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Dr. Reza Khazaie, DDS, Prosthodontist

The Complete Guide to Dentures

I hope you find this guide informative and helpful. You will not find this content anywhere else on the internet. It is the content and experiences of Dr. Reza Khazaie, DDS, Prosthodontist and founder of Willow Pass Dental Care, a leader in cosmetic dentistry and world-renowned Prosthodontist in Concord, CA.

Dr. Reza Khazaie is also regarded amongst his peers and patients as the smile expert.

Dr. Khazaie is an expert on the specialized treatment of dental and facial problems involving restoring missing teeth and jaw structures. He is a highly trained specialist in dental cosmetics, dental implants such as the All On 4 dental implants, bridges, dentures, digital dentures, implant supported dentures, dental crowns, dental veneers, TMJ/TMD, and many more dental procedures.

If you’re looking to learn as much as you can about dentures, you will appreciate this guide.

Let’s get started.

Fit, Comfort, & Function

When it comes to dentures, there are three things that matter most. Do they fit? Are they comfortable? Are they functional?

Dentures Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care

Did you know?

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Did you know there are at least 120 people a month in Concord trying to find this page?

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Luckily, you found it. We are glad you did.

Google shows over 132,582 searches a month in the United States for variations of the keyword for dentures.

In our own neighborhood of Concord, there are over 70 searches a month for those searching dentures Concord, dentures near me, dentures in Concord, affordable dentures, digital dentures near me,and more!

The interest in dentures over the last 15+ years is near an all-time high. Just see the graph from Google Trends below:

My goal is to help you find the information you need to make an informed decision about dentures and other tooth replacement or tooth restoration options. I hope you will find what you are looking for in my Comprehensive Guide to Dentures.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask by sending me an email at contactus@willowpassdentalcare.com, and my team or I will get back to you. Make sure to put in the subject line: Dentures.

Dentures Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care
Dentures Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care

What Are Dentures?

Most people think of dentures as old-fashioned prosthetics from a bygone era.

However, you may be surprised to learn that dentures are still part of modern dentistry and prosthodontics.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 90 percent of edentulous (toothless) patients rely on dentures to meet their daily functional and aesthetic needs. Of that number, 15 percent have a new set of dentures made every single year.

Dentures today are a far cry from the old and clumsy false teeth of the past.

Modern materials and manufacturing techniques allow for the custom fabrication of digital dentures that not only fit perfectly but also look great as well. Dentists can even prototype them in hours as opposed to weeks.

What are conventional dentures?

Dentures Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care

Modern or conventional dentures often called “false teeth,” are prosthetic devices designed to replace missing teeth. Like the false teeth of the past, conventional dentures today are still made from artificial materials and are supported by a patient’s gums to stay in place.

New technologies in dentures allow for a variety of new forms depending on the patient’s individual needs.

These include partial dentures and implant-retained dentures (permanent), to name a few.

These new types of dentures share some similarities with conventional dentures but differ drastically in design and application.

Partial dentures, for example, rely on adjacent teeth for support. Meanwhile, implant-retained dentures mechanically fasten to the underlying jaw bone via dental implants.

In addition to these new types of dentures are technologically advanced materials.

In the past, dentures have been made from everything from animal ivory to wood.

Today, dentures can be made from various long-lasting and aesthetic dental-grade materials, including resin, acrylic, porcelain ceramic, zirconia, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials.

Rapid advancements in digital scanning, 3D printing, and CAD/CAM fabrication have made custom dentures more accessible and technologically advanced than ever before.

As recently as a decade ago, the vast majority of custom dentures required an artisan’s input. Whether a dentist taking a dental impression, a dental lab technician sculpting a stone mold, or a prosthodontist putting the finishing touches on a custom design — denture fabrication wasn’t that far removed from its artisanal roots. However, hand-making anything, let alone a set of highly intricate teeth takes time and can be very costly.

Today oral data is taken digitally, with the assistance of an oral scanner. It is then modeled in a computer CAD/CAM program and then printed with precise details with little need for an artisan’s hand — thus less time and, yes, less cost.

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Characteristics of Traditional Dentures

Dentures in Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care
  • Removable (except for implant-retained dentures)
  • Custom-crafted to fit your mouth
  • Can be partial or full dentures
  • Made from resin, acrylic, porcelain, zirconia, or a hybrid of materials
  • Supported by the gums (except for implant-retained dentures)
  • Require periodic refitting and replacement
  • Require less time in the dental chair
  • Less expensive for quality dentures

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Where did dentures originate?

