Dentures are a tried-and-true restorative solution, allowing patients to enjoy a complete, healthy, and fully functional smile once more. Whether you’re missing several or all of your teeth, a customized, sturdy full or partial denture can help make basic tasks like eating and speaking easier, leading to higher confidence and self-esteem. Read on to learn what you can expect from this treatment process, including how long it will take.
Step 1: Extractions & Healing
Not everyone will require this step, but it’s also not uncommon for patients getting either full or partial dentures to require tooth extractions beforehand. This is only necessary for those who have severely damaged or compromised teeth that will need to be replaced in the near future. Once the extraction process is complete, you’ll need to allow your gums to heal completely, as they’ll be supporting your new prosthetic. This can take between six and eight weeks following the extraction.
Step 2: Capturing a Digital Impression
After your gums have healed, a digital impression of your mouth will be captured using a wand-like device. The process only takes a minute or two, but this advanced technology allows your dentist to capture a digital, lifelike 3D model of your dental structure. It will capture every crevice, nook and cranny of your gumline and surrounding teeth, providing much more detail than a traditional putty impression.
Step 3: Crafting at the Dental Laboratory
Once your dentist has captured the digital impression of your mouth, they’ll send it off to their trusted dental laboratory to use as a blueprint to craft your full or partial denture. After a couple of days, a temporary wax mock-up will be crafted for you to try. This will let the technician know whether the fit needs to be adjusted or not. If everything checks out, they’ll return the mock-up to the dental laboratory and craft the prosthetic from durable, lifelike materials like ceramic and acrylic. On average, this part of the process can last from anywhere between six and eight weeks.
Step 4: Fit & Bite Check
Once your final denture is completed and returned to your dentist, they’ll call you in for your last appointment. This involves showing you how to use and clean your new prosthetic, as well as checking your bite to make sure the fit is exact and comfortable. They’ll also provide you with maintenance and upkeep directions to help your replacement teeth continue looking like new.
About the Author
Dr. Rafiq Hirji is an experienced, compassionate restorative dentist who has helped countless patients regain smiles that are complete, healthy, and full. He offers a wide range of tooth replacement treatments, including traditional dentures and dental implants. He is an avid lifelong learner and regularly takes continuing education courses to stay up to date with the latest advancements in his field. For questions or to schedule a consultation, visit Daily Smiles MacArthur’s website or call 972-546-4114.