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Fort St. John Dental Clinic Blog

What are dentures made of?

What are dentures made of?

Thinking of getting dentures to replace your missing teeth? You may want to know more about these natural-looking tooth replacements. Here, our Fort St. John dentists share some details about the history of dentures and how they are made today.

A Brief History of Dentures 

Over many hundreds of years, people have restored the appearance and function of their smiles with dentures. With these tooth replacements, people could feel more confident in their smiles while improving their ability to eat and speak normally.

Here is some in-depth information on how dentures came to be, and how they have improved since their earliest days:

The Earliest Dentures — In northern Italy in about 700 BC, dentures were constructed from a combination of human and animal teeth. 

Dentures in the 1700s — By this period, humans were carving dentures from hippopotamus, walrus ivory or elephant. These dentures were a popular way to replace missing teeth for individuals who could afford them. 

Dentures in the 1800s — Wealthy clients of Claudius Ash received porcelain teeth inlaid in 18-karat gold plates. Later in that century, Ash would introduce more affordable dentures made from hardened rubber with porcelain teeth.  

Dentures Today 

Denture technology has definitely come a long way since those early days. Today, those wearing dentures enjoy a more natural look, function and feel. The animal teeth and gold plates of past centuries have been replaced with affordable, natural-looking materials such as acrylic resin or porcelain. 

Porcelain Dentures — Pros & Cons 

Porcelain offers a very natural look and feel for artificial teeth. Dentures created using porcelain have many benefits including a beautiful, translucent appearance, and a more natural feel than acrylic teeth. The added bonus is that porcelain is very hard, durable and long-lasting. 

That said, when compared to acrylic resin, porcelain is more easily chipped or broken if dropped on a hard surface, making it much more fragile. And because porcelain dentures are so hard, this means that you may notice quick wear on your natural teeth, which may bite against them. 

Acrylic Resin Dentures — Pros & Cons 

Acrylic dentures are generally lighter than porcelain in addition to being less expensive. The main drawback of this material is that it tends to wear faster. When properly cared for, you can expect acrylic dentures to last about 5 to 8 years before needing to be replaced. 

Denture Plate Options 

A denture plate rests on the gums and works to hold the teeth in place. This piece is not carved from ivory or formed from gold as it was in years past. Now, denture plates are made from many different materials, including flexible (nylon) polymer, rigid acrylic resin or cobalt material. 

Acrylic denture plates are designed with an artificial gum line and tinted to appear similar to natural gums. Typically, metal denture plates are a more durable option than acrylic resin plates and prove to be a better fit. Metal denture plates are usually used for partial dentures, where the plate is covered by natural teeth. 

Curious about your options when it comes to dentures? Contact us to schedule a consultation. Our team of dental professionals want to help you achieve a happy, healthy and comfortable smile.

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