Dentures are generally fitted in one of two ways. Molds are made of the gums and the dentures are made to fit after they have healed or the dentures are made prior to the teeth being pulled. If the dentures are made prior, they are put in place immediately after the teeth are extracted and the gums heal according to the shape of the denture. After the dentures have been in place for a few days, the dentist will examine the bite and how well they fit in relation to the gums and overall structure of the mouth. Any alterations or adjustments can be made at that time to ensure a proper fit.
Dentures go through a molding process that takes several steps. First, molds are taken of the both the upper and lower jaws. Reverse molds are then made that are the exact shape and size of the patient's gums. The reverse molds are then used to build the denture. Wax is used to put teeth in their proper placement. Once the denture "form" is finished, it is put into a flask and surrounded by plaster. Once the wax has been removed, the flask is again filled with an acrylic material. After the acrylic has cured for several hours, the denture is removed from the flask and accurately shaped to fit the patient's mouth.
Individuals who have dentures should still pay their dentist a visit at least once a year. A dental exam involves more than just looking at a person's teeth; the dentist will also check the patient's gums, tongue, and other soft tissues to ensure nothing is amiss. The dentist will be able to tell if the patient's dentures are fitting properly or if there are other health concerns that need to be addressed. Over time, the gums can begin to shrink and cause dentures to loosen. This can lead to lesions and sore spots. During an annual visit, the dentist can identify and correct any potential problems that may have appeared during the year.
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