Denturists are dental professionals who specialize in fitting and repairing dentures. They are not generally known in the US. Only a few states recognize the profession of denturism, and most need the supervision of a dentist to practice.
Denturism is the practice of making, repairing, and relining removable dentures to patients. Denturists involve themselves in the denture process from start to finish. They will perform an initial examination of your mouth and complete the final product.
Making full dentures is a process that requires several appointments. On your first visit, the denturist will get your medical and dental history. They will then take a set of impressions of your teeth and gums to start the design process.
They will do the measurements on your second visit. They use wax denture bases to find a relationship between your gums and determine the correct bite.
On your next appointment, you will be asked to try on the teeth arrangement. If you and the denturist agree on how it looks, the teeth are fixed and completed with acrylic.
On your final appointment, the denturist inserts the dentures and makes any necessary adjustments.
Limitations of a Denturist
Denturists’ training focuses on treating edentulous patients, but their work is not limited to dentures. They may also work with other types of removable prosthesis, which includes implant-supported dentures and immediate dentures.
A lot of denturists also provide ongoing denture care through denture relining or rebasing. Rebasing is a process used to refit dentures to restore retention diminished by changes in the gums and bone loss. Denturists may also be able to fix broken or fractured dentures, depending on the amount of damage.
Under state law, denturists are limited to removable dentures. They are not allowed to make permanent restorations such as dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants. They cannot perform any other dental services on the preparation of dentures. For example, a denturist cannot insert dental implants before placing your dentures.
How is a Denturist Different from other Dental Professionals?
A large number of denturists are also lab technicians but have received direct training in their specialty. Denturists go to school for 2 to 3 years and must have a license from their state to practice denturism. Unlike a DDS or DMD, who train in all aspects of general dentistry, denturists can only do production and repair of dentures.
Many dental professionals argue whether denturism should even be a practice. While legal in Australia, Canada, and some European countries, denturism is only permitted in a few states. The American Dental Association does not support denturism.
Whether you opt for a dentist or a denturist to create your dentures, ensure that you do your research. If denturism is permissible in your state, get recommendations and ask to see before and after pictures during your visit. Remember that going to a denturist for dentures does not take the place of regular dental appointments.
It is only the dentist who can offer you a variety of tooth replacement options and help you choose the best dental treatment. They are also the only dental professional who can check for signs of infection and oral diseases, including oral cancer.