Making Dentures in slowly becoming a lost art. Learning how to make dentures is not very fashionable, and very few people understand how to make dentures properly. Most students in dental school have no interest in learning how to make dentures, and we are seeing less time being allocated for teaching denture making.

In order to make a superior set of dentures, you need to understand how the fitting surface and the polished, or outer suface of the denture interact with the muscles and gums to give stability and retention to the dentures. You also need to understand the different kinds of denture teeth and bite schemes and what the advantages and disadvantages of each is.

Everything starts with a good impression. The impression needs to capture all the vital structures of the jaw. The impression is then used to fabricate the master cast. The master casts are then used to make record bases, which are used to determine the height of the dentures as well as record the optimal bite position of the patient.

From this point onwards, there is a divergence, depending on how the denture is going to be made. The conventional analog workflow would result in plastic denture teeth being embedded in wax and then tried into the patient’s mouth.

At this point, an adjustments to the patient’s bite or refinements to the teeth positions can be made. The proposed aesthetics of the new denture is tried in the patient’s mouth. If everything is in order, the trial denture is then used to fabricate the definitive denture.

In a digital workflow, the master casts and the jaw relation records are digitized. Facial photographs of the patient are taken, then all this information is collated in a special digital denture design software.  The tooth set-up is then designed using this software.

Once the technician and dentist are happy with the design, a digital file is produced, and the trial denture is printed on a 3D printer. This is then tested in the patient’s mouth. The patient is able to take the printed denture home for an extended “test drive”. If changes needed to be made, the denture is redesigned and new trial dentures are printed.

When the design of the dentures has been finalised, the final output files are generated. From here, these files can either be 3D printed or milled in a custom CNC CAM machine.

Printing is generally faster and cheaper, and can be done from a variety of 3D printers.

Milling on the other hand, requires specialized equipment, takes longer and is more expensive. However, milled dentures are stonger, more durable and offer better aesthetics.

At Marina Bay Dental, we have the equipment to both mill and print dentures. Contact Us to day if you would like to learn more about having a set of dentures made with us.