Dentures in Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care

Above Photo: These dentures are in the collection at Mount Vernon – the only remaining full-set in existence. – Courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon

There is no one-recorded inventor or moment in history that gave us the modern removable denture as we know it.

Recent innovations such as partial dentures and implant-retained dentures were built on the gradual accumulation of past knowledge.

What we do know is that human beings have been playing around with the idea of dentures for millennia. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Etruscans, and Chinese all had their opinions on dentures. In addition, nearly every ancient civilization had ideas about how to best replace missing teeth, from river pebbles to metal wire and even animal teeth.

In more recent history, one famous example of dentures is George Washington’s famous wooden teeth. However, there is no actual evidence that the famed founding father ever sported wooden teeth. Instead, historical documents point to Washington using metal wires, screws, and ivory, amongst other notably ineffective methods.

Thankfully, modern dentures have significantly progressed since the 18th and 19th centuries, when everything from solid gold to vulcanite was experimented with for tooth replacement or restoration.

The discovery and application of acrylic resin and other plastics revolutionized tooth restoration. For many, this early adaptation of plastics that they think of when they think of their grandparent’s dentures.

However, it wasn’t until 1986 when the light-cured acrylic resin was introduced to the marketplace. Then, finally, prosthodontists had materials that could be easily shaped to a custom form then rapidly cured.

This was the advent of today’s modern dentures.

How are dentures better today?

Concord Dentures - Willow Pass Dental Care

Compared to the “old-school” dentures of your grandparents, dentures today are significantly more advanced. They’re stronger, lighter, more durable, better looking, accurate fitting, and most importantly, they are typically custom-made and custom-fitted.

So how are modern dentures different than the dentures of old? What makes them the best dentures?

  • Custom-made for each person
  • Stronger
  • More resilient
  • Longer lasting
  • Lighter
  • More stain resistant
  • Better looking
  • Easier to manufacture
  • Less expensive
  • Faster production

While PMMA plastic introduced in the 1930s has been in use since that time in dental applications, methodologies, and techniques for making dentures, it has evolved and changed drastically.

The introduction of an injection molding system in the 1970s and the advent of rapid polymerization in the 1980s made fabrication more predictable, resulting in better fits and better long-term viability.

Meanwhile, high-impact PMMA began appearing in dentures in the 2000s.

Standard heat-cured PMMA can be somewhat brittle when cured and prone to breakage when dropped or weakened over time due to mastication (chewing).

Concord Dentures - Willow Pass Dental Care

Aesthetics

Dentures Concord - Willow Pass Dental Care

Finally, when it comes to aesthetics, there is simply no comparison. For example, old-school dentures were manufactured from a single block of conventional pink. However, when you look at a person’s gums and teeth, there are many subtle contours and grooves, pigmentation, and small details such as delicate veining.

One thing that could make old-school dentures jarring to look at was the clash of monolithic pink PMMA with the rest of a person’s oral cavity.

Today, digital dentures can be manufactured from a semi-translucent resin material to make the gums visible. Furthermore, many resin materials can be color-matched to the exact color of the patient’s gums.

Color-toning kits containing fine pigments can be blended into each batch of denture-bound acrylic to provide even more considerable color variation. Characterization, whether by hand or during fabrication, also contribute to the more lifelike appearance of modern conventional dentures.

Today’s digital dentures can meet the high aesthetic and functional demands of today’s dental patients. High-quality PMMA dentures custom designed and fitted not only look great but are also durable and can last a long time.

In the past, replacing worn down or broken dentures was nearly a yearly affair. Today, custom digital dentures can be worn for years at a time before requiring a refitting or replacement.

Moreover, with the rise of digital scanning techniques, chair-side fabrication, and one-day dentures, the process of getting a brand new set of lifelike replacement teeth is as easy as ever.

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What Are The Different Types of Dentures?

Concord dentures

You may be surprised to learn that there are many different dentures, not just the traditional full dentures.

Dentures come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can serve to replace a few teeth, or they can restore an entire arch of teeth.

Some dentures are removable, while some are permanent.

This chapter of our guide will help you learn the ins and outs of the various types of dentures.

The 4 Types of Dentures

  1. Full (complete) removable dentures
  2. Partial removable dentures
  3. Fixed or cantilever bridge dentures
  4. Implant supported dentures

Prosthodontists also use temporary dentures; however, these are generally limited in use and functionality and will not be covered in this guide.

Each denture type can be used for different specific situations and come with its strengths and weaknesses. For example, full dentures are only used for a completely edentulous or toothless patient.

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4 Types of Dentures for Replacing Missing Teeth

Dentures come in four primary types that are generally differentiated by two qualities: extent and removability.

