Complete Denture Procedure Steps

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Jade Roberts

Dr M Mansoor Majeed dentist

Fact Checked by Dr. M. Mansoor Majeed

Dr. M. Mansoor Majeed (BDS, MDS, CHPE) has over ten years of experience as a practicing dentist, medical writer, and researcher. He also works as an assistant professor at a renowned health sciences university. Dr. Mansoor has written more than 25 research articles, which have been published in renowned medical journals, and has presented his research at conferences worldwide.

complete denture procedure steps

There are many reasons to have dentures made. Gum disease, tooth decay, trauma, and sports injuries are all ways in which teeth can be lost.

In some cases, a tooth can be repaired or replaced. However, when several teeth have been affected, either partial dentures or full dentures are often the most logical solution.

False teeth are as individual as a fingerprint. This means that when you are in need of dentures, there are specific denture procedure steps you will typically have to follow. This ensures that the set of dentures you will receive is going to be a perfect fit for you and only you.

False Teeth Process – Denture Procedure Steps

The false teeth process requires a number of steps to complete. Here are the typical denture procedure steps that you may encounter when you proceed down the road to get false teeth.

Step 1 – The Appointment

Before dentures can be made, a dental professional has to take a good look at your mouth. Proper oral examination is very important. The main purpose of the appointment is to determine how many teeth need to come out and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums.

There are many different false teeth options that are available to you, with some of the most common including full dentures (to replace all teeth), partial dentures (worn with your existing teeth), dental crowns, dental bridges, dental implants, etc. You may also require false teeth on one or both of your upper (uppers) or lower (lowers) jaw.

Depending on the number of teeth requiring replacement and their location, different denture options may be discussed. Make sure that you thoroughly discuss the options and his or her recommendation so that you fully understand what is involved. Your dentist should take the time to answer any questions you have about your specific situation.

Step 2 – Taking Impressions

After the correct solution for your specific denture requirements has been determined, a few impressions of your mouth will be needed. Think of these as the blueprint required to design and fashion your dentures to fit perfectly on your gum line and inside your mouth.

It is from the impressions that a cast or a model is made that will be used to design your dentures. Once a preliminary set of false teeth have been fabricated, you will be in the dentist’s chair again for a fitting. The results of this will start the false teeth process of creating your final dentures.

Step 3 – Extracting Teeth

The state of your mouth and your existing teeth will determine whether or not you will require any teeth to be removed. In cases where a partial denture is being designed, you will be able to keep some of your natural teeth that are in good shape and can support and wear the partial with them.

However, if the best fit for dentures in your situation calls for all teeth to be removed for full dentures, then that will be the next step. It may be only a few teeth or it could be a lot more. The type of denture appliance and the condition of your teeth and gums will impact that decision.

Immediate dentures are an option where they were designed prior to extraction. Essentially, the immediate denture steps are as follows: once your teeth are removed, your immediate dentures go into your mouth right away. This is to prevent going without teeth while gums are healing.

If you need more information on the immediate denture procedure, please click here.

Step 4 – Secondary Impression

After your gums heal after the extraction, which takes from weeks to months, your dentist will take another impression. Usually, different materials are used for complete denture impressions and partial denture impressions.

Step 5 – Bite Registration

It is like taking a picture of how your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite. This is important because it helps your dentist make sure that your dentures fit well and are comfortable to wear.

To record the position of your upper and lower teeth when you bite down, the dentist will ask you to bite down on the waxy or on a special tray holding it in place for a few minutes while it sets.

Step 6 – Wax Trial

Your dentist will make a model of your dentures using wax after taking an impression of your mouth and how your teeth come together when you bite. This will show you how your dentures will look and fit in your mouth before they are made.

During the wax try-in, you can try the wax dentures in your mouth and check how they feel and fit. Your dentist can also make any necessary changes to the wax model to make sure your final dentures are the best fit for you.

Step 7 – Teeth Trial

This step can be performed along with the wax trial. The dentist will check the proper fit and alignment of that embedded in the wax to ensure that your mouth closes properly with the new dentures.

The dentist will evaluate the alignment of your jaw and the way your upper and lower teeth come together to ensure that the dentures allow for proper chewing and speaking.

Step 8 – Final Denture Fitting

Your gums will take a few days to weeks for the swelling to go down and in order to completely heal. This is dependent on the number of teeth that had to be extracted and the condition of your gums at the time. After the swelling has gone down you will be fitted with your permanent set of dentures.

These would have been made from the final impression taken of your mouth. As a result, the dentures are designed to fit perfectly under optimal conditions. Because your mouth has experienced a lot of additional activity from extractions, the fit may differ slightly.

However, the steps and number of visits may vary as per your condition, oral and dental health, and particular requirements.

