Denture procedure part 2: First dental impressions

  • Even denture wearers can get gum disease

  • Poor denture stabilisation? Make an appointment

  • No hot water or bleach for cleaning dentures

Do you know that caring for your dentures correctly is just as important as looking after natural teeth?

Whether you wear full or partial dentures, proper denture care can help avoid any build-up of bacteria that can cause infections.

By following our denture care tips, you should be able to enjoy a clean and healthy smile every day.

Firstly, cleaning your dentures at the end of every day is a healthy routine to get into – just the same as cleaning native teeth. As soon as you remove your dentures, gently massage gums with a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush to remove any debris or film. If you have existing teeth, these need to be cared for with normal brushing and flossing. Finish by rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Denture procedure part 2: First dental impressions

Dental impressions for dentures

Negative reproductions of dental structure

If the wrong tray is selected, the patient can gag. Ultimately, we need to ensure all the anatomical landmarks are incorporated in this first impression. Years of experience are apt to make it look so easy.

These negative reproductions of dental structures are essential so that the patient’s mouth can figuratively be taken out and studied in greater detail.

They form a crucial component in the hierarchy of dental treatments, allowing for our talented lab team to check the occlusion (the way our teeth come together) and create a new bespoke tray for a second impression that will provide another, and better, tier of accuracy.

The process allows us to harvest sharp anatomical details of the dental occlusion – the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest. It also gives us insight into some of the soft tissues in the upper and lower parts of the mouth.

Other critical information we can gain includes the way we can best achieve a harmonious fit for the prescription.

dental trays

Material for dental impressions

In the dental impression world, there are essentially two heavyweights –alginate and a silicone-based material.

For the first trays, we use alginate. The trays are distinctly different from others used in the production process being perforated. These holes provide an avenue for the alginate material to flow through on loading, therefore providing what is known as ‘micromechanical retention’ to keep the alginate in place.

Alginate remains one of the most common impression materials used in dentistry. Alginate ticks many boxes for dentists when deciding on which dental impression material to use and has the following properties:

  • Controlled working time
  • Easy removal
  • Neutral taste

Derived from seaweed

So what’s Alginate? When you hear this word you may instantly think algae, as in seaweed. You wouldn’t be wrong. Alginate is an impression material that is derived from seaweed. Technically it is classified as an irreversible hydrocolloid material. Let’s break that down:

A hydrocolloid material is a gelatinous substance dispersed in water. It is described as being irreversible as it cannot return to a solution state once gelatinised (i.e once it’s set, it stays that way).

However, alginate has its Achilles heel – weak dimensional stability (clinically this means it often has to be supported beneath by silicone putty). That is why further impressions are silicone-based and we use polyvinyl siloxane, but more of that another time in another Denture Clinic blog.

The Denture Clinic is based in North Street, Dudley, West Midlands and continues to draw patients seeking solutions with high-quality dentures from all over the UK.

Read the other parts of the series here:

Denture procedure part 1: The first consultation

Denture procedure part 3: More dental impressions

Denture procedure part 4: Final touches

soaking dentures overnight

What if I have a chrome denture?

Some cleaning products can damage chrome dentures, so have a chat to us, please. If your denture has clasps, you will also need to take particular care when cleaning to avoid damaging them.

Should I remove my dentures to sleep?

Dentists often recommend removing your dentures at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. Leave them in water to prevent any warping or cracking.

Can the Denture Clinic clean them for me?

Some people get a build-up of tartar on their dentures just as they would on their natural teeth and you will struggle to remove this yourself. The Denture Clinic laboratory in Dudley, West Midlands, offers a professional denture cleaning service. We have a Sympro deep cleansing machine that will have your dentures looking like new in just a few minutes. Call us to book in for this while-you-wait service.