As a dentist, it amazes me the lengths that people will go to in order to avoid seeking help from a qualified individual who has the training and equipment to actually fix a problem correctly. So I was surprised to discover several brands of one-size-fits-most temporary over-the-counter denture kits available for purchase at chain drug stores and online. This was quite the learning experience for me, and it was fascinating to watch people attempt to perform dental treatment on their own.
All temporary dentures available over the counter have one thing in common: they are basically a thin strip of veneers, with or without pink gum material attached, that is heated and shaped before being applied to your remaining natural teeth. A self-setting thermoplastic material allows the veneers to snap into place over the teeth. This thermoplastic material remains semi-flexible which allows the denture to be removed and reinserted without going through the process of re-adapting the adhesive to conform to your teeth. Most of the kits also contain scissors and a file to trim, smooth, and customize the veneers to fit your arch properly.
While these can seem like an easy fix, there is some risk involved in using DIY dentures. Keep reading to learn more about over-the-counter temporary dentures and find affordable denture alternatives.
Problems with DIY Dentures
I watched a number of YouTubers, including a dentist from the UK, review and demonstrate how to use these temporary over-the-counter denture kits. The results were mixed. Some did a good job, and there was a noticeable improvement to their smile. But many had trouble and admitted how difficult it was to see what they were doing. There were a number of common problems that most of the reviewers experienced. Let’s discuss the top three.
Applied Veneers with the Midline to One Side
It’s easy to mess up the positioning of the artificial teeth because the average person is not trained to notice distinct tooth shapes and anatomical alignments. Most people in the videos thought all of the front teeth appeared to look the same until they applied the veneers with the midline off to one side. Then it became obvious to them that something was grossly wrong.
Temporary Dentures Not Completely Seated
Shaping the veneers to fit the curvature of your arch and using the proper amount of thermoplastic material is key. Most people attempted to seat the temporary over-the-counter dentures with an excess amount of thermoplastic adhesive or with material that had not been allowed to soften fully. This leads to the denture not being seated completely, causing the artificial teeth to look very long and the pink gum material to show.
Bulky and Uncomfortable
Even when applied correctly and judiciously, the sheer bulk of the adhesive material combined with the thickness of the veneers over the natural teeth made the dentures uncomfortable to wear. Most reviewers complained that it was difficult to talk or they were speaking with a lisp.
DIY Dentures: The Takeaway
Take-home kits have their place and should mainly be reserved for costume parties. If you have broken or missing teeth, these temporary dentures can allow you to attend an important event or take a family photo but should not be used as a long-term fix. Much like hanging fancy lace curtains over a broken window, they don’t address the real issue.
Temporary over-the-counter dentures are not intended to be a long-term substitute for receiving dental treatment from a qualified dentist or denturist. The dental professional has the knowledge, experience, and most importantly, the materials and equipment to address problems associated with your missing teeth in a way that not only improves your appearance but also allows you to chew and function with confidence.
What Are Some Affordable Denture Alternatives?
Spending money on short-term fixes every few weeks is not money well spent. If you have broken or missing teeth and have resorted to covering them with temporary over-the-counter dentures, you need a better plan. That plan starts with a consultation with a local dentist.
Immediate dentures may be an affordable option that will allow your smile to be transformed in one day. Look at it this way. An investment in a high-quality treatment solution designed to last for years will actually save you money in the long run. Not to mention, give you the comfort, peace of mind, and confidence that well-made dentures provide.
Find the Right Dentures For You at European Denture Center
The dental professionals at European Denture Center have seen all of the home remedies, and they know there are much better solutions. You deserve a smile transformation customized, especially for you, to match your unique situation and facial structure. European Denture Center’s caring and compassionate denturists and staff have solutions that will get you smiling again with confidence and self-esteem that is contagious! To learn more about alternatives to temporary over-the-counter dentures, visit European Denture Center online or call (208) 584-5433.