By David Hudnall, DMD

It’s amazing the lengths that people will go to in order to avoid seeking help from someone who has the expertise to fix a problem correctly. One-size-fits-most temporary denture kits available for purchase at drug stores and online are certainly one way to circumvent seeing a dental professional. But the results are not long-lasting and can actually cost you more in the long run when real dental issues must be addressed to relieve pain and discomfort.

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.

What Are Temporary Dentures?

If you have had teeth removed and dentures immediately placed or you have had teeth extracted for only a short period of time, temporary dentures are the first dentures that you will wear. They are designed to be used for 6 to 12 months and they allow you to have a full complement of teeth while recovering from treatment.

After your gums have fully healed, your dentist will fit you with new replacement dentures that allow you to chew better with a greater degree of comfort. But there is also another form of temporary dentures available –– over-the-counter temporary dentures.

The Biggest Issues With Temporary Dentures Over-the-Counter

  • They are nothing like the temporary dentures provided by a licensed dentist
  • They require support from at least half of your natural teeth
  • They don’t address or solve any dental problems
  • Long-term use can make dental problems worse
  • They aren’t a permanent solution

Types of Temporary Dentures

For the purposes of this discussion, there are two vastly different forms of temporary dentures.

The first form is a removable appliance made by a dentist to replace your natural teeth right after you’ve had your teeth extracted.

In contrast, the second form consists of a kit containing a thin strip of veneers, with or without pink gum material attached, that is heated and shaped before being applied over your remaining natural teeth. This type of temporary denture is designed for self-treatment and merely hides your natural teeth.

Problems With DIY Dentures

There are a number YouTubers who have demonstrated how to use these online temporary denture kits with mixed results. A few did a good job and produced a noticeable improvement to their smiles. But most had trouble working with the materials provided and admitted how difficult it was to see what they were doing. There were also a number of problems that most of the reviewers experienced. Let’s discuss the top three issues:

1. Center of Front Teeth to One Side

It’s easy to mess up the positioning of the false teeth because the average person is not trained to recognize distinct tooth shapes and anatomical alignments. Most people in the videos thought all of the front teeth looked similar until they applied the temporary dentures to their own teeth, off center. Then it became obvious that something was wrong. Fixing the issue requires repeating the placement process.

2. Temporary Dentures Not Fully in Place

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 dentures over-the-counter with an excess amount of adhesive or with material that had not been allowed to fully soften. This caused the temporary denture to not be seated fully, resulting in artificial teeth that look very long and the pink gum material being visible.

3. Bulky and Uncomfortable

Why do my dentures feel bulky? Even when applied correctly and judiciously, the thickness of the adhesive material combined with the veneers over existing natural teeth make them uncomfortable to wear. Most reviewers complained that it was difficult to talk or they were speaking with a lisp with the temporary denture in place.

DIY Dentures: The Takeaway

Take-home kits have their place and should 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 for anything other than a short-term fix. Much like hanging fancy curtains over a broken window, they don’t address the real issue.

Over-the-counter temporary dentures are not intended to be a long-term substitute for receiving dental treatment from a qualified dentist or denturist. Dental professionals have 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 hiding them with online temporary 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 quality treatment 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

The dental professionals at European Denture Center have seen all of the home remedies and 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 or to schedule an appointment, visit European Denture Center online or call (208) 584-5433.