Some denture types are used to replace an entire arch of teeth. These include full (complete) dentures and implant-supported (All On 4) dentures.

There are denture types such as partial dentures and bridge dentures that only replace some teeth. In other words, the scope and extent of the different denture interventions set them apart.

Another characteristic that sets one type of denture apart from another is removability.

Full (complete) dentures and partial dentures are removable.

Meanwhile, bridge dentures and implant-supported dentures are generally not removable without professional expertise and assistance.

The 4 types of dentures for replacing missing teeth:

  1. Full (complete) removable dentures
  2. Partial removable dentures
  3. Bridge dentures – Fixed or cantilever bridge dentures
  4. Implant supported dentures (All On 4 dental implants or similar)

To help you understand the nuances of each type of denture, I’ll explain each one so that you can make the best decision when it comes to dentures.

1. Removable Full Dentures (Complete)

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Full dentures are what most people think of when they think of dentures. However, these removable stalwarts of the cosmetic dentistry field haven’t changed much in essence from the dentures your grandparents had. They still consist of two full arches of artificial teeth and gums that replace their missing teeth.

Generally, full dentures are only worn when all the teeth have gone missing or are needing removal due to decay or periodontal disease. However, if a person still has natural teeth remaining, a partial denture or bridge dentures might be a better solution.

Dentures are so universally popular because they are an economical and straightforward solution to missing teeth.

Full dentures require no surgery or artificial oral attachments. Instead, they are held in place by simple suction with the aid of special denture paste adhesives. In addition, with innovations around scanning and fabrication technologies, custom dentures have vastly improved. As a result, today, patients can have better quality, better fitting, and ultimately more comfortable dentures than ever before.

Compared to dentures from even a few years ago, today’s dentures can be fabricated chairside from a digital model using 3D imaging with the aid of CAD/CAM technology. This has created a rise in on-demand custom dentures since prosthodontists can prototype and fit various dentures for their patients, often in a single visit.

Modern custom dentures should fit your mouth seamlessly and comfortably. When properly designed, fabricated, and fitted, you should not have to worry about a pair of modern dentures accidentally falling out of your mouth unprovoked.

Dentures are an excellent way for edentulous (toothless) patients to get a new set of teeth and an attractive and functional smile.

2. Partial Dentures

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Partial dentures are, as the name suggests, cut-down versions of full complete dentures.

Unlike full dentures designed to replace an entire arch, partial dentures are only intended to replace a limited number of teeth.

Partial dentures are great for patients with some natural teeth remaining looking for an aesthetic and economical way to replace their missing teeth. Not to be confused with dental bridge dentures, partial dentures can be removed and replaced just like conventional dentures.

Also, like conventional dentures, partial dentures typically consist of a tooth replacement attached to a gum-colored base or affixed to a rigid metal framework. They can be made from flexible plastic or rigid cast metal.

Like conventional full dentures, partial dentures are highly economical. As a result, they are an effective and efficient way for patients to replace a limited number of missing teeth without needing surgery.

Better yet, with the right equipment, partial dentures can sometimes be manufactured at the dental clinic itself, allowing patients to receive brand new teeth with a single appointment.

3. Bridge Dentures (Fixed, Implant Supported, and Cantilever)

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Many patients confuse dental bridge dentures with partial dentures. While they fulfill a similar role, they are two very different teeth replacement solutions.

Unlike partial dentures, bridge dentures are not easily removed or replaced. Also, unlike partial dentures, bridge dentures are supported by adjacent teeth, not by the soft tissues of the gums or by a rigid metal framework.

Bridge dentures are generally separated into three primary varieties: fixed bridge dentures, implant supported bridge dentures, and cantilever bridge dentures.

Adjacent healthy teeth support all three types of bridge dentures in some form—these types of dentures “bridge,” a gap where teeth are missing.

However, where they differ is in the exact mechanism of support.

4. Implant Supported Bridge Denture

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Implant-supported bridge dentures, for example, are supported by one or two implants that hold the bridge in place.

However, with a single implant-supported bridge system, you can still use adjacent teeth to help counteract centripetal forces and prevent the prosthetic from rotating around its point of attachment.

Implant-supported bridges are great when nearby teeth aren’t up to the task of supporting a conventional fixed bridge or cantilever bridge.

5. Conventional Fixed Bridge Denture

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Two crowns are placed on either side of an edentulous (toothless) area with a conventional fixed bridge denture. These adjacent crowns provide support for a prosthetic piece that literally “bridges” the gap.

However, the placement of dental crowns requires the removal of some natural enamel on the adjacent teeth to accommodate the thickness of the crown material.

