After deciding on starting your denture treatment, the adventure and excitement begins. Sometimes getting your dentures can be as fast as a day but it can also take weeks or months. Regardless of which denture treatment, the process begins with the “preliminary impressions” using alginate.
Why does it take so long to make dentures?
Dentures aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger’s or Eddie Mercury’s teeth are dentures and they cleaned them out and gave it to you to wear. As you can guess, their dentures would either be too large, too small, don’t fit or too out of character to be you.
Dentures rely on the skillful craftsmanship of the denturist to customize and personalize the teeth to function in your oral cavity. It’s this process that can end up taking days, weeks, and sometimes several months. For example, conventional full dentures require time for the first impression, followed by the second (more accurate) impression and then obtaining records of your jaw location, your bite and your facial features. After this, a template is made to see how it looks and functions in the mouth before the last appointment where the dentures are completed.
Throughout this time where the denturist will take measurements of your jaw, the laboratory processes are occurring. These processes include making models of your mouth, template bases, and placing the teeth in your functional and esthetically pleasing position. This is followed by changing the template into actual usable acrylic to be used in the mouth.
No one’s jaw is the same and no one’s jaw remains the same shape for their entire life. It’s in a constant state of change and resorption (if you have teeth missing). Needless to say, there will be a wait of some kind even after getting your dentures and having them settle in. Be sure to speak with your denturist about what a realistic time frame looks like.
What factors influence the wait for dentures?
There are a lot of factors that can influence the amount of time it takes to customize dentures and complete denture treatments. The health of your mouth can produce some challenges that increase the time. The type of denture you choose can also influence the amount of time needed to finish the treatment.
In a lot of cases, what ends up extending the time for completion of denture treatments are the healing and resorption of your gums and bones after your teeth have been extracted, the osseointegration of implants placed in your jaw or the healing required after some damage has been caused by something such as a previous ill-fitting denture. Sometimes the decision process for the patient can take up time too.
For recent denture wearers, they don’t always have an easy decision to make in parting ways with their natural teeth. The feeling of getting all your teeth pulled out and being toothless can cause affect you both physically and mentally. If you have natural teeth which aren’t healthy enough to keep, they can be removed to make way for dentures. This obviously is a process and a wait in which a denturist is waiting on your healing. If an infection presents or something similar, this further slow things down.
Do I really have to wait THAT long?
Most of the time when your denturist says you have to wait that long then it’s usually a “Yes! You have to wait that long.” The reason why dentures take so long to get right is because the patient is going to be wearing them all day, every day. The fit needs to be just right. Meticulous attention to detail is taken, with regards to taking impressions, designing the dentures, having the patient try them on, and then finally having the dentures completed. No one wants to be saddled with loose or uncomfortable dentures. The ultimate goal of a denture is to do several things, all of which are accomplished given the right amount of time to customize and perfect the design:
- Provide stability and comfort in the mouth.
- To remain in place during normal movements and functioning.
- To give the wearer the reasonable ability to chew.
- To allow for normal speech.
- To provide adequate lip support so that there is no ‘sunken face’ look.
- To allow for a pleasing smile.
- To maintain correct vertical dimensions – such as the distance between the chin and nose – which helps maintain the health of your jaw joints and jaw muscles.
Once I have my dentures, how long can I expect them to last?
Dentures are made of various types and materials. There are some people living with dentures as young as 7 or as old as 103. The materials better be of good quality and does not complicate your health in any negative way.
‘Denture relining’ is the process of putting a new lining in your dentures so that they fit properly. It’s a normal and necessary maintenance procedure. On average, you should expect to require a reline every three to four years. For individuals with osteoporosis and diabetes, they may find more bone loss than normal under the denture. This means requiring a reline or full on replacement sooner than expected.
The materials used for your denture directly impact its longevity. Dentures can last anywhere between three and ten year depending on the quality of the denture. Dentures with a longer lifespan are made of acrylic that is stain and odor resistant with teeth that are more durable and resist every day wear and tear. They can be relined more often during their lifetime to maintain both your jaw position as well as contribute to your overall health.
Where can I get dentures done?
Hayven Dentures is a top denture clinic in St. Catharines, serving the whole Niagara region. We’d love to help see if dentures are the right fit for you. In the initial examination, we get started right away by taking some general information and going over which option best suits you. Of course, we’ll answer any questions you may have and give you an idea on what to expect cost-wise as well as a general time frame. Speak to a registered denturist today for more information on having a set of dentures made for you.