5 FACTS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING LOWER DENTURES
ISN’T A LOWER DENTURE JUST A PIECE OF PLASTIC?
Please excuse the medical speak but it helps give an idea of the complexity of a bottom denture. A lower denture is not merely a product; it must be a functional, biophysiologic appliance, designed to replace lost human teeth/bone and associated tissues; required to restore neuromuscular, masticatory and oratory function to the patient.
“…it must be a functional, biophysiologic appliance, designed to replace lost human teeth/bone and associated tissues”
Great, but what the heck does all that mean? It means a lower denture is designed to be functional (meaning you can actually eat and speak with it) and biophysiologic (meaning it functions with all of the other organs your natural teeth functioned with).
The lower denture must replace and provide masticatory (chewing) and oratory (speech) functions equal to or better than the natural teeth.
WITHOUT A PROPERLY PERFORMED IMPRESSION YOUR NEW BOTTOM DENTURE MIGHT BE USELESS AND/OR PAINFULL
Think of impressions as the blueprint for your lower denture. If the blueprint is wrong or incomplete you can imagine how poorly the finished product will function.
Simply put, an accurate impression is critical. If the blueprints (the impression) are not exactly as your tissues are, a dental technician cannot build a denture that will fit and function as it should.
There are two types of impression techniques: static and functional. A static impression takes the blueprint of your teeth and tissues while your mouth is at rest (hence the name static). With a functional impression, the dentist/denturist will place a special impression material in the denture and have you to wear the denture for 8 – 24 hours. This impression material actually moves [ever so slightly] as your tissues move during all of your normal speaking, swallowing and eating activities. This is why it is termed “functional”. The functional impression gives a much more accurate representation of the tissues.
“Simply put, an accurate impression is critical”
Please note, if you are having teeth extracted, wait six months to have a functional impression/reline performed. It takes six months for the tissues to fully reshape.
After six months we recommend getting a functional impression and reline. If possible, by a board-certified prosthodontist or medical denturist.
ARTIFICIAL TEETH: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
There are essentially two types of artificial teeth; plastic and porcelain. There are various sub types of plastic (sometimes referred to as acrylic) teeth from inexpensive to very expensive. On average plastic teeth are cheaper and last 5-10 years. Plastic teeth do not completely break down food particulates because they have less grinding ability. Over time it is common for denture wearers with plastic teeth to develop digestive problems.
Vacuum fired porcelain are the teeth of choice today for premium dentures. They are more expensive and generally last up to 25 years. Porcelain teeth have better grinding ability and will completely break down food particulates, lessening chances of digestive problems.
“Over time it is common for denture wearers with plastic teeth to develop digestive problems”
Many dentists today do not like utilizing porcelain teeth and would rather provide you with dentures created with plastic teeth. Why would that be? Simply put, there is economic incentive to sell dentures with plastic teeth as the patient has to return more often for new dentures. Less commonly known, most dentists have a difficult time establishing ‘Centric’; the position your jaw moves too during swallowing. In this position, your teeth will fit together like teeth on a set of gears. Lastly, it is much easier for dentist/denturist to adjust plastic teeth than it is porcelain teeth. Saving them time and costing you more money.