It’s been a long time since tooth loss was managed using animal teeth and pieces of bone in their place. Nowadays, dentures can replace a missing set of teeth or all of your natural teeth. That means there is now a way to restore your smile even if you lose all of your teeth.
What are dentures made of in the 21st century, and what are the benefits of the technology behind the process?
The Materials Used
Today’s dentures are usually made from various types of composite resin or porcelain. The latter was traditionally the preferred material because it was considered stronger and more durable, the main disadvantage of porcelain dentures, however, is that they’re breakable if dropped on a hard floor and they can wear down natural teeth if they bite against them. Porcelain is better used in full dentures than in partials for this reason.
More recently, however, acrylic resin has become the go-to material for denture teeth. Acrylic adheres more securely to the denture base and is easier to adjust to achieve the correct occlusion than harder porcelain teeth. It’s also significantly less expensive than porcelain, and much lighter in weight.
The disadvantage of teeth made from acrylic resin is that they wear faster than porcelain teeth, which causes changes in the way the teeth make contact with one another. Dentures made from acrylic resin teeth may need to be replaced every five to eight years as a result, but they are still far stronger than the plastic items used in the past.
Recent innovations in dental materials now also allow denture manufacturers to produce denture teeth using a mixture of composite and porcelain particles for the ideal strength and durability.
Dentures require a framework to support them, which is usually called a full or partial plate. This plate can be made from rigid acrylic resin or a type of flexible (nylon) polymer. It can also be molded from chrome cobalt metal.
The denturist takes an impression of the patient’s gums, which is used to create a mold. This mold is then used as the basis of a wax model to which the teeth are added. The model is tested in the patient’s mouth to confirm it will be suitable in size and color, and for the formation of a plate that fits snugly in the mouth.
Plates made from acrylic resin are compatible with dentures that require an artificial gumline because the material can be tinted to resemble the patient’s natural gum color. Metal plates, however, carry less risk of breaking. They are also stronger and provide a better fit. This makes metal ideal for partial plates that are fully hidden behind the remaining natural teeth.
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your dentures can tell you how long you can expect them to last. The lifespan of a denture also depends on your oral hygiene regimen, so it’s essential to clean them daily. Above all, take care of your natural gums to keep them healthy enough to wear dentures, using quality products such as to prevent the bacteria that causes painful gingivitis and bleeding.
So, what are dentures made of? There are various alternatives to wearing them, but if you choose this option, it’s important for you to know how and why these materials are used so you can make an educated choice.
For more information about denture materials and manufacturing process contact our St. Catharines Dentures clinic today