My Denure Help Guide-Your Denture Questions Answered
An insight into how we manage and plan your treatment with Q & A Scenarios
If your questions are not answered here in the denture Q & A guide please email and ask us direct so it can be added to the list, or book a free consultation with Andy Dougan.
How do I choose where to go to for new denture treatment?
When denture patients are deciding where to go to get new dentures they should consider several important factors. Most people do not realise that they can now go direct to a clinical dental technician in the UK instead of a dentist. The difference being that unlike clinical dental technicians, dentists cannot do the laboratory work themselves, they instead send the moulds and fitting stages away to be mass produced in a commercial laboratory by someone you will never meet. Clinical dental technicians however are far more extensively trained for dentures and should be doing all of the denture manufacturing themselves for every patient they treat, often affording them huge advantages over dentists with the technical experience, speed and accuracy to bridge the gap from laboratory to patient.
How much should dentures cost?
Our services are private and not covered by the NHS. There are no set guidelines for the prices of private dentures outside of the NHS so the costs vary a huge amount. NHS denture treatment costs £200 – 300 unless you qualify for free dental treatment. We see several patients each month that have had NHS dentures made that they cannot wear for varying reasons due to a lack of time being spent on them both clinically (when you are in the dental chair) and in NHS commercial laboratories with poor standards of work and the cheapest materials used. You should also be very wary of private low cost advertised “affordable” bums on seats denture pricing as properly made dentures take a considerable amount of clinical and laboratory time to make which cannot be “cheap” as time is the main thing that you are paying for. What you should consider as well as the dentures costs is the experience and attitude of the clinician you choose to make your new dentures. You should be aware that a professional and experienced denture maker will take plenty of time to discuss your denture requirements and above all listen to you and explain everything to you about all your options, associated costs and the reasons behind them without “up selling” or being “pushy” so you can make a proper well informed choice to suit your budget.
Can you make my dentures if I already have a dentist?
Yes we can make your dentures if you are already registered with a dentist. For full complete dentures we can go straight ahead. If you need partial dentures then we need a simple prescription (find a printable copy here) signed by a dentist that has checked your teeth to aid the decisions with designing your denture. This is a regulation set by the General Dental Council (GDC) for clinical dental technicians like us. If your dentist takes exception to this and as is often the case, finds excuses not to comply or just refuses to sign our prescription then (unfortunately) it is because they find the situation financally chalenging and professionally offensive. They all have commercial labs they send away to, to get all their dentures made and have the huge lions share of the profit. I’m sorry but it is just the truth plain and simple having tried to get hundreds of my patients dentists to sign my prescriptions. It’s a strange thing but it puts their cards face up on the table straight away lol. This can be an issue but it is easily overcome as we have a few nice open minded nearby dentists that we recommend and send patients to for this very reason. On the bright side I have met several dedicated open minded dentists because of this who now refer more complex denture case patients directly to me (even there is no £ in it for them) because they want to help their patients. Will I get hung drawn and quartered for this paragraph – who knows but it’s just quite simply the truth! In lot’s of countries around the world denture technicians seeing the public has been the norm for years without this prescription rule we have in the UK. In Canada I would be called a Denturist.
Can you recommend a local dentist?
Yes we can recommend good local dentists. We have several dentists in the area that we work alongside to help denture wearers.
Which kind of denture is right for me? Plan my treatment?
The single most important factor for making perfect dentures is Treatment Planning. This means making all the right denture choices in advance for size, shape, materials, design, cost and appearance.
We have to select the kind of denture that’s right for you and incorporate the correct denture design specific to your needs as every case is unique.
Making the right decisions for selecting the correct individual kinds of denture treatment for every patient depends on many important factors.
- Your current denture problems to overcome – poor appearance – painful or loose fitting dentures that stop you enjoying food – weak dentures that cracked or kept breaking – dentures that affected your speech or that gave you a confidence issue
- Your particular stipulations and opinions / likes and dislikes
- The Health, position and sensitivity of any remaining teeth
- Shapes and conditions of the gums and oral tissue
- Your gag reflex sensitivity and adaptive capability to wear dentures affecting design options and choices
- The urgency timescale we have to work to
- Your Budget
- Your Age
- Any Medical Conditions and medication affecting treatment
How should I look after my dentures? / cleaning denture do’s & don’ts
When new, your dentures are professionally polished to a lustrous shine. To maintain this you need to get into the habit of brushing them twice a day with a soft bristled normal or electric tooth brush on every surface. This combined with a non-abrasive denture cream or toothpaste brushed in a circular motion to clean between the denture teeth is all that’s needed to keep them looking as good as new. Another good trick is to fill the bathroom sink with water to brush them over in case you drop them. Please bear in mind though not to overdo it as excessive brushing can over time polish the denture surface away. If you do not wear your dentures at night simply soak them (after brushing) in clean water.
