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Denture Outcomes: Failure versus Success

There are patients who have good results with denture prosthetics and there are patients who report discontent, failure to the extent that a denture product is so ill fitting... a person may not even wear them.

Why Dentures Cost Little or Too Much

There are immense differences in pricing for dentures which is primarily based on the amount and quality of time spent on preparing a denture tooth replacement treatment and the cost of manufacturing the final product.

The basic principles of manufacturing (mass production vs custom made) and marketing affect dentistry in the same way clothing, DVD players and other consumer goods are affected.

Denture clinics, typically operated by dentists and dental laboratory specialists and technicians, offer excellent value for the "average" denture patient. These are patients who do not have significant tissue concerns and bone loss issues.

Cost control is achieved by the same formulations that are made, for example, in sizing a shirt or blouse into sizes of Small, Medium and Large. For most people this type of sizing is efficient. For others who perhaps have a long torso, long or short arms, high waisted or a thick neck, common off-the-rack clothing is not efficient.

For denture patients who have less than optimal dentures, they rely on products created specifically for them that are in the form of adhesives, liners, pads, and repair kits that they feel are required for being able to eat, speak, articulate and spontaneously laugh without the fear of denture failure in public.

Comparison Table

Featured here is a table that compares the different types of services that are commonly available from resources that either mass produce denture products versus custom denture fabrication.

For denture patients who are NOT in the category of being the average denture patient, the categorization of services being provided or not being provided can increase understanding of why a certain problem issue exists.

Entry Level Denture Premium Grade
Provided by Denture Clinics Provided by Dentists, Prosthodontists
Laboratories operated in a mass production environment Laboratory processes performed on a custom, case by case basis. Assurance of premium grade materials, no porosity, precise alignment and fit of all biting surfaces (occlusal relationships)
Made in 2-3 visits Made in 4-7 visits
One impression taken for final denture One impression taken for intial training denture. Final adjustments to overcome shrinkage of gum tissues are overcome by using functional impressions made during chewing motions to insure an accurate fit during chewing. Built into final denture, creating a tight, more natural fit
Made with common plastic teeth Made with choice of high grade acrylics, porcelain, crowns, fillings, etc. to simulate or match real teeth
Pink gums or 3 ethnic colors Gum areas are made to precisely match existing gum tissue characteristics of the patient, includes special shading, tinting, appearance of blood vessels, etc.
Manufactured with a hot water process - Shrinkage approximately 7% Manufactured with acrylic injection mold process - Shrinkage under .1% (one tenth of 1 percent) creates tighter more perfect fit (prevents sores)
Not made on Articulator Made on Articulator (bite-occlusal studies) to assure proper fit and natural appearance and alignment of teeth to eliminate a false or slanted look. Critical for assuring normal speech, normal bite, proper jawbone relationships.
Collapsed smile rehabilitation - minimal Articulator studies enable dentist to build denture features that create new lip support and eliminate the collapsing granny mouth effect. Vertical Dimension and Bite is normalized
Underbite - Overbite Correction - minimal Articulator studies enable dentist to recreate physical relationships in jaw positioning and movement that correct resting positions of maxilla and mandible that best approximates what Mother Nature provides
Speech - Phonetics testing not available Special phonetics and speech testing performed to confirm ability to properly articulate "S", "V","CH" and "F" sounds
1-2 Try ins for final fitting Multiple visits to assure best fitting
Soft liners not provided Soft cushions used to create best comfort and retention for lower dentures
Special Aesthetics not available Custom shading and tinting of individual teeth. New process provides appearance of Laser Teeth Whitening

Tooth spacing, rotations and overlaps created to mimic appearance of natural teeth - overcomes appearance of The Denture Look
Use with denture implants later - not available Custom dentures provide patients with transition to implants and mini-implants to insure the ability to create cosmetic and functional results that are similar to Reconstructive Cosmetic Dentistry


Price Summary

In general terms, the greatest savings occurs with minimizing the time elements which affect the impression process, fabrication process and final fitting process.

For patients who are NOT the statistical average the time savings can result in a denture with substandard fit, thereby creating more bone loss and soft tissue damage, possibly rendering the denture unuseable.

Material contributed, in part, by:
Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry

Editorial Staff



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