Step 9 – Getting Used To Wearing Your Dentures

Because your dentures are a foreign body in your mouth, it may take some time to get used to them. In fact, as your mouth gets used to having plates of false teeth, the dentures may feel uncomfortable for a number of weeks. This will require patience on your part.

Your dental professional should have arranged a series of follow-up appointments with you as soon as you received your new dentures. The first would generally have been about a week after your final fitting. This would be to identify any sore spots or pressure points. Should there be any, the dentures would likely be adjusted for you while you wait.

In the next few months of follow-up appointments, expect slight adjustments to be made to your dentures when necessary. Once they fit perfectly, you should not need as many visits to your dentist, but rather just visit your dentist for routine checkups.

Step 10 – Proper Denture Care

The last of the denture procedure steps involves ongoing care and maintenance of your new dentures. With proper care, your dentures can last for a long time… however, they do need some special care compared to natural teeth.

Over time, your dentures may become loose. Adjustments including denture relining may be required. Plus, as you age, the condition of your mouth and gums may change. It could mean a whole new set of dentures at one point, but with proper care, they should last you several years.

False teeth are made from an acrylic compound that requires you to take special care of them, especially when you are not wearing them. This includes specific cleaning products and methods that will keep them looking like new whenever you put the dentures in your mouth.

Your dental professional should cover cleaning procedures with you and explain that you need to ensure that dentures are not dropped or left to dry out. Although denture repairs can be made should something happen to them, it becomes an extra cost you can avoid by being careful.

For more detailed information about caring for your false teeth, keeping them looking good, and helping make them last a long time, click here.

Denture Procedure FAQs

How long does the full denture procedure take?

There are many steps and appointments required to complete the full denture procedure. The exact length of time can vary depending on many factors including how many teeth are being replaced, the condition of the gums and jawbone, and the complexity of the treatment plan. A typical procedure would follow these steps:
 
–       Removal of Existing Teeth: Full dentures may require existing teeth to be removed. The patient’s gums must also heal before the first denture fitting consultation can take place. This tooth removal and the healing process can take 8-12 weeks or more.
–       Initial Consultation/Examination: This first appointment will be up to an hour long and covers the introductory phase of the denture procedure.
–       Impressions/Measurements: During this appointment, your teeth, gums, and jawbone are measured and impressions are taken. Expect this appointment to take about an hour.
–       Trial Denture Fitting: A temporary denture is placed in your mouth and adjustments are made to correct the fit and bite. This appointment is about an hour long.
–       Final Denture Fitting: This hour-long appointment involves the fitting of the final denture. Adjustments are made where required, and you are provided with instructions on how to care for and use the dentures.
 
The full denture procedure can take from several weeks to several months to complete.

How long does it take to get used to wearing full dentures?

The time required to get used to wearing dentures varies from person to person. Some adapt quickly, while others require a little more time to get used to eating, speaking, and wearing false teeth. In general terms, it can take between a few weeks to many months to get used to dentures. However, there are a few things you can do to help make the adjustment easier. They include:
 
–       Wear the dentures exactly as you have been instructed to by your dental professional
–       When eating, begin with soft foods and slowly introduce more challenging foods as you become more comfortable eating with dentures.
–       Speak and read aloud to practice speaking with dentures.
–       Follow your dentist’s recommendation for denture adhesive to hold your false teeth securely.
–       Follow good oral hygiene practices by brushing your gums, tongue, and any remaining teeth twice daily.
–       Have your dentures examined and adjusted (if required) at least once per year.
 
Remember, you must be patient during the adjustment period to experience success. For further advice, consult with your dental professional.

Will I have to go without teeth during the denture creation process?

This depends on the type of dentures you are receiving. Sometimes, you will be provided with a temporary denture or an “immediate denture” as your final denture is being created. An immediate denture is made before all of your natural teeth have been removed so that they can be inserted as soon as your last tooth is extracted. This provides you with teeth while your gums heal, and your final denture is being made. An immediate denture is a temporary solution that can be worn for a few months to let gums heal properly and to allow time for the final denture to be created.

How are the fit and bite of the dentures checked during the process?

The fit and bite of dentures help to determine how well they will function and how comfortable they will be. As dentures are being made, the fit and bite are checked and adjusted often to ensure the best outcome. Here are a few ways these factors are monitored:
 
–       Impressions/Measurements: Before the dentures are manufactured, your dental professional will take impressions and measurements of your gums and jaws.
–       Trail Denture Fitting: A temporary denture is made and you are allowed to try it on. The idea here is that the bite and fit are tested and adjustments are determined at that time.
–       Bite Registration: A bite registration is taken. This helps to align the dentures properly so that the bite is functional and comfortable.
–       Wax Try-In: A wax copy of the final denture is made, and you get to wear it as a test to see how the fit and bite are with this version of the denture. Final adjustments are made at this point.
–       Final Denture Fitting: The final denture is placed into your mouth and if the fit and bite require adjustment, this is when they are made. After the final fit and bite adjustments have been completed, you are free to take the new dentures with you.