The use of bleach soaking products is not advised they can cause permanent perishing damage to the denture acrylic, however if you must use these advertised denture soaking tablets please limit the time to only a few minutes maximum but you will still need to brush them as well. A common problem we see is when patients have soaked their dentures overnight in bleach or with a tablet bleach product for several years resulting in the pink plastic part of the dentures being all rough and porous with a changed much lighter often white colour.
If you do get tarter build up or staining that you cannot remove then we can professionally clean and polish your dentures while you wait.
Should I - Can I wear my dentures at night?
Yes you can wear your dentures at night as long as you have good “twice daily” oral hygiene routine unless you fall into the two categories below.
The first is concerning small partial dentures or loose dentures where there is a risk that you could choke on them.
The second is if you suffer from a condition called bruxism where you clench or grind your teeth at night. This affects patients with partials and full complete dentures with the usual symptoms being aching or clicking jaws, headaches or painful gums. This can cause excessive wear of real and denture teeth and painful pressure points under dentures where they have been overloaded with biting force. Over a long period of time this can cause accelerated gum shrinkage.
I know thousands of patients now over 80 who had all their teeth pulled out in their late teens or twenties that have always worn their dentures at night with no problems at all. Lots of patients cannot sleep without their dentures in at night.
What is a soft comfort lining?
There are several different kinds of soft comfort linings for dentures. They are soft usually silicone based softer layers placed underneath mainly lower dentures when your mouth is unable to take hard acrylic denture pressure directly. Some are temporary and only last for only about six months where as others can last several years. We try to only use these as a last resort for extremely receeded flat ridges or bumpy bony sensitive gum conditions to solve a problem.
Which foods are most likely to crack or break my dentures?
Without doubt the most common food that breaks or cracks dentures is bread in its various forms. Any big compressive food that you take a large bite into like pizza, normal sliced bread or toast, French bread or even pitta bread all make you exert your full biting force to bite through them spreading the force across your denture which is roughly the same as standing on it. Biting is however an effortless action as you do not consciously register any effort as it is an automatic action which is well in excess of 100 psi. I would guess probably over 80% of the thousands of dentures I have repaired were from eating bread. Other obvious foods to avoid include anything rock hard like chocolate that is fridge cold or pork crackling.
How long should my dentures last?
There are no exact set times for how long dentures should last. We recommend having a denture health check-up and an oral examination annually. We can check if your dentures still fit properly,are free from cracks or damage and no excessive tooth wear or gum shrinkage causing any instability.
Can dentures fit over roots?
Yes your denture can fit over remaining roots. What we normally advise is if a dental crown snaps off or a real tooth breaks near the gum line then get a dentist to flatten them down and fill any holes. We can then simply fit the denture over the top without the trauma and healing delay of a tooth extraction. This also means no gum shrinkage will occur.
I am Dental Phobic/Scared of Impressions
I try to make the treatment as relaxed as possible for nervous patients. Because of the fact that I am not a dentist, lots of patients have sought denture treatment from me over the years as it seems easier for them so I am very used to treating nervous patients. I have several gag free impression techniques for patients that suffer with this common problem. New ultra quick setting impression materials make this situation much easier to manage.
Can Denture World make my denture on the NHS?
Unfortunately we cannot make dentures on the NHS. As Clinical Dental Technicians we cannot have an NHS contract so our specialised denture treatment is only private.
Denture Care and Cleaning
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Adjusting to New Dentures
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I have missing Teeth, I need my first ever denture
If you already have missing teeth an acrylic denture can be made often in a day. If real teeth or crowns have snapped off leaving spikes of roots sticking out beyond gum level I usually get a dentist to flatten them prior to taking the impressions. As long as there are no holes or decay present the dentist will leave the roots in so there is less trauma to surrounding teeth and also no gum shrinkage. This in turn also means leaving a more stable base for the denture as long as there is room with where your teeth occlude. This is a very common situation having what is called an over denture.
I have loose real teeth or crowns and bridges – Planning ahead
Another common scenario. If you have one or more loose real teeth or crowns that are past the point of no return it is easy for us to plan ahead. I can either recommend a nice dentist to remove the teeth and trim roots down or work alongside your regular dentist. I need to see you first to assess the best way to plan your treatment – either to make a denture before the extractions called an immediate that’s ready to put straight in when the teeth are removed, or to do the impressions afterwards and make a denture quickly the same day. There are several reasons why one or the other would be better suited so I need to see you to discuss it first. We can copy how your real teeth looked exactly, or enhance them to look better depending on what your teeth look like. Prior to the extractions I often take a photo, shade match and bite print of your teeth so I have very accurate measurements to aid getting the appearance right to copy the way the missing teeth looked.
