Why our denture impressions are the best
The first appointment is to understand what you want and what you need. We begin by carefully listening to your concerns and try to understand what sort of problems you are experiencing. Everybody is different. For instance, dentures may be falling out and embarrassing some people, others may find it difficult to eat with them in. Its important that we understand the reasons for you coming, so that we can provide you with a tailor-made solution.
After this, we will examine your mouth to see what the bone structure is like and this will help us to determine what kind of result you can expect. Dentures work very well in some people because they have good bone ridges. However, if your bone has shrunk a lot, then we may need to discuss other options like dental implants to help secure your dentures.
Once your mouth has been examined we will give you some quotes and write a treatment plan up for you so that you can spend some time thinking about which option would be best for you. Once you decide which one you are happy with, we can start the first impressions.
2. First Impressions
The first impressions are taken using alginate. Most dentists will use this impression to make your final dentures, however we go a step further to ensure you get the best result.
From this impression, we can make a model of your teeth. On the model we make an impression tray that perfectly fits around your mouth and then a second impression is taken using this. This is a lot more accurate than the first impression as the first impression is taken by using stock trays. As stock trays come in only a few sizes i.e. small, medium, large, and extra-large – it doesn’t really reflect all the possible different shaped mouths. That’s why you will never get a good impression, unless you happen to be one of the few people who fit perfectly into one of the generic trays.
3. Final Impressions
We pride ourselves on achieving the best fitting and best performing dentures, so that it why we spend a long time making sure our impressions are the best. After all, if the impression is not a true and accurate impression of your mouth, the dentures are never going to feel right. From the first moulds we make an impression tray that is bespoke to your mouth, which leads to a better impression – this is referred to as the secondary impressions, which are described below.
Dentists have been taught in dental school that alginate is the best and only material to take impressions. As it is cheap, easy to use, and quick – dentists from all over the world use this as their go-to material for denture impressions. However, having said that, it’s not the best material to use.
Firstly, it is not as accurate as silicone impression materials, which record much better detail. Dentists know this and that’s why they use silicone material to take impressions for crowns and bridges, however they do not extend the same courtesy to denture wearers! We find this bizarre!
Secondly, alginate tends to distort very quickly and should be cast up straight away. By the time it’s sent to the local laboratory, its often at least a few hours, if not 24 hours old, as the laboratory generally only picks them up once a day. With silicone, you don’t have this problem, as it’s dimensionally stable for weeks or months, so we are not affected by the same distortions that other dentists have to deal with.
Thirdly, you can get different types of silicone impression material, with some in different viscosities. There are around 5 different types. The runnier it is, the better detail it picks up as it flows into all the grooves, picking up all the details in your mouth. The only problem with the very thin, runny material is that it shrinks a tiny bit, so you can’t take the whole mouth with this. Also, as it’s very runny it’s more uncomfortable if you take the whole mouth in this impression material, as it will run down towards the back of your throat.
So, this is how we take a great impression that is comfortable and that picks up the best detail:
We take the impression in layers. So we start with the thicker material that takes an impression of all the borders of your mouth. We then use a medium thickness material to pick up the major details of the rest of your mouth. Then, we use the really thin material to pick up the extra fine little details for the rest of your mouth. So every additional layer we do, it’s getting more and more accurate until we have the perfect impression. This all takes a little while. However, its nowhere near as uncomfortable as alginate, as alginate tends to flow towards the back of the mouth and causes discomfort.
The reason most dentists don’t use silicone is because it takes longer to use and it costs substantially more than alginate. We believe it is worth the extra time and cost of material, as the dentures we make are going to last you a long time. If you’re going to get a set made – they need to be good!
If you’re interested in getting a supremely well-fitting denture, give us a call to book a free consultation. We can give you some honest, realistic advice on how tight fitting of dentures we can make for you.