Denture process from start to finish

Losing some or all of your permanent teeth can happen gradually due to gum disease or rapidly due to injury. Whatever the cause – decay, periodontal disease, trauma – substantial tooth loss takes a toll on your mouth’s form and function. Missing teeth affect your smile, confidence, and ability to chew. Dentures offer a restorative solution by replacing lost teeth and surrounding gum tissues with custom fitted prosthetics.

Full dentures can restore complete arches when all teeth are missing, while partial dentures fill in gaps from partial tooth loss.

The process of getting dentures made is multifaceted, requiring careful planning, preliminary impressions, try-in fittings, and adjustment appointments to ensure proper form and function of the final prosthetics.

Skilled dental lab technicians handcraft each set of dentures using acrylics and porcelain to precisely match your oral anatomy. The dentist then fits and refines the dentures to match your bite, optimize comfort, and meet aesthetic goals. From first consultation to final placement, the denture process involves many intricate steps to create beautiful, natural-feeling teeth and restore your smile.

Denture process from start to finish

Process of getting dentures

The process of getting false teeth starts with an examination of your oral cavity and discussion of problems with current teeth, if any. Your dentist addresses questions and concerns, advises if any extractions are required, and takes impressions of the tissues. Options like implant-supported dentures are also reviewed. You’ll select the ideal tooth shape and shade. Once the treatment plan is set, the process continues.

Initial Consultation

The denture process begins with an initial consultation appointment. This visit allows the dentist to assess your current oral health status, examine any remaining teeth, and discuss your goals for dentures.

  • The dentist will evaluate the health of your gums and bone structure through visual and tactile examination. X-rays may be taken to look for any underlying issues. They will also check for proper space to allow for well-fitting dentures. If any teeth need extraction, that can be determined at this point.
  • Next, preliminary impressions will be taken of your jaws. These impressions allow models to be created that the dentures will be fabricated on. You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss cosmetic preferences for tooth shade and arrangement.
  • The dentist will inquire about your medical history, medications, and oral hygiene habits as well. They can then advise you on any preparatory steps to optimize conditions before denture placement.

This consultation establishes the treatment plan and timeline, ensures you understand the full process, and begins the modeling steps crucial for proper denture fit and function. It lays the groundwork for a successful denture experience. Being open about your needs and concerns will allow the dentist to provide the ideal denture solution.

Pulling teeth for dentures

Often, when a patient is fitted for dentures, one or more natural teeth may need to be extracted beforehand. This is done for several reasons:

  • First, any severely damaged, decayed, or periodontally compromised teeth that can’t be restored need to be removed. Leaving infected or fractured teeth in the mouth compromises denture fit and oral health. It’s better to extract non-restorable teeth prior to denture fabrication.
  • Second, removing select teeth can aid in denture retention and stability. For example, extracting anterior teeth allows key denture clasps to engage the canine region for added hold. The dentist carefully plans which extractions will facilitate the best fitting and functioning denture.
  • Third, removing teeth improves denture aesthetics. Extracting dark, misshapen or crooked natural teeth lets the dentist optimize the denture teeth position and create a more pleasing, natural looking smile line.
  • Lastly, extracting hopelessly damaged teeth can eliminate existing pain and chances for future problems. It provides a “fresh slate” for properly designed dentures without underlying issues.

The number and choice of which teeth to extract is a strategic decision made jointly with your dentist based on oral health status, denture objectives, and retention needs. Extractions help pave the way for well-fitting, functional and aesthetic dentures.

Steps in fabrication of complete denture

Creating custom dentures is a meticulous process that involves several steps to ensure a perfect fit and a natural appearance. Here’s an overview of the key stages in the fabrication of complete dentures:

1. Impressions

The process begins with taking precise impressions of your mouth. These imprints serve as a foundation for crafting dentures that fit the unique contours of your oral structure.

2. Wax Teeth Placement

Skilled technicians set wax teeth in the ideal position, considering factors like bite and smile line. This step is crucial for achieving a natural and comfortable look.

3. Gum Tissue Crafting

Craftsmen create natural-looking gum tissue around the wax teeth. This involves shaping and sculpting to mimic the appearance of real gums.

4. Incorporating Existing Teeth

If there are any remaining natural teeth or extracted teeth to be added to the denture, they are incorporated seamlessly into the design.

5. Acrylic Curing

The wax setup is used to create a mold, and acrylic is carefully cured to form the final plate that will hold the teeth. This ensures the dentures have the proper form and durability.

6. Coloring the Gum Tissue

A crucial step is to artistically color the gum tissue. This involves matching the shade and texture to your natural gums, enhancing the overall lifelike appearance.

7. Decorative Facings (Optional)

If desired, decorative facings or enhancements can be added for aesthetic purposes. These could include variations in tooth color or additional detailing.

8. Final Adjustments

Once the dentures are assembled, there is a fitting session. Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure comfort, proper alignment, and functionality.

9. Quality Check

Skilled technicians pay meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that the dentures replicate the natural look of teeth and gums. Quality checks are performed to meet the highest standards.

Initial Fitting

You’ll come in for the first trying on of the unfinished dentures as mentioned in step 8 above. The dentist ensures proper shape and fit, making any necessary adjustments using specialized tools and materials. First impressions are rarely perfect, so refinements are expected.

You’ll get a preview of your final smile design and aesthetics at this stage. Discuss any enhancements needed to meet expectations. Your comfort with insertion and removal is also assessed. You may experience some minor gum soreness initially.

Final Fitting and Installation

Once perfected, you’ll come in for installation of the final dentures. The dentist confirms excellent fit, function, and aesthetics. Instructions are provided on proper insertion, removal, cleaning, and maintenance. You should notice a significant improvement in chewing ability and smile confidence.

Follow-up Checks

Due to initial acclimation and tissue shrinkage over time, follow-up appointments are needed to manage discomfort and modify the dentures. Your dentist will schedule these check-ins to track adaptation and refit as needed.

Many patients require several incremental adjustments before dentures feel completely natural. Communicate any rubbing, looseness, or difficulty eating so improvements can be made.

Caring for Dentures

With good oral hygiene and handling of your false teeth, they can last many years. Protect your investment by:

  • Removing and rinsing dentures after meals.
  • Brushing and soaking dentures daily.
  • Using denture cleansers and effervescent tablets.
  • Storing dentures in water or non-citrus cleanser when not worn.
  • Keeping dentures away from hot water or harsh chemicals.
  • Having dental follow-ups at least yearly.

Adjusting to dentures takes patience. But with an accurate molding process, you can regain a beautiful smile.

Final Note

By combining precision, artistry, and advanced materials, the fabrication of complete dentures aims to restore not just the functionality of teeth but also the natural aesthetics of a confident smile. Regular check-ups and adjustments may be needed to maintain the optimal fit and comfort of the dentures over time.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

  • Lilly

    Lilly, aka, Liza Lee, is a passionate community oral health officer and our lead writer. She's not only well-versed in performing a multitude of dental procedures, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic, but also an avid writer. Driven by the significant oral health burden all around her, Lilly strives to build capacity and promote oral health. She envisions making a lasting impact by advancing research, prevention, and promotion efforts to alleviate oral health disparities. Please share your views and opinions on my posts.

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