6. Cantilever Bridge Denture

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

For some, shaving down adjacent healthy teeth isn’t feasible or what they want. In that case, a prosthodontist may recommend a cantilever dental bridge.

Unlike a conventional bridge, a cantilever dental bridge is supported by a single fixed attachment point, typically an individual crown. The rest of the bridge then cantilevers over the edentulous area.

This can reduce the amount of natural dental material to be removed to accommodate a second crown. It is also easier to install. However, cantilever bridges come at the cost of reduced strength and resilience. Without the second attachment point, cantilever bridges are more prone to warping, damage, or accidental breakage.

7. All On 4 Dental Implants (Implant Supported Dentures)

Removable full dentures - Complete - Concord Dentures

Imagine traditional removable dentures that are fixed in place with dental implants. That’s what implant-supported dentures are. Just like regular dentures, implant-supported dentures consist of two full arches of artificial teeth and gums. However, unlike regular full dentures, implant-supported dentures sit on several strategically placed dental implants rather than directly on a person’s gums.

Dentures can be supported with as few as four dental implants per arch, though some can have up to six or even eight supporting dental implants. Implant-supported dentures that utilize the minimum required implants (four dental implants) are often referred to as All-On-4 dental implants.

All On 4 dental implants are an excellent solution for complete edentulism for several reasons.

First, All On 4 dental implants eliminate one of the most significant potential weaknesses of traditional dentures. They are fixed in place, which means you’ll never have to worry about them accidentally shifting in your mouth or, even worse, falling out at an inopportune moment.

Furthermore, the use of dental implants helps to stimulate the jaw bone underneath your gums. While your jawbone might seem like it has nothing to do with your dentures, the type of dentures you choose will have a direct impact on the shape of your face and the way you look. Dental roots provide natural stimulation to your jaw bone, which tells your body to retain the bone depth and density. This, in turn, keeps your face looking full and young.

Patients who lose their teeth suffer from something known as bone resorption. When bone resorption occurs, your jaw and facial bones waste away, giving your face a hollowed-out and aged appearance. This is highly problematic for patients with traditional dentures since regular removable teeth do not replace missing dental roots.

Implant-supported dentures and other implant-supported solutions do replace missing dental roots. Embedded dental implants penetrate through the gums and the bone below, allowing stimulating forces to transfer from the mouth into the jaw. As a result, patients who opt for All-On-4 dental implants can expect bone resorption to be minimal.

6 Things To Be Aware of When It Comes to Dentures

1. Loose, ill-fitting dentures can irritate gums and even fall out.

This can cause social anxiety as well as general discomfort.

2. Most dentures do not prevent bone loss.

Except for implant-supported denture solutions, which rely on embedded implants to stimulate bone retention, most dentures do not provide adequate jawbone stimulation resulting in gradual atrophy of underlying bone structures.

3. Removable dentures require some additional maintenance.

Removable dentures must be taken out for cleaning and left to soak overnight.

When handled roughly or exposed to hard foods, they may also suffer damage, such as chipping and cracking.

4. Traditional dentures need to be replaced every 4 to 5 years.

While replacing is typically no trouble at all (you toss your old ones and place your new ones in your mouth), it will be added costs.

You must replace dentures due to a gradual reduction in a person’s underlying bone depth and density. Without teeth roots to stimulate and transfer bite forces into the bone beneath, atrophy inevitably occurs.

5. Dentures require a period of acclimation.

Typically, patients who receive dentures for the first time have to get used to how they move and feel in their mouths. This may affect the way they eat and speak. However, after a few weeks of use, most patients can resume daily activities at a high level.

It is common for minor irritation and an increase in saliva production in the initial days and weeks, though these “growing pains” typically subside pretty quickly.

6. Avoid many of the drawbacks of dentures by using quality dental materials and getting a property fitting.

You should note that You can easily avoid many of the drawbacks mentioned above using quality dental materials and proper fitting. Remember, the best way to ensure your dental procedure is done right is to procure the services of a highly trained prosthodontist like Dr. Reza Khazaie, who is widely respected in the dental community and has years of experience and a lengthy track record of happy patients.

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How are dentures made?

Once upon a time, humans used whatever we could find and conveniently at hand to replace our missing teeth. From raw animal bones to intricate contraptions of screws and wires, and even the teeth of other fellow human beings, our resourceful ancestors worked with whatever they had.

It’s a good thing dentistry and dentures have come a long way since the days of wooden teeth or teeth made from carved ivory. The modern process for replacing teeth in dentures is far more complex and produces much better results. So, from a historical perspective, there is no better time to be receiving dentures.

