DIY Dentures are false teeth that you make at home with kits purchased on the internet for a minimal cost. The websites and videos like the one shown below all say that they create a “professional quality” set of dentures. Do they? Can you create a professional quality full denture at home?
Here’s one of the videos promoting DIY Dentures.
DIY Denture Kits Don’t Work Because They Lack Engineering
Many people believe that a denture is simply a pink and white piece of acrylic that gives you new tooth replacement. They think it’s a product that can be pulled off a shelf or made in one go on a work bench. False teeth are actually prosthetics that require complex bio-mechanical engineering in order to be usable. Anyone can make fake looking tooth replacements. Making prosthetic teeth that you can chew and talk with requires engineering.
What kind of engineering are they missing?
The Engineering of a Balanced Bite
First, none of the videos that we watched, including the one above, talk about occlusion. Occlusion is how teeth come together and work together. These kits don’t include any information or tools that would help you balance the denture’s occlusion. They don’t even give detailed information on aligning the teeth in the single arch, let alone against the opposing arch.
Why does this matter? When the teeth in a full denture don’t interact in a balanced way with the opposing teeth, the denture flops around. A full denture with imbalanced occlusion creates sores and is difficult to impossible to eat and talk with. When people come to us with an old, imbalanced denture, they usually carry it in their hand, not in their mouth because of how uncomfortable it is.
The Engineering of Suction
Suction is another key element of a denture that can chew. Chewing puts a lot of uneven pressure on a denture. False teeth can only chew food when stable enough to take the pressure and transfer it to the food. To take that kind of pressure, the teeth have to be aligned correctly first of all. Second, the denture has to have good natural suction. Suction is created by a precise match of the denture to your gums and palate. Lower dentures typically have worse suction and move more because they only have the teeth gums and jaw to hang onto. Upper dentures typically have superior suction because they can hang onto the roof of the mouth as well.
Ok, so get a good dental impression and make your DIY denture to cover your palate and teeth gums. Done, right? Wrong. For good suction, an upper denture must cover only certain parts of the palate. If it extends too far back, you’ll gag it right out. A lower denture has to extend down and back over particular parts of the jaw in order to maximize suction. Finding the ideal extensions for each part of the denture base takes several try-ins and dental impressions at a dental office. That’s when it’s being done by someone who knows exactly what to look for. The chances that your neighbor is going to get it right by himself are pretty small.
The Engineering of Cosmetics
Your face is a very complex thing. The way that you look is a combination of bone structure, muscle thickness, muscle movement habits and soft tissue thickness. Very few people realize that their teeth are a major part of facial support. A denture has to be designed to support your face and lips. A misfitted denture will either bulk up your cheeks like a chipmunk or it will allow too much skin to hang creating crazy wrinkles. When we design a patient’s denture, we take into consideration their bones & tissues and facial proportions. Teeth that are too short for your mouth don’t show. When they’re too long for your mouth, your whole face gets taken over by teeth. We ask each patient what they want their smile to look like and we take our time tweaking things to make sure that we get it right. This is one of the most complicated processes in cosmetic dentistry.
But DIY Dentures are just a temporary solution, right? What if that’s all I can afford?
Who buys a DIY denture kit? Usually people who have trouble getting to a dentist or people who can’t afford a denture from the dentist. Honestly, my advice would be don’t waste your money. Most of the DIY denture kit websites state that this types of set of dentures are temporary solutions so that people can eat and have teeth, not a replacement for a dentist-made denture. Why would they say that? They know that making a denture that works is not a simple process. Rarely can a homemade set of dentures actually handle chewing. Designing a denture so that you can eat with it requires several steps, a detailed study of your mouth and knowledge of how to place teeth in exactly the right positions and angles so that the denture can handle the forces of chewing. The chances that you’ll get it right, in one step with no specialized training or tools is very slim. You’re better off saving your money for a real, dentist-made denture.
But Dentist-Made Dentures Aren’t Always Great Either!
No, they aren’t. Dentists who are in a hurry make poor dentures. Dentists who only make a couple dentures a year also tend to make poor dentures. So how can a real dentist make a bad denture? Easy – they either don’t care or they don’t know enough.
Creating a set of dentures is very complex. A comfortable denture that can chew and looks natural has to match you gums, bone, palate and cheeks exactly. It also has to be fitted to your personal muscle movements. If you want a denture that works, don’t waste your money on diy repair kits – even if they do have free shipping. Find a dentist who makes them regularly and who takes his time to get it right. If the dentist is in a hurry during your first visit, he’s probably in a hurry all the time – buyer beware!
What do our denture patients say?
Curious about how we make digital dentures? Read more on our Digital Dentures page.
Ready to trade broken and missing teeth for a new beautiful, natural looking denture? The first step to getting the smile of your dreams is coming to a free consultation. Come talk to Dr. Bec about what you have going on in your mouth and what you’d like to get from a denture. Schedule a consultation today. To schedule, call us or click the ONLINE BOOKING button at the top of this page.