Transitioning from natural teeth to complete dentures can be challenging for patients. People commonly fear their denture will fall out or not allow them to eat properly. The unknown can be scary for most of us. Compound that with patient concerns about the look of their new teeth, and the transition can become overwhelming.
As a Dentist who makes a lot of dentures, I can tell you that complete dentures can be made to look fantastic! The key to any successful treatment is communication between Dentist and patient. Believe it or not, patients are not commonly asked how they want their dentures to look. The patient typically chooses a shade for their teeth and that’s it! But, many other factors contribute to making a beautiful and natural looking denture.
Complete Dentures: Tooth Colour
If you are transitioning into an upper and lower complete denture, you can pick any tooth shade you like. It will all match! If, however, you are making a complete denture for only one arch you will want to consider matching your denture shade somewhat to your opposing natural teeth. Mismatched dental arches can look artificial.
I suggest to patients that they do 1-2 weeks of tooth whitening prior to recording a denture tooth shade. Then, if they want whiter teeth, I suggest they go only 1 (maybe 2) shade brighter with their denture teeth. Your smile will look better if everything is in harmony. If paper-white denture teeth oppose teeth that are yellow or grey, you will get a noticeably artificial looking result.
Complete Dentures: Tooth Alignment
I included the picture on the left to make a couple of points. First, the upper and lower teeth match in shade in both images and both look great. But, if you took an arch of the whiter teeth and oppose them with an arch of the more yellow teeth, it won’t look natural. Second, the smile is beautiful even though, on close inspection, you will notice the teeth are not perfectly aligned. Perfectly aligned teeth don’t occur in nature. So let your Dentist know you want dentures that look real, not perfect.
There are Esthetic Form Complete Denture Teeth?
This is the reaction I get when I tell my patients about Esthetic Form denture teeth. Ivoclar is a dental manufacturer the makes one of the nicest sets of denture teeth out there. Unfortunately, most people are never given options with denture teeth. It’s as if there’s an assumption that patients will just settle for whatever they get with their dentures.
I view it as an exciting transition and a “smile reboot”! I would estimate that 90% of my patients are willing to pay an extra 5-8% to have nice, natural looking denture teeth. (Here’s the math: complete dentures cost approximately $1,500 and the extra cost for esthetic denture teeth is about $75 – $100). Make sure to ask your Dentist about Ivoclar esthetic denture teeth. They’re more than worth it!
Written by Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener Family Dentist
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental condition or treatment.