What Is Involved In Making A Spare Denture?
I could not believe my ears when I met this patient yesterday. He was actually planning ahead. He was getting prepared for the possibility of not having his denture because of _______________. You get to fill in the blank.
Possibilities are dropping it and it breaks into two pieces, letting the dog get a hold of it, biting down on a nut and cracking it, losing it in Lake Erie. (Yes, you read that correctly. I had a patient who lost his upper denture while swimming in the lake.)
Whatever the reason may be, if you can not be seen in public without your teeth, then you need a spare denture.
I have recommended this for years to my patients. In the past two weeks, this subject came up with and is being acted on by two totally different patients.
So let’s talk about how we do this. Let’s talk about costs. Let’s talk about the time involved.
Making A Spare Denture Used to be a Time Consuming and Expensive Process
In the not too distant past making a spare denture involved all the same things that were involved when the denture was originally made.
Impressions were taken, the bite was verified, teeth were chosen and tried in, etc. Essentially we were doing the whole process all over again.
If we decided to skip any steps or appointments, we were taking a chance of having a problem.
Okay, this was only supposed to be a spare. That is all well and good if the spare is truly a spare.
Some people want the spare to be their new all the time, every day denture.
There is no room for skipping steps or taking shortcuts.
The denture has to be made with the same precision and care as the existing denture hopefully was made. Multiple appointments and fees commensurate with that level of work were the guidelines that need to be followed in that case.
Today the Task is Simplified and Inexpensive
What if the spare is truly a spare. Its purpose was to be worn in an emergency. It was a backup, to use computer lingo, in case something went awry. It was to be used if a reline needed to done at the laboratory.
In 2018, we have technology that makes the process of making a spare denture simple. With modern computers and scanning devices, my lab can make a duplicate of any denture.
The inside and outside are an exact copy of the original denture.
From a time standpoint, all that is involved is 2 appointments. The teeth are an exact copy of the size and shape of the original denture. The inside is an exact copy. This saves the lab some time.
We also employ technology makes it impossible to have a single tooth pop out of the denture.
This streamlined process has another benefit.
The cost is better than the term affordable would indicate. This process is downright inexpensive.
In fact, my patients are in general disbelief when I tell them the fee.
The usual response is why didn’t I do this sooner. When you think about it. It makes sense. We don’t need all the appointments and verification steps of a traditional denture. We are copying the inside and outside of what you have.
Proactively Planning for Future Possibilities
Planning for future possibilities takes a lot of stress out of our lives. I saw another patient earlier this week who knew that his tooth was on its last legs. In cases like that, I always advise the patient to be proactive and deal with the issue on his or her terms.
What does that mean? Allow me to explain.
When a tooth breaks or causes discomfort, both you and I have to scramble to fix or short circuit the problem. In other words, we are working with the tooth calling the shots. This may mean a greater cost, lost time from work or other events in life and a general inconvenience as it disrupts our daily routine.
When we are proactive, we are in control as to the how and when a treatment will proceed. We are now in charge, not the tooth. Those patients who follow this advice are so much further ahead than those who decide to not deal with the issue.
If you know that an issue is pending or have been advised by someone to take care of some health issue, now is a great time to set the wheels in motion to deal with it.
If you only have one denture, then maybe now is the time for that spare.
Getting out and about is easy in the glorious sunny weather that we are experiencing. There is no need for boots and heavy coats as bone-chilling cold is a distant memory.
Give Megan a call at 440.951.7856 and set up a visit to meet us and discuss your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.
Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD, is an Ohio-licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.