However, that doesn’t mean the process of evolving and improving the denture-making process has stopped. Even today, innovations from CAD/CAM technology to 3D printing are just now making their mark on the manufacturing process. Where once patients had little choice about the construction, type, and the look of their dentures, today they can enjoy a plethora of options that are increasing in functional and aesthetic quality every single year.

Prosthodontists also use temporary dentures; however, these are generally limited in use and functionality and will not be covered in this guide.

Each denture type can be used for different specific situations and come with its strengths and weaknesses. For example, full dentures are only used for a completely edentulous or toothless patient.

Today, there are two primary processes for making modern dentures: a conventional casting process and a new digitized 3D printing process.

Even more confusingly, several fabrication methods might utilize aspects of both. For example, one dental clinic might take a digitized approach to impression-taking but utilize conventional casting techniques for the actual fabrication. Likewise, another dental clinic might take impressions manually and create an initial cast scanned and digitized for a 3d printing workflow. There is currently no uniform process for how to make dentures. That’s why it is important to ask your dental clinic of choice about the exact process by which they will craft your custom dentures.

3 Processes for crafting dentures

  • Conventional casting
  • Digitized 3D printing
  • Hybrid (Mix & Match)

1. Conventional Casting

The conventional casting process is the most popular manufacturing process today. It is a tried and true workflow that has been developed and perfected over the past few decades. While a conventional casting process can produce highly aesthetic custom dentures, many are surprised by the level of individual artisanal craftsmanship involved in creating a pair of custom teeth.

From impression-taking to characterization, the conventional casting process is actually very hands-on.

Here’s how it works. In general, a conventional manufacturing process follows these steps:

  1. Impression-taking
  2. Preliminary plaster cast
  3. Articulation
  4. Secondary wax coat
  5. Wax removal
  6. Final acrylic cast
  7. Finishing
  8. Characterization
  9. Final fit

1. Impression-taking

The conventional casting process always begins with the taking of physical impressions. This is accomplished using a dental tray containing many dentists, which patients call “pink goo,” as you see below.

This dental tray is placed in your mouth to create a replica or impression, of your existing oral conditions, including the shape of your gums and mouth.

Once this impression is taken, the specimen is sent to an off-site manufacturer.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

Alternately, with a hybrid process, the physical impression might actually be scanned by a special specimen scanner that then recreates the information in digital form. This information can then be transmitted instantaneously through digital means.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

2. Preliminary plaster cast

To transport a physical impression, the dentist or prosthodontist must create a hard plaster cast to protect and preserve the initial impression.

Then, they will pour a wet plaster, or dental stone, into and around the impression to create a rigid cast that will not be easily damaged or distorted during shipping.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

3. Articulation

Once the dental lab receives the physical plaster impression or a digital file, the copy will be affixed to a device known as an “articulator.” This instrument is used to record the mandibular (lower) teeth and maxillary (upper) teeth to adjust the bite.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

4. Secondary Wax Coat

When the dental technician is satisfied with the bite, they will begin sculpting a wax replica of the patient’s gums and teeth using the stone impression as a formal basis and the articulator to ensure the wax replica matches a patient’s bite.

Acrylic teeth are also added at this time and attached to the wax cast. Upon completion, the wax replica is then sent back to the dental clinic for final approval by the prosthodontist. If approved, the replica is returned to the dental lab, where the casting process enters its final phase.

Concord dentures

5. Wax removal process

After receiving the wax replica and final approval from the dental clinic, the wax form is placed into a special mold that is, in turn, put into a hot water bath. While the wax melts away, the initial dental stone impression along with acrylic teeth remains. What’s left behind are the original stone, teeth, and a negative space left behind by the melted wax in the shape of a patient’s gums.

Concord dentures

6. Final acrylic cast

The empty form left behind by the wax removal process is finally filled with a special liquid acrylic injection. This liquid PMMA acrylic becomes the permanent basis of the final form and is the final finished cast.

7. Finishing

With the final acrylic form cured in place, the only thing left is the finishing process. This includes the removal or divestment of the acrylic form from the mold. It also means cleaning up uncomfortably sharp edges, removing leftover debris from the various casting steps, and a final polish to give it a life-like gleam. After being finished, the prosthetic is ready to be fitted into a patient’s mouth.

Concord dentures

8. Characterization

Before the final fit, a skilled prosthodontist will take some time to “characterize” the denture prosthetic. Then, much like an artisan craftsman might add decorative flourishes or personalized touches to a work of art, the prosthodontist will add visual character to the denture in the form of grooves, coloration, and even realistic veining.

