7 Questions We Asked A Denture Expert

7 Quick Denture Questions Answered

1. What is a Dental Prosthetist?

“Dental prosthetists work as independent practitioners in the assessment, treatment, management and provision of removable dentures, and flexible removable mouth guards used for sporting activities.” quoted from the Australian Dental Prosthetist Association website. We look after every aspect of your dentures and provide mouth guards to protect your teeth especially when playing sport.

2. Where have the biggest improvements been in dentures that you have seen and how has the industry changed over the years?

The biggest improvement we have seen over the years is the quality of the materials and components used for making dentures. From the quality of impression materials, setting times (often colour changing on setting to improved taste) , as well as fit & accuracy. Materials used nowadays are generally better, with improved strength , fit , and will last longer than previous products. The materials hold their colour much better, far more non allergenic substances giving a much better result.

3. Are dentures just for senior people or have you had younger people as clients?

Generally the majority of patients are older. I have however made many dentures over the years for young ( school aged children) that have had their second dentition never erupt, resulting in gaps in their natural dentition. I worked for many years in an orthodontic laboratory making dental retainers for children following the removal of their braces.

4. What unusual cases have you come across over your career?

Over the years I have come across many unusual cases, here are two examples.

The most unusual case I can remember is while working in an orthodontic lab where we made retainers with springs & expansion screws to straighten natural teeth for a show dog (a corgie). The orthodontist took the impressions while the dog was under general anaesthetic.

An unusual denture case was a client that went to a Christmas party and became rather drunk on red wine and lost his upper denture down the toilet. He came to my clinic on the Saturday morning and wouldn’t leave until I made him a new upper denture. He claimed his wife didn’t know he had a denture. I managed to make him a denture from start to finish in a day to save his embarrassment.

5. What do you find is the biggest cause for people getting dentures?

–  neglect in maintaining their natural teeth.(poor oral hygiene) resulting in tooth loss.
– not happy with the appearance of their natural teeth.

6. What do you find the most satisfying in your work?

Getting a great result with patients that have had a bad draw in life dentally. To make dentures that changes their appearance (if that is what they want) and improve the function, that in turn improves their health (digestion etc). It’s also extremely rewarding to witness a patient’s self esteem grow looking in the mirror at their new appearance.

7. Where do you see the future?

The future of dentures is exciting with the introduction of oral scanners ( digitally taking dental impressions) and 3D printers being used in the manufacture of dentures. But at this point in the industry it is early days . For example a denture can be manufactured using a 3d printer , but the materials used are not perfected yet and are not suitable to be worn in the mouth for any period of time. The resins used are toxic to the body over time.This problem is present in the denture world but is improving all the time.