How do I get a good set of dentures?

By Celia Burns on 10th August 2022

Dentures are not teeth. You wouldn’t expect a false eye to be able to see, yet we expect a false tooth to be able to eat

Dentures are not a commodity, where a particular company’s product is better than another’s (think Bosch vs Hotpoint, or Ford vs Toyota). Their comfort and useability is dependent on two things, in equal measure, neither of which are to do with the quality of the material used.

The people making them’s skill. This includes the laboratory and the dentist. Dentures are a highly skilled – I can’t emphasise this enough – HIGHLY skilled item to make and many dentists will freely admit they don’t enjoy making them as they are not that predictable in their hands. They end up seeing patients for multiple eases as the patient can’t wear them, which is dispiriting and expensive for the dentist.

And then, equally important

The patient’s ability to get used to them. I have seen rubbish dentures (often decades old and waaaaaay past the date they should have been replaced) which the patient loves and eats anything with, and similarly dentures which are technically superb and which the patient is coming to me for a second opinion on as they believe they are not fit for purpose. The only way to know that you are giving yourself the best chance of a good result is to choose a dentist to make them who loves making them – they are probably good at them and use a good lab. As for if you will get on with them – if they are well made, then you will be able to wear them, but it may take weeks or months of perseverance before you forget they are in.

Footnote – dentures are not teeth. You wouldn’t expect a false eye to be able to see, yet we expect a false tooth to be able to eat. Like a new prosthetic limb, they have limitations, and whilst some people are master wearers who eat literally anything with their false teeth in, most denture wearers will need to modify their diet to avoid very sticky or hard food, which can dislodge them. It is always better to keep your own teeth if they are saveable with a reasonably predictable treatment than to rely on dentures, but remember if you have to have teeth out, most people are very happy with their new falsies and of course the look of them is always better than a gap!

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About the Author

Celia Burns - Principal Dentist & Clinical Director

My first love isn’t teeth; it’s people. That’s why I love being a dentist. It’s the best feeling in the world to be able to help an anxious patient, who has possibly avoided going to the dentist for many years, build their trust in me, and I get a real thrill from helping someone achieve the confidence in their smile that they want.

Six Month Smiles BACD - British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry British Dental Association The Oral Health Foundation GDC