Do I need Denture Implants ? / Do I try normal dentures first?
This is a common scenario where I often see patients who feel they are being fast tracked into having implants without the option of having normal dentures made properly first. I can help you make the right decision by thrashing out all your denture options during a consultation and by showing you examples of the different kinds and designs of suitable dentures and their likelihood of success. It is very hard to generalise with this situation but I find that dentures made properly are fine for the vast majority of well over 90% of the patients I see and at a fraction of the cost of denture implants. A lot depends on case specifics as I do refer a few patients each year for implant treatment. If in doubt let me have a look with a free consultation as I will be able to tell in a couple of minutes how suitable normal dentures would be for you as denture Implants are always an option afterwards if you really cannot tolerate normal dentures.
How Fast Can You Make a Denture?
The normal timescale is a week or two for making new dentures but we can make dentures in a day for emergency situations.
Can I have a denture ready to put straight in when my teeth are extracted?
We can make what’s called an immediate denture that is ready to fit straight away when the dentist extracts your problem teeth. However if any real teeth are so loose there is a risk they will come out when we do the denture impressions then the denture will have to be made quickly after the extractions usually within a day.
Will my speech be affected? How long does it take to get used to a denture?
Speech being affected and getting used to dentures depends on several factors.
- The kind of denture you have – thinner Alloy/thicker Acrylic.
- How well made and designed the denture is.
- The shape of your mouth and palate depth.
- Your individual adaptive capability
When you speak your tongue automatically knows the exact position and shape of your mouth to create the gap for the phonetic airflow to control the sound of your S’s for example and every other noise we create to talk.
When we change this shape by placing a denture over the area behind your front teeth this affects everyone with their first denture. For some people they can adapt their speech back to normal in a couple of days where as others can take longer.
What actually happens is that your tongue maps the new shape to talk against like a 3d scanner or a computer programme and the interesting thing is that it all happens subconsciously when you are not actually thinking about it. That is why different people have different adaptive times to get used to talking normally again, however this is completely normal as 99% of people are fine with correctly designed well-made dentures.
Routine Replacement of existing Full Dentures or Partial Dentures
Routine Replacement of a Full Complete Set of Dentures
For the routine replacement of existing full dentures you have been happy with, the normal time frame is about two weeks to make them with usually between three and six appointments. The complexity and amount of time varies depending on how many denture problems with the appearance, fit and function we have to solve. Often an improvised copy denture technique will be used where impressions are taken inside your old dentures so we can copy all the settings that we want to keep such as the appearance and shape. Then nobody will know you have new dentures as you will look and sound the same.
Routine replacement of Partial dentures and Problem Solving
An exact copy is an easy denture for us to make but usually when new replacement partial dentures are needed it is because of changes to existing real teeth causing, unstable dentures or breakages to the old denture. We then often have to redesign your new partial denture to solve any problems and make your new denture as future proof as possible.
What Happens after I get my new dentures? What if they need adjusting?
A Review appointment is made for you so we can check how you are coping with your new dentures. We often need to adjust slight pressure points under the dentures by using pressure indicating moulds to highlight the exact areas to target. We also check the occlusion to make sure everything is ok. This is all routine and included in the initial cost of your treatment however many appointments are needed for up to a 12 month period.
My new/first NHS dentures (and often private dentures) are no good
I help hundreds of denture patients each year with NHS (and often private) dentures they cannot wear. Either they are too thick, painful, over extended making you gag or look completely wrong as the tooth settings are miles out. This is most often due to several factors.
- Very poor substandard NHS dental laboratory work due to low manufacturing costs with the cheapest materials which does not afford enough time.
- Not enough time spent clinically by the Dentist rushing/or inexperience/lack of care
- A breakdown in vital instructions /communication between the Dentist and dental laboratory they send the impressions and fitting stages to.
- Trainee inexperienced work experience Dentists are used to do the NHS denture work
Please do not despair as I can always improve the results dramatically with dentures done properly to suit how you need them.
My old Dentures have become painful when I chew
Sometimes I can simply ease part of the denture to relieve the pain. I need to have a look in your mouth and do a pressure point mould underneath the denture to show me where to adjust it in a couple of minutes.
There can be several reasons for this depending on how old the dentures are. Losing body weight or real teeth can have great effect on the fit and stability of existing dentures.
If the teeth are worn out unevenly making the denture tip when you bite or chew then this is more likely to be a case where your dentures need replacing.
I cannot talk. My speech is affected
This problem usually arises with new dentures as you get used to them especially when we have had to change the tooth settings. Most patients need up to a few days to adjust their speech. However this is all done at a subconscious level without thinking about it. I often explain to patients that when learning to speak with a new denture you cannot actively try to master it.
Your tongue has to learn where the new shape is that’s kind of like a 3d scanner to such an exact and precise position to master certain sounds, the most obvious being your S’s.
