“She has a million-dollar smile.” Have you ever wondered where the phrase came from?
Some suggest that it refers to DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, which is worth well over a million dollars, others say it is the amount of money celebrities spend on dental work, while many argue that a radiant smile makes it possible to earn millions.
With the exception of the Mona Lisa, most agree that a million-dollar smile usually includes lots of beautiful teeth. Dentures make it possible for you to share the wealth of your radiant smile with everyone you meet.
What goes into crafting dentures that fit properly and look like they belong in your mouth?
We’re eager to share the craftsmanship behind the dentures that we use at Smiles from Ear to Hear to help individuals like you enjoy the brilliant smile and numerous other health benefits they provide.
Are Today’s Dentures the Same as Granddaddy’s False Teeth?
One of the prevailing myths surrounding George Washington is his wooden teeth. Though America’s first president did wear false teeth, they were not made of wood.
The practice of providing prosthetic teeth began in ancient Egypt and a variety of materials have been used in denturism throughout the centuries, including ivory, gold, lead, rubber, the teeth of deer and other animals, human teeth, and wood.
First used in the 1930s, acrylic resin was improved upon throughout the 20th century and continues to be the base material for modern dentures. But modern, high-tech dentures aren’t the same as the removable fake teeth your grandparents used to wear.
Motivated by an ever-increasing number of studies related to the dangers of missing teeth, modern-day dentistry has found relatively inexpensive, innovative, high-tech, and highly effective tooth replacement solutions, but the basic concept remains the same.
Fortunately, today’s dentures are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Their shade, shape, and texture are precision crafted to your mouth and smile, making it nearly impossible to tell if your million-dollar smile includes “fake teeth.”
The Ten-Step Process Used to Craft Your Dentures
Rather than putting a set of one-size-fits-all false teeth in your mouth, crafting dentures that look like they belong there involves a painstaking ten-step process.
1. Taking an Impression
The first step in crafting natural-looking dentures involves taking an impression of your mouth using stock trays designed for edentulous patients. In some cases, periphery wax is added to enhance the tray used to take the impression. At this time, the tooth mode and shade best suited for the patient is taken into account.
2. Making the Model
The impression taken of your teeth is used to make a wax model of your teeth. The model is contoured to provide the proper lip support.
3. Articulating the Model
The model is placed on an articulator, which is a mechanical device used to represent the jaw, so that the technician can attach your chosen teeth with wax. The articulator is calibrated to represent your specific jaw relationship in order to properly align the teeth.
4. Carving the Model
The prosthetist shapes and carves the wax model to perfectly represent the way your gums would look. This can involve adding wax around the teeth to establish the correct gingival contours, properly support the facial muscles, and create a natural-looking appearance, which includes light stippling so the acrylic gums do not look unnaturally smooth.
5. Flasking the Model
The denture model is then placed in a holding device called a flask. The model is secured with plaster or dental stone, and then more plaster is poured in to maintain the shape of the dentures. Once the plaster sets, the flask is heated to melt the wax, leaving the teeth and the denture mold to be filled with acrylic.
6. Injecting Acrylic Resin
Before injecting the acrylic resin used to form the gums and teeth of your dentures, any leftover wax is rinsed away, and the technician paints a liquid separator onto the plaster so the acrylic doesn’t stick to it. The acrylic resin is then injected into the flask to replace the wax and the denture is cured under pressure until the correct hardness is achieved.
7. Removing the Plaster
The plaster mold is removed from the set denture using specialized tools, and then it is placed in an ultrasonic bath to remove any remnants of the plaster mold. Once the plaster is removed, the denture is removed from the flask.
In this step, the denture is returned to the articulator where special burs or pumice stones are used to remove any excess acrylic around the edges and palatal area. The articulation is rechecked and adjustments are made as needed.
9. Initial Fitting
Once your dentures are trimmed and adjusted using the articulator, they are returned to Smiles from Ear to Hear so that we can conduct your initial fitting. Any necessary adjustments will be noted, and then your dentures will be returned to the craftsman for finishing and polishing.
10. Finishing and Polishing
Any necessary adjustments for a perfect fit are completed and the dentures are polished and smoothed with polishing mops and paste for a natural-looking lustre.
Your Million-Dollar Smile Starts Here
The last thing you want is for your smile to look like it is full of fake teeth. Precision-crafted dentures using the latest materials and technologies are an artform used to ensure that your dentures look like they belong in your mouth.
At Smiles from Ear to Hear, you can have a million-dollar smile even if you wear dentures. Find out how by contacting our Toronto, ON, clinic.