Can full dentures be adjusted after they are made?

Full dentures are typically adjusted several times during the manufacturing process and can be adjusted once they are complete. If you feel any discomfort from wearing new dentures, there is an adjustment period where your mouth and gums will be uncomfortable as you get used to wearing the appliance. However, if you still experience pain after you have become accustomed to the dentures, you can visit your dental professional for further adjustments to the dentures.

Will I need to return for follow-up appointments after receiving the dentures?

Follow-up appointments are a normal way of life once you receive dentures. As you get used to wearing them the first few weeks and months, you must monitor how they fit and function during that time. Any issues should be shared with your dental professional so that they can be addressed at a follow-up appointment.

What kind of care and maintenance will my dentures require?

To ensure that your dentures last a long time and function properly, there are a few care tips you should follow. They include:
 
–       Clean Them Daily: Just like your natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily to keep them from building up plaque and bacteria. The best way to do this is by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive denture cleaner. An ultrasonic denture cleaner can help if used once per week.
–       Soak Your Dentures: Another way to help keep your dentures clean and fresh is to soak them overnight in water or a denture-cleaning solution. Not only will this assist in cleaning, but the soaking will keep your dentures moist. If they dry out, you risk cracks, breaks, and other damage occurring.
–       Rinse After Eating: Following each meal, remove your dentures and rinse them with warm (not hot) water to remove any food particles or debris.
–       Handle With Care: Dentures are fragile and can break or crack if dropped. When cleaning them, do so over a sink filled with water or a folded towel to cushion them should they slip out of your hands.
–       Visit Your Dentist Regularly: To ensure that your dentures continue to fit and function properly, it is important to see your dental professional for regular checkups. These appointments will also help your dentist monitor your mouth, gums, and remaining teeth for good oral health. Should sometime be identified, it can be addressed quickly.
–       Avoid Abrasive Cleaners: The surface of your dentures can be damaged if you use regular toothpaste or a regular toothbrush as both can be abrasive. A soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste specially formulated for denture cleaning are best as they will not wear down the denture surfaces.
–       Do Not Use Hot Water: Soaking or cleaning your dentures with hot water can cause them to warp and lose their shape. Warm water is fine.
–       Store Properly: When not in use, it is important to store your dentures properly. A clean container that has been made for dentures is recommended. Soaking them overnight keeps dentures from drying out which can damage them.
 
If you take care of your false teeth, you will have many years of use from them.

What should I expect during the adjustment period as I get used to wearing the dentures?

The adjustment period for getting used to dentures is not the same for each person. However, it normally takes between a few weeks and a few months. During this time, you may experience some discomfort, issues with speaking and eating, and other factors that relate to the fit and function of your dentures. Here is a list of some of the more common issues you may encounter as you adjust to your dentures:
 
–       Sore Spots: The rubbing of dentures on your gums can result in sore spots. An adjustment to the dentures may relieve this.
–       Speaking Difficulties: You may discover that some words and sounds will take additional effort when you start wearing dentures. One way to help get through this phase is to practice speaking slowly and clearly so that your tongue and mouth muscles get used to having to adapt to your dentures.
–       Eating Difficulties: Chewing with dentures may take some time to get used to. To help with this, start with soft foods and gradually increase the amount of harder and more complex foods you consume.
–       Saliva Production Changes: Not all new denture wearers experience this, but some do notice an increase in saliva production when they start wearing dentures. This usually reverts to normal once your mouth adjusts to the appliance.
–       Changes In Taste: You may notice a change in your sense of taste when you start wearing dentures. This normally goes away with time.

To make the adjustment period as easy as possible, it is important to follow the instructions of your dental professional. Follow-up appointments are to allow you to bring up any issues that may have developed after the adjustment period so that they can be addressed quickly. Otherwise, you should have few problems with your dentures after you get used to them.

In Conclusion

Dentures are effective but can be a somewhat pricey solution to tooth loss where crowns, bridges, and other repair options are not possible. Although the process is time-consuming, the end result is a great set of teeth that improve your smile and permit eating, talking, and other normal oral functions.

If you feel that you are in need of false teeth to correct a problem you are experiencing with your oral health, see your local dental professional for a consultation on the complete denture procedure steps. They will determine whether or not dentures are the best dental solution for you as well as be able to answer any specific questions you have about the false teeth process.

About Jade Roberts

After having a lot of dental issues when she was younger, and years of restorative dental work, Jade knows how difficult it is to find the right dental information. This forced her to do countless hours of research and connect with dental experts all over the world to find the right information. Learning has made her passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience so that others don't have to go through the same issues. "If I make any recommendations in the articles on the False Teeth Options website, it is because my team and I have researched and/or tested the products ourselves, and would be comfortable recommending them to our own family and friends. I'd love to hear of your experiences. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch."

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