By David Hudnall, DMD

Do you need dentures? Is it something that you’ve been putting off? Maybe it’s because you don’t really know what to expect. Learning how to get ready for dentures can be a simple process if the denture procedure is broken down into manageable pieces. Today, we’ll discuss the steps involved in the denture process, how to prepare for dentures, and give you some tips to help become accustomed to dentures once you receive them.

Denture Process from Start to Finish

There is a natural process and flow from start to finish when it comes to making dentures. People want to know the course of action in advance so that they understand what to expect and can better plan and prepare themselves for the denture procedure. There are always variations, depending on specific circumstances. But the general outline of the denture-making process can be broken into five basic steps:

Treatment Plan

The first step to any dental procedure is an oral examination and evaluation of your mouth to determine your health needs and how best to address them. In dentistry, often there are multiple options that will achieve a similar result, some more long-lasting than others, each offering their own distinctive advantages. Once the type of treatment and the budget are determined, the dental professional can arrive at a treatment plan that addresses as many of your primary concerns as practical. This appointment is also the time to discuss sedation or any other concerns with your dentist.

Extractions

If you have teeth that need to be removed before getting dentures, you may want to consider doing this in advance of denture placement. Although it’s possible to remove all of your teeth and place immediate dentures on the same day, that’s a lot to handle for many people. If you have health problems, it may not be possible. In many cases, it is advisable to remove any wisdom teeth and the back teeth several weeks in advance of front tooth extractions and denture placement. Doing this allows your mouth to heal somewhat, enabling a better fit. Obviously, if you don’t have any teeth or just need replacement dentures, this entire step is eliminated and you move directly to impressions.

Impressions

Impressions are the part of the denture process that no one likes. Dentistry has changed and messy impressions can be a thing of the past if your dentist offers newer technology. It is now possible to scan your entire mouth to create virtual impressions that allow dentures to be made without enduring an impression that feels like it lasts forever. Talk with your denturist to see if this is an option for you.

Intermediate Steps

Depending on your situation and tooth configuration, it may be necessary to try a mock-up of the dentures in your mouth. This allows the denturist to perfect the bite and lets you get an idea of how the final dentures will look. The mock-up is then returned to the dental laboratory, along with instructions for any changes, for processing of the final denture.

Denture Delivery

The remaining teeth are removed, if present, and the finished dentures are delivered. Because of improved computerized technology, dentures today tend to fit more precisely upon delivery, eliminating the need for numerous adjustment visits.

How to Prepare for Dentures

No one can totally prepare for dentures for the first time. Each person’s journey is somewhat unique. Certain people find specific aspects of how to prepare for dentures more difficult to master than others. For most people, it takes anywhere from 2–4 weeks or longer to function reasonably with new dentures. There are some general tips that can make the denture procedure easier for you. If you remember that getting dentures involves a learning curve in order to use them, it will make the transition to wearing easier and more enjoyable.

Tip #1: Time

Don’t think that you are going to get dentures and celebrate by going to a nice restaurant for an expensive meal. You will be disappointed and frustrated. No matter if this is your first experience with dentures or you are receiving replacement dentures, it takes time to learn to use new dentures effectively. Slow down, use a knife and fork to cut the food into smaller-than-normal pieces, chew on both sides of your mouth, expect to spend more time to become acclimated.

Tip #2: Patience

You have new challenges to conquer in order to use your dentures. Don’t beat yourself up if you become tongue twisted and can’t speak clearly immediately. Be patient and open to learning the nuances of your new dentures. Your muscles and nerves need time to adapt to having this strange, foreign object in your mouth.

Tip #3: Practice

Once you’ve discovered the best way to chew, pronounce words, smile, and laugh, practice these skills in private until you are able to master them without thinking. Slowly read a book aloud in front of a mirror, retraining your tongue to form certain sounds that are difficult to pronounce. With practice, using your dentures will become second nature.

How Long Is the Denture Process?

Depending on where you go and the quality of dentures that you have chosen, dentures can be made in as little as one day. This is particularly great for patients who want to see a dramatic change without waiting for several weeks.

The denture process for high-quality, more durable dentures that look more natural and lifelike generally takes about two weeks to fabricate from start to finish. This includes the initial impression appointment, any intermediate appointments, denture delivery, and all of the processing time in between.

The Denture Process: Unveiled

Making dentures doesn’t have to be shrouded in mystery. At European Denture Center, our denturists understand that getting dentures is a unique experience for every patient. We are very cognizant of your treatment concerns and your budget. That’s why we offer free consultations, where we answer all of your questions, to help make the entire process seamless.

European Denture Center provides high-quality, affordable, personalized, comfortable dentures and partials. Our dentures and implants are customized to match your unique needs. Schedule online or give us a call at 866.428.0505 to arrange your free consultation with the office nearest to you.