent to our specialist denture laboratory where our trained lab technicians turn these into stone models of your teeth. On this, a wax block may be made to record your bite and a special customised tray may be made to let the dentist make a more accurate impressions.
- Second Moulds
At the second appointment, a special tray may be used to take a mould is a similar way to the first appointment.
- Recording Bite
At the same appointment the wax blocks will be adjusted to allow your natural teeth to bite together in a comfortable way and similar to the way they bite without the block in your mouth. This gives a record for our lab technician to use so he knows where to put the teeth. At this stage the dentist will also choose the colour of the teeth with you to match the remaining teeth or the colour you wish them to be.
- Trying the teeth
By the third appointment, the lab technician will have used all the previous records to place the teeth on a wax base. This will be tried in your mouth. Your dentist will check the fit and bite of the denture. You can also look at the colour and position of the teeth to ensure you are happy with this. Minor changes can be made by your dentist. If other changes re required, the denture may need to be returned to the lab for the adjustments with a second try-in appointment if necessary.
- Fitting appointment
This is the appointment where you will be able to take your denture home. The dentist will place the denture in your mouth and check the fit and bite. You can check that you are happy with the appearance as well. You dentist will give you advice on how to look after the denture and the remaining teeth in your mouth.
Initially, the denture will feel strange, especially if you have not had one before. You may find eating, drinking and speaking a little tricky to begin with, but this will improve over time as your mouth adapts. If any areas become sore or painful, which is not uncommon, your dentist can make adjustments for you to make the denture more comfortable.