The other thing to consider is that different patients have varying levels of adaptive capability which means some people can find it more difficult than others.
If you are still not sounding right after a few days of trying with new dentures I can change the shape and thickness of your dentures where you touch them with your tongue based on the sounds that are causing you problems.
I have never had dentures I’m happy with
This scenario is up there on the more complex side of treatment depending on the reasons you are not happy with them.
I would ask you to bring in all of your old dentures so I can assess them and work out what to do to solve your specific problems.
I cannot chew my food properly with my old dentures
This situation usually means you need new dentures made as you have worn down the biting chewing surfaces of your teeth. This is sometimes caused by people who chew mint sweets all the time as they are very abrasive and wear out dentures much faster, often after giving up smoking people chew mints instead.
My denture makes me gag
If you have a new denture that you cannot tolerate due to it’s size then it quite simply needs redesigning. Every patients tolerances are different and some have a very sensitive gag reflex which is quite normal and fairly common. Dentures are often made fully extended back in the mouth without checking the patients tolerances first. I use what I call palate mapping to see how far the denture can be tolerated before it is made. Dentures can be designed around this common problem.
Do I need to use denture glue adhesive?
The problem here is everyone wants to generalise. I always try to design dentures to be able to be glue free in most cases but it is not always possible. Some patients have to wear denture glue just because of how their mouth is. If you cannot wear your denture without glue then there is a fair chance I could make one for you that will stay in glueless but I need to asses your mouth first.
I’m using too much denture glue adhesive several times a day
If this is the case then your denture is possibly a very poor fit or is tipping when you bite and chew. If your denture rocks as you chew then it is failing in the worst way. The adhesive will be squashed from side to side as you eat and won’t last long. I can usually quite easily solve this problem so call me.
My denture teeth are noisy when I chew / not sliding properly
This a common problem I see every week. It causes partial dentures to press and tip causing pain, loosness with possible damage to real teeth. Full dentures are unstable and often loose because of this. I can often simply adjust your denture to solve the problem. Balanced occlusion (chewing) means no tipping and rocking solving pain issues ans loose dentures. Usually because the denture teeth were not carved to chew properly when made in a dental laboratory and also not checked by the person who fitted them.
My full complete lower denture lifts up all the time or just when I open my mouth
This is one of the most common scenarios I see several times a week with old dentures and often brand new ones. The cause is that your lower denture is in the way of where your lip above your chin pulls back into making it lift up.
The severity varies from only lifting a couple of millimeters to visibly watching a patients lower lip bulge out when they push the denture down, only to instantly spring up when they let go.
Lower complete dentures are not comparable to upper full dentures as they fit in a different way. Lower full dentures are not held down tight and cannot grip lock onto your gums. They sit with gravity alone resting on top of gums nestling between the soft tissues of the tongue, lips and cheeks. When made well they are moulded to be as extended as possible yet out of the way of all the moveable parts of the mouth that incroach into the space where they sit. I use a process often referred to as 3d mouth mapping or border moulding to make full lower dentures feel tighter, although they are not actually “tighter” they are as extended as possible and not in the way of anything.
My tongue lifts my lower denture/ rubs against it making it sore
Just like problem above there is a good chance the denture has been positioned incroaching your tongue space and needs changing.
Changing denture tooth settings / shade / size / position
If changes are needed to the appearance of your teeth then enhancements can easily be incorporated to change their shade or size and position. We have a huge range of gender specific denture teeth to choose from for each patient. This does however usually increase the amount of time and appointments needed to achieve optimum results. We often get you to find an old photo showing how your teeth used to look (if you liked them) which can be used to help select the correct shape and size of denture teeth and how to position them for your individual characterised appearance. As each case is so different it is impossible to generalise on the changes that are needed as usually there is a combination of varying problems between the aesthetics and the fit/function. That’s why consultations are free so we can plan your treatment and assess what is possible for each individual patient to find out what is required.
Facial lip support / restoring natural looking facial dimensions
I see many patients who have denture teeth that just look false because they are set in the wrong position relative to their lips with often the wrong size and shape of teeth. I can easily work out how to change these settings to improve your appearance. Providing proper support for your top lip with cosmetically pleasing denture teeth that are angled correctly can transform your look for both smiling and talking.
My denture teeth look like false teeth
There are vast differences in the kinds of denture teeth available from very plasticy lifeless teeth costing pence right up to the most amazingly life like individually characterised teeth that reflect the light the same as real teeth so you really cannot tell the difference.
My denture has wire clasps that look unsightly
We now have tooth coloured or clear flexi clasps.
I cannot remove dark staining between my denture teeth / why?
If you have dry joins between the teeth and pink of your denture then this can be a problem. I can tell by having a look and sometimes professionally clean them for you.