Dentures

By Dr. Sepi Fatahi DMD

The teeth of a denture are typically made from various types of resin or porcelain. The latter was traditionally the preferred material because it was stronger and more durable. Porcelain is still used in some instances and has a number of advantages:

  • A glass-like ceramic material, porcelain has the same translucent appearance as natural tooth enamel, and can be color-matched closely with other teeth in the patient’s mouth.
  • Porcelain teeth feel similar to natural teeth. This makes them easier to adapt to than other materials.
  • The heating process used to make them causes the dentures to become considerably harder, which means they last longer.

The main disadvantages of porcelain dentures, however, are that they’re breakable if dropped on a hard floor and they can wear down natural teeth if they bite against them. Porcelain is better used in full dentures than in partials for this reason.

More recently, however, acrylic resin has become the go-to material for denture teeth, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose research aimed to derive a new technique of making durable dentures using injections of a hybrid composite of resin. Acrylic adheres more securely to the denture base, and is easier to adjust to achieve the correct occlusion than harder porcelain teeth. It’s also significantly less expensive than porcelain, and much lighter in weight.

The disadvantage of teeth made from acrylic resin is that they wear faster than porcelain teeth, which causes changes in the way the teeth make contact with one another. Dentures made from acrylic resin teeth may need to be replaced every five to eight years as a result, but they are still far stronger than the plastic items used in the past.

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