This process, while optional, is important to give custom dentures an even more life-like appearance. In addition, a skilled prosthodontist or experienced lab technician can often add little visual touches that make an expertly crafted set of dentures difficult to distinguish from real teeth and gums.

Concord dentures

9. Dentures final fit

Finally, with the denture finished, polished, and appropriately characterized, the final denture is placed into the patient’s mouth and tested for fit. The final custom denture should fit perfectly if the whole process were executed flawlessly, from impression-taking and through the various casting steps.

With a conventional casting workflow, the whole process of crafting a denture may require multiple appointments from the patient and several weeks to complete.

Concord dentures

2. Digitized 3D Printing: A Simple, Efficient Workflow

Digitization is changing the cosmetic dentistry industry. However, this process of change and evolution only shows that while we have come a long way since wooden teeth, we still have plenty of room for positive change and improvement.

One way digitization is changing conventional processes is through digital oral scanning, CAD/CAM technologies, and especially 3D printing. These three crucial developments are transforming every aspect of how dentures can be made today.

For example, dental clinics with digital intraoral scanning technology can use an intraoral wand to create an accurate and high-fidelity digital impression rather than dealing with messy physical impressions. Not only is this much more comfortable for patients (no one likes a gooey dental tray, see Process #1 above to see what I’m talking about), it also saves the dentist or prosthodontist time since they do not have to ship a physical impression to the lab. Instead, they can send the digital scan file with a press of a button and the click of a mouse.

In general, a digitized 3% printing/manufacturing process follows these steps:

  1. Digital scan
  2. Translation and transmittal
  3. 3D print
  4. Assembly (optional)
  5. Finishing
  6. Characterization
  7. Final fit

1. Digital scan

With digital scanning, patients and doctors can both skip the potentially messy impression trays. Instead, the dentist will utilize a simple intraoral scanner, such as a TRIOS 3 intraoral scanner, to generate an exact digital replica of a patient’s mouth. Better yet, there’s a much lower chance for errors since digital data doesn’t have to be taken by hand, preserved through a hand-poured cast, then shipped to a lab.

It’s a simple two-step process: take a digital reading with an intraoral scanner, then transmit the data to a computer virtually anywhere.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

2. Translation and transmittal

The data and information generated by the intraoral scanner are usually transmitted to a computer where specialized CAD/CAM software is used to reconstruct the patient’s mouth in digital 3D. Furthermore, CAD/CAM programs allow prosthodontists or lab technicians to manipulate each patient’s unique digital impression.

Some programs even allow dentists to create a digital reconstruction of the final denture for patients to review before actual fabrication.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

3. 3D Print

Dentures Concord CA

Once both the prosthodontist and patient are satisfied with the digital model, the 3D model is sent to either in-house equipment or a dental lab for 3D printing.

Advanced dental clinics like Willow Pass Dental Care can manufacture chair-side. This means that the denture itself can be manufactured immediately on-site, which drastically reduces the amount of time a patient has to wait for their new teeth. Even if an off-site fabricator produces final dentures with more advanced 3d printing capabilities, many dental clinics have in-house printing units capable of producing physical mockups and even temporary dentures for patients to wear and review. At the same time, they wait for their permanent dentures to arrive.

Impresssion-Taking - Concord dentures

4. Assembly

Not all 3D printing processes are monolithic in nature. For example, while it is possible to CNC mill a single denture prosthetic from a single block of PMMA plastic material, many dental clinics prefer to use a multi-step printing process. Typically, the gums or dental base are printed separately from the actual teeth. This allows the gums to be made from pink PMMA and the teeth from a different acrylic material or even porcelain.

Once both components have been printed or crafted, they are assembled to create the final permanent dentures.

Concord dentures

5. Finishing

Just as with a conventional casting process, some finishing is often required.

For 3D-printed dentures, this could mean removing excess printing material, dissolving support materials, and cutting off the webbing.

Concord dentures

6. Characterization

This process, while optional, is important to give your custom dentures an even more life-like appearance.

A skilled prosthodontist or experienced lab technician can often add little visual touches that can make an expertly crafted set of dentures difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

Concord dentures
Concord dentures
Concord dentures
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7. Final Fit

Finally, once the prosthetic is printed, cleaned, and polished, it’s time to check for fit and feel. If all goes well, the entire denture-making process could take as little as a week or two, spread over two appointments.

Renowned dental clinics like Willow Pass Dental Care, with advanced chairside manufacturing equipment, might even be able to craft a set of dentures in a single appointment.

