How to recognize a premium from a run-of-the-mill denture.
Ever wonder why some dentures look better and last longer than others? Why some cost more than others? And how you can tell whether you’re getting your money’s worth. Well, by the time you finish reading this article you’ll know.
Perhaps the quickest way to spot a top quality premium denture is to ask about the warranty. Any well-made denture should come with at least a 2-3 year warranty against breakage under normal use. No denture will withstand being run over by a Mack truck, or being dropped on a tile floor for that matter. But under normal use 2-3 years is not too much to expect. With premium materials though, that can actually be extended clear out to a whopping ten years! So “What is the warranty?” should be one of your first questions.
What are the materials that make such a long warranty possible? First of all is a metal, usually chrome-cobalt, internal reinforcing framework. One of the most common ways dentures fail is to crack or break in half. Keeping the denture well-fitting through timely relines definitely helps prevent this. But nothing works better than placing some beefy “rebar” to strengthen a denture.
The other common failure point is simple attrition or wearing out of the teeth, especially in those who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth. Most dentures are usually made with relatively inexpensive acrylic teeth, often called “classic” teeth. Mid-grade teeth are made with so called hardened acrylic that offers improved wear resistance. The most wear resistant teeth though are made of good old-fashioned porcelain. I’ve seen 30-year-old dentures with porcelain teeth that certainly didn’t fit any more, had been broken and repaired several times, but the teeth themselves looked nearly as good as the day they were made.
A word of caution though. Porcelain teeth will be more prone to break if dropped on a hard surface like tile or concrete. There is also some suspicion that jaw bones may deteriorate or “dissolve” a bit faster under porcelain than with acrylic teeth. However, the research on that is inconclusive as bone loss is always a problem under any denture. Implants are the only way to predictably control that no matter what kind of teeth are in the denture.
Finally, all well-made premium dentures will be meticulously and artistically finished to avoid the normal unsightly “denture gums” that broadcast to everyone that you are wearing dentures. All natural gum tissue has a wavy surface caused by the bulges formed by the roots of natural teeth. This is called festooning. In addition, natural gums are covered with tiny pits or pores, kind of like an orange peel, called stippling. Nothing screams “DENTURES! DENTURES!” louder than a perfectly smooth highly polished denture, and any premium denture will avoid this with a natural looking stippled and festooned surface.
So now you know what to look for when nothing but the best will do.
- Extended warranty
- Metal reinforcement
- Porcelain teeth
- Bilaterally balanced engineering
- Diagnostic testing
- Natural finishing
Of course none of these features are worth anything if the denture doesn’t fit well and feel comfortable, but it would be a pretty good bet that any dentist that cares enough to make dentures like this will also have the skill and concern needed to deliver the whole premium package like we do with our Master Dentures.