How Are False Teeth Made?

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Getting dentures made will usually mean multiple trips to the dentist or dental clinic. This may sound inconvenient but it’s crucial to ensure your new dentures are a perfect fit, are comfortable, look good, allow you to chew food easily and help protect your gums.

Your dentist or dental clinic will start by taking measurements and an impression; the impression is taken of your upper and lower jaw, and provides an accurate mould of your mouth. It is made by pressing putty around the gums and any remaining teeth, which is based in a plastic, or ‘stock’, tray. The soft putty hardens whilst around the teeth, after which it is removed and sent to a dental laboratory. Here, a plaster cast is produced using the impression as the mould.

The next step is to take a second impression, which is then used to create a master cast of your jaw. Using this master cast a wax model is produced; this wax model is used to record the bite position of your upper and lower jaw, to ensure a perfect match is created.

At this point, the shape and size of your new teeth will also be chosen. Artificial teeth are manufactured using acrylic and are available in hundreds of sizes, shapes and natural colours.

Back at the lab a clinical dental technician will use an ‘articulator’ and the returned wax model to hand craft your denture. The articulator holds in place the wax base, which forms the gum part of the dentures; the false teeth are then positioned into it. The base is then carefully sculpted to fit the gum and surrounding tissues snugly.

Once the teeth have been fitted to the wax base, your denture will then be sent back to the clinic to be checked. If satisfactory, the wax base will then be returned and used to make another mould. This time the wax base and teeth are not removed, but simply heated up. The wax melts and can be removed without disturbing the position of the teeth in the mould. Plastic made to the most lifelike colour in order to match the patients’ gums is then poured into the mould.

The result is a denture ready for the base to be trimmed, and teeth polished. It is then on to the denture clinic for final checking, and after any minor adjustments, ready for use.