Concord dentures

Choosing The Right Doctor

Why Quality Matters

“My final upper All-On-4 arch (even after the surgeon gave me an All-On-6) is awful! Definitely not worth the $30,500 in cash I paid up front. I have 12 ‘teeth’ which takes up only the front half of my mouth. I don’t have any molars, just an inch of pink gum material in the back. My bite is off and chewing food is awful! They’ve changed the shape of my jaw and now my mouth looks sunken because of the lack of molars which I had at my first visit.”

 – Source: pissedconsumer.com

“I also had a single implant on my bottom jaw that I never received a temporary for. I expected the look and function of actual teeth. Dr.”

“Kim told me the final would look like my real teeth with veneers. OMG so far from the truth!”

Not All Denture Specialists Are Created Equal

Unfortunately, this is not a rare circumstance.

We see patients on a consistent basis at Willow Pass Dental Care who have had similar experiences as Kim, many who come to us after a poor denture fitting from well-known dental chains or “professionals.”

When it comes to your mouth and your health, you should not take chances. The following are steps to ensure you are dealing with a professional who has the experience and knows what he or she is doing.

Following are 9 steps I recommend for choosing the right denture specialist:

1. Does the Prosthodontist have the knowledge, skills and experience with dental implants?

One of the easiest ways to determine if a prosthodontist is right for you is to do a simple check of their professional credentials.

Do the prosthodontists have the proper credentials, designations, certifications, awards, accreditations, and up-to-date training to show that they are the best at giving you the care you deserve?

2. Does the Prosthodontist and office have a good reputation?

I recommend you do a Google search and see what people are saying. Check ratings and reviews. Look at sites such as Pissed ConsumerDemandForceYelpFacebook, and of course Google.

Sure, you can always find a critical or bad review from time to time. It’s when you find a lot of them that you need to take notice.

3. Meet the prosthodontist and team of specialists.

It is hard to fathom but some patients never meet the team. I recommend you take the time to meet the team prior to committing to a dental office or prosthodontist. Make sure you are comfortable and that you’ve done your research about the office as well as the doctor.

4. Discuss with the prosthodontist specific case studies or success stories you read online.

Ask which case study best resembles your situation and what are the challenges he or she expects. If there are challenges that are expected have the prosthodontist explain the treatment strategy and what the risks are.

5. Ask for a tour of the office.

Know where the fitting will take place and what it looks like.

Observe the equipment in the room. Is it clean and comfortable?

Are the facilities updated or outdated?

Ask if the equipment used is the latest dental in dental technology. If so, they should have equipment such as a 3D scanner and at least one CAD/CAM machine and milling unit for designing your dentures.

This is important to know and can save you money and lots of time.

6. Implant pricing should be transparent

You should not have to experience any hard sell. The pricing for dentures should be easy to compute based on these factors.

If you find it hard to determine what quality you are paying for and what your price includes, you should leave.

7. Local vs. Dental Chains

I believe being locally owned and operated like Willow Pass Dental Care brings us much closer to our patients. We are involved and part of the community.

This also results in a higher retention of patients versus dental chains who tend to focus on volume rather than providing ongoing dental care. Many dental chains offering dentures and dental implants are less skilled and experienced and assemble a dental team based on the cheapest price rather than providing the best in talent, experience, and skill.

When it comes to your smile, including your mouth and teeth, it is best to invest in a doctor with the experience,  knowledge, and skills to produce truly successful results.

How much do dentures cost?

Dentures dominate the cosmetic dentistry market for tooth loss due to three crucial advantages: they are affordable, accessible, and highly aesthetic.

Compared to conventional individual dental implants, which can cost patients as much as $2,500 to $4,500 per tooth or $140,000+ for a full-mouth replacement procedure, a complete set of dentures with 32 teeth can cost as little as $1,500 up to $4,000 per denture (upper and lower plates).

While conventional individual dental implants have significant advantages, the cost differential can be staggering. Not only do dentures cost significantly less than alternative solutions to edentulism, but they are also less invasive, require a short or no recovery period, and unlike implants, aren’t dependent on the quality and quantity of existing underlying bone structures.

As a result, patients who have been toothless for a period of time, lack adequate underlying jaw bone depth, or can’t or are unwilling to put up with invasive surgery and subsequent recovery periods will find dentures to be far more accessible solution.

They can also do wonders for a person’s looks. Dazzling, natural-looking dentures crafted and carefully fitted by a prosthodontist can produce stunningly beautiful results. In addition, well-made and appropriately fitted can help fill in a person’s facial features giving a patient suffering from tooth loss a fuller, more youthful visage.

