Many dentists have given up on making removable full dentures.
Too many appointments; not enough profit; hard-to-please patients; never ending follow-ups… you’d rather concentrate on quick and satisfying restorative and cosmetic procedures.
But, what if fabricating full dentures for your patients could be fun again? What if you could make dentures profitable? What if the moral and ethical rewards outweighed the economic costs?
What if you could be the hero to just a few of the 40 million people in the U.S. who are edentulous?
Full Dentures: The Classic Method
With new materials, technology, and techniques emerging from manufacturing and efficiency models like Lean and Six Sigma, providing denture services to the edentulous public need not be your worst nightmare.
Finding satisfaction in fabricating dentures comes from mastering techniques, including: Communication, efficient record taking, and patient management. Even milling and 3D printing of dentures is now a reality. In fact, we’re doing it here at First Choice Dental Lab.
Making your denture services efficient without sacrificing esthetics and function should be the goal. Providing this much needed service to patients may open a new area of practice that is both satisfying and profitable.
Successful denture fabrication begins with an open, honest conversation between you and your patient.
Finding out whether or not the patient is interested in, or able to consider, implants is the first hurdle. Never assume that your patient cannot afford, or doesn’t want, implant-supported dentures.
If implants are not an option, move on and set realistic goals and expectations for a removable denture. This important conversation sets the tone for the remainder of the treatment, including follow-ups.
Consultation and Records
It’s all in the presentation when it comes to dentures.
Let your patient know how the denture will look and fit. Then, discuss how gum tissue shrinks and recedes over time. And, make sure to explain retention issues and what to expect functionally (i.e. chewing and talking).
Manage these expectations, and make an audio recording of the consultation for your patient to listen to at home, too. That will help to reinforce the information you provide.
Once the consultation is complete, it is time to take records. These include: Duplication of an existing denture, bite registration, impressions, facial analysis, and making design decisions, such as shade, shape, and length of anteriors.
Make sure that you also communicate all decision decisions with your lab – it’s critical to your success with dentures (and all other restorations). There is no such thing as “too much information” on a lab order. And, be sure to send photos—intraoral and extraoral.
Also, it’s best to include information such as overbite, overjet, curve of Spee, and photos of your patient prior to complete extractions, or wearing their old denture, if possible.
The wax try-in appointment sets the stage for success.
Your patient can see the shade, length, and shape of the teeth. And, you can evaluate speech and functionality.
Let your assistant, or another dentist within your practice, assess the esthetics and fit. Also, warn your patient that the try-in will not be as tight as the final product.
If the try-in requires too many changes or adjustments, review the photos and/or video you took during the first appointment to find the disconnect. If you took accurate records and sent the technician a lab order with sufficient details, the try-in should need only minor adjustments.
After coming the previous steps, your denture will be ready for the final delivery.
You may need to make some slight adjustments. Make sure to review use and care protocols with your patient. Also, take some new photos.
Make Your Denture Patients (and Yourself) Happy
If you follow this process, in just three appointments, you’ll have improved the quality of life and self-esteem of your patient.
After wearing the denture for a while, that same patient might return for implants. By reducing the number of appointments, taking accurate records, and providing the lab with detailed orders, you’ll save time, serve your patient’s needs better, and increase overall productivity in your practice.
There is a huge unmet need for dentists willing and able to provide removable dentures for patients.
Too many practices are slamming their doors in the faces of patients who need someone to address their needs. Referring denture patients out of your practice represents both a loss of income and opportunity.
Again, utilize these tips, improve your communication with your patient, and provide your lab technician with detailed orders. It will make providing conventional dentures rewarding and fun again.
Have questions about fabricating dentures? We’re here to help make this service a vital part of your practice!
Contact us today by completing the form below, or by calling us at 1-866-791-7025. At First Choice Dental Lab®, we’re here to help you give people a reason to smile!