Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mail-Order Dentures... are you kidding me?

I was sent a link to a website offering cheap dentures without the hassle of going to the dentist. I have my reservations on this issue for several reasons. First, I must say that the denture process is just that, a process. It requires several visits to the dentist to make sure the dentures are fabricated just right to fit the individual's needs. More importantly, a dentist can identify any pathologies that may develop and be able to treat them before it is too late.
This website: http://www.newdiscoverydenturelab.com/ charges less than 500.00 for a set of dentures. Basically, they send you a box with materials in it for taking impressions of your mouth. You do this, then send the impressions in, select your tooth shade, and they send back your completed dentures. Now I don't know all of the details this company claims to do, so I may be assuming some things, but there is a large gap in their marketing. First, taking a good impression on yourself is not the easiest thing to do, and without a good impression, you cannot expect to make very good dentures. When you have dentures made from the dentist, he or she will usually make a custom impression tray the better forms to your mouth, and will also ensure that all of the proper areas are covered in the impression, without any voids. If this is not done correctly, the dentures will usually leave sore spots in the mouth where they don't fit correctly. Having dentures made in the dental setting, these spots can be minimized and adjusted over time so they do not cause pain or irritation.
I am unsure exactly how this company plans to take into account a person's occlusion, or simply the space needed in the mouth to fit the dentures. Without knowing this, the dentures may not fit comfortably in the mouth or make it difficult to chew properly. If they do not fit right, you can run into problems with dentures staying in the mouth where they are supposed to be. I am sure if you had dentures that fell off the roof of your mouth, or dislodged every time you chewed some food, you would not be very happy.
Finally, there are so many different styles, shapes, colors, etc etc of denture teeth
I do not know how they can accommodate for something like that. The dentist will take several factors into account and work with the patient to pick out the best looking teeth. There are also several try in appointments to get everything perfect before getting the final product that you will not get from a do it yourself denture kit.
Basically, the process of making dentures is not something that can be done as a mail order... too many long term problems can develop that I do not recommend something like this. Yes, dentures from a dentist are more expensive than the mail order route, however most insurance companies cover most denture costs, bringing down the overall price you pay out of pocket. Besides, wouldn't you rather have a professional create you a great product while monitoring your oral and overall health?

1 comment:

Richard said...

I bought a set of mail order dentures - not from the website you named, but another one - to have a spares because my rather thin bottom partial had broken on two occassions. Not only am I happy with them, I now use them as my daily dentures, keeping the dentist made ones as the spares. After I sent in the impression (Which really wasn't that hard to do) they sent me a set of 'trial' dentures in hard wax which I had to put in my mouth and fiddle with carefully as they got warm and slightly soft to get the most comfortable fit. I then had to chill them, and put them back in using a sheet of the fitting paper (Like carbon paper) to mark and spots that were rubbing. I then sent them back to the store, and week later got the final, very slightly flexible, partial.

Was it more hassle than letting a dentist do it? Depends on what you think is a hassle - I didn't have to take off work two or three times for fittings, but I did have to fiddle around a bit myself.

I'm perfectly happy with the denture though - and with paying $495 for it instead of the $1100 my dentist charged. My insurance only pays 40% of a denture cost, no more than every five years, so this cost was on me.

Richard