What Are Dentures Made Of?

An older woman looks in the mirror at her new dentures.

Dentures are a centuries-old form of restorative dentistry. Even George Washington wore dentures—although not made of wood, despite the popular folk tale. 

Nowadays, new technologies and advancements in dental care have made wearing and caring for dentures easier than ever. Dentures are a specialty of ours at The Dental Health Group, and over the years, many of our patients have asked us questions such as “how are dentures made?” and “what are dentures made of?” Here’s our explainer of everything you need to know about where dentures come from.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic teeth replacements—most people call them “false teeth.” Often others can’t even tell that person is wearing dentures because each set is custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth. 

People may need dentures due to tooth loss caused by decay, trauma to the mouth, gum disease, or other reasons. A person may also need new dentures to replace old dentures that have become worn or ill-fitting over time. If you are looking to get dentures for the first time or replace old ones, it is important to understand how dentures are made, what materials they are made of, and how they can help improve your oral health.

What Materials Are Used for Dentures?

Modern dentistry uses several materials for dentures including acrylic resin, porcelain, cobalt-chrome alloy, or a combination of these three. The dentist and patient will decide what materials the dentures should be made of depending on the individual’s needs and preferences for this restorative procedure.

Acrylic resin is the most common material used for making dentures as it is lightweight and durable. Porcelain is also commonly used for making dentures as it is strong and aesthetically pleasing. Finally, a cobalt-chrome alloy is also used for making dentures as it is strong and heat-tolerant.

A young man with dentures made of acrylic and porcelain.

How Are Dentures Made?

Denture fabrication typically involves several steps, including taking impressions of the patient’s mouth, creating a custom dental model, and forming the denture so that it fits the mouth perfectly. 

First, a dentist will take an impression of the patient’s mouth using a special molding material. From this, the dentist creates a custom dental model of the patient’s mouth. Next, the dentist will use this model to form the denture so that it’s the correct size and shape. What materials the dentures are made of will be determined during a conversation between the dentist and the patient. Depending on the individual’s needs, dentures can typically be ready within a few weeks.

The Process of Getting Dentures

The Initial Appointment

First of all, we want to make sure that your mouth is ready for dentures. If you have any gum disease or tooth decay, it’s important to address those issues before fitting your mouth for dentures. 

Once the dentist has determined you are a good candidate to receive dentures, the next step is X-rays and impressions. During your appointment with the Dental Health Group, we’ll take digital X-rays and a series of detailed impressions and measurements of your gums and jawbone. The X-rays and impressions help us to determine how the dentures should be made.

Making the Dentures

The next step is to create a plaster model of your denture and place it in an articulator. This mechanical device allows us to simulate how the dentures will function in real life and identify what problems exist before the dentures are made.

Typically you won’t see this part of the process. A dental lab will use the model to create the actual dentures. Expect this to take at least six weeks—sometimes, it’s longer. The technicians at the lab will ensure the dentures are sturdily constructed and ready to fit into the patient’s mouth.

The Initial Fitting

The time has arrived for your initial fitting! Despite the lab’s best efforts, it’s common for a new set of dentures to need a few tweaks. The dentist will guide you through several motions and exercises to make sure the dentures are not causing any pain and that they stay in place.

Although dentures are made to look and function like natural teeth, they do take some getting used to. It may take several weeks for a patient to feel fully comfortable eating and speaking with their new dentures.

How Long Do Dentures Last?

Dentures will typically last between 5 to 10 years before they need to be replaced. Factors that can affect the lifespan of dentures include what they are made of, how well your dentures were made, and your oral health and dental hygiene habits. Caring for your dentures involves brushing them regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and special denture cleaning solutions, soaking them overnight in a cleaning solution or water, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and adjustments as needed.

How to Tell If You Need New Dentures?

Common signs that you may need new dentures include changes in the fit of your existing denture, difficulty eating or speaking with your current denture, and frequent sore spots in your mouth due to your denture. If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment for a dental check-up so your dentist can evaluate or replace your dentures.

A young woman with natural-looking dentures smiles in a mirror.

How Can Dentures Help Improve Your Appearance?

Dentures can help improve your appearance by restoring your facial structure, making you look younger and more attractive. Additionally, it can help improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Properly fitted dentures can also help you speak and eat better.

Is It Safe to Buy Dentures Online?

Buying dentures online can be tempting due to their lower cost, but it is not recommended as it is impossible to get a proper fit without having a professional dentist take an impression of your mouth. Additionally, when buying dentures online, you may not be given accurate information about what your dentures are made of and how to best care for them.

Why Should I Go to A Dentist to Get Dentures?

Visiting a dentist for denture fabrication is important for ensuring the best possible fit and comfort. A dentist will be able to take an accurate impression of your mouth and provide you with advice on which materials will be best for your needs. Additionally, they have expertise in understanding how dentures are made and can adjust the fit when it is needed.

Dentures Create Beautiful and Healthy Smiles!

Having the correct type of denture will restore your facial structure and improve your appearance. Visiting an experienced dentist will ensure that your dentures fit comfortably and look completely natural. The Dental Health Group can help you decide what your dentures should be made of and how they can improve your smile, eating ability, and oral health. Whether you are getting dentures for the first time or replacing an old set that is discolored or worn, we can go over the various treatment options (partial dentures or implant retained dentures) and help you decide what’s best for your lifestyle.

Contact The Dental Health Group Today

If you’re looking for an experienced and welcoming dental practice in Canoga Park, contact The Dental Health Group today. We specialize in denture care and restorative dentistry and always strive to make sure you feel and look your best. We are currently accepting new patients, so call 818-718-2000. We’re also available to answer your questions or help you schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting you!