Beautiful prosthodontic appliances with straight teeth and perfect proportions allow patients to smile, laugh, speak confidently, and eat, chew, and bite with ease. Your set of dentures is a perfect marriage of form and function that addresses both the aesthetic and practical concerns of a person suffering from tooth loss.

Concord Dentures
Concord Dentures

Top 5 Reasons Patients Recommend Dentures at Willow Pass Dental Care

1. A simple, efficient workflow.

Our entire digital denture workflow is optimized to produce dentures that meet patient demand and represent a focus on strength, aesthetics, and laboratory efficiency for 3D-printed dentures.

2. Does the Prosthodontist and office have a good reputation?

Look at all the teeth replacement options that meet your budget requirements.

One of the most significant advantages of the All On 4 treatment concept is that it solves a problem that has plagued the field of cosmetic dentistry for decades.

That problem was how to provide beautiful, functional replacement teeth for older patients who may lack adequate bone depth or density.

Conventional dental implants require a certain jaw bone depth and mass to be embedded successfully. In the old days, patients who wanted perfect new teeth or who were looking to replace missing teeth either qualified for conventional implants or had to make do with traditional dentures.

Those days are now over!

3. Accuracy and reliability.

Based on revolutionary denture technology we provide the accuracy and reliability you expect from a denture that is durable with a better fit with excellent functions and aesthetics.

4. Deliver the best denture possible.

Our digital workflow methods, additive manufacturing, and premium materials deliver dentures with accuracy and precision that far exceeds traditionally produced dentures.

5. Premium high-impact digital dentures.

At Willow Pass Dental Care we are accelerating innovation and unlocking opportunities for our patients with a wide range of tooth restoration options. Our in-depth experience working with CT scan data and optimizing it for additive manufacturing of 3D dentures has allowed us to produce premium high-impact printed dentures that aesthetically look gorgeous.

FREE All On 4 Dental Implant Assessment

Dental Implant Assessment

Start your smile transformation today. Get our FREE personalized All On 4 Dental Implant Assessment & Guide. Just click the Start Now button below to get your FREE assessment. There is no obligation to buy, but we promise the results are life-changing.

Implant Supported Dentures: The Best of Both Worlds

Implant supported dentures are denture prosthetics that are attached and held in place by implants rather than resting on the soft tissues of the gums. A limited number of strategically placed, specially-designed dental implants allow for structural stability. For patients looking to replace multiple teeth or even receive an entirely new smile including upper and lower arches, implant supported dentures can be a great alternative to individual implants.

Implant Supported dentures - Willow Pass Dental Care,  Concord, CA

A full set of teeth, including upper and lower arches, require only eight total implants, or four per arch. This technique is sometimes referred to as All-On-4 dental implants. In comparison, full mouth reconstruction and restoration using conventional single-unit implants would require a staggering 32 individual implants along with all the associated costs, and operation and recovery times.

Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, can often be completed in a single visit. Patients with partial or complete edentulism can, in many cases, come to Willow Pass Dental Care in the morning for an initial consultation and leave in the afternoon with a brand-new set of beautifully crafted teeth. Even patients lacking the bone depth necessary for a conventional implant procedure can receive implant supported dentures without prerequisite bone grafts. This makes implant supported dentures particularly suitable for older patients suffering from edentulism looking for a less invasive procedure, reduced recovery times, and faster results at a more affordable price.

Top 5 Reasons Patients Recommend Implant Supported Dentures

1. An implant-based support system

2. Less costly for full mouth reconstruction and restoration than conventional individual implants

3. Reduced procedure and recovery times

4. Combats bone resorption, natural feel , and excellent aesthetics

5. Longer lasting than traditional dentures

Dental Implant vs. Dentures

Out of all the tooth replacement therapies available today, dental implants are the treatment of choice for tooth loss. That’s because dental implants mimic the mechanics of a tooth’s natural roots providing a conduit for the forces of chewing to stimulate the jaws.

Traditional removable dentures, which rely on suction and rest on the soft tissues of the gums for support, provide no such stimulation to the underlying bone. While accessible and relatively cheap, traditional dentures to not provide the resorption-fighting benefits associated with individual dental implants. The same critique applies to the majority of other tooth restoration techniques, such as bridges, that are not implant supported. They address aesthetics without halting the problem of underlying bone resorption.

Unfortunately for many, conventional individual dental implants, in which each replacement tooth must be painstakingly embedded by a highly skilled prosthodontist, isn’t always the most cost-effective solution for every patient.

Cost per tooth for a single unit replacement can range between $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

For patients looking for the best results and a long-lasting solution to edentulism, without compromising their future dental and oral health, there is now a viable solution: implant supported dentures.