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Dental negligence claims for dentures

People can experience tooth loss for many reasons, and at any age. Sometimes people lose teeth through trauma, such as accidents and injuries, and sometimes tooth loss can happen because of advanced tooth decay, gum disease or other dental problems.

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What are dentures?

Dentures are essentially artificial replacements for natural teeth, designed to look and act as much like the real thing as possible.

There are a variety of different types of denture, but all are removable replacements for missing teeth. Full dentures are when the dentures replace all of your teeth, while partial dentures are used to replace just a few teeth. Dentures may be made of a metal framework supporting natural looking teeth, or they may be entirely produced from plastic or acrylic. Depending on how many teeth are missing, the dentures can rest on the underlying gum or be partly or wholly supported by teeth. Another type of denture can be supported by dental implants, but is still removable.

What are the benefits of dentures?

One of the main benefits of dentures is that they are made in the laboratory, making the process very easy for the patient as any alterations can easily be made at any stage. Another benefit is that dentures are removable and non-invasive so there is less risk involved than in other treatments. They’re also completely pain-free and, because full dentures and partial dentures are possible, there are options, whether you’re missing some, or all, of your teeth. Finally, modern dentures look very natural and are easy and comfortable to wear, making them a good solution for most people.

What can go wrong with dentures?

There are very few risks when it comes to having dentures fitted. It’s generally considered a safe and painless way to replace teeth. However, as dentures are made to exactly match your mouth and are unique to you, some people might feel initial discomfort when they start to wear them. This should eventually wear off after you get used to the sensation; but, if this feeling persists, you should seek advice from your dentist.

It’s possible to make a claim for compensation if you have been neglected by your dentist throughout the process of receiving dentures. In some cases, you may have been fitted with dentures which are an incorrect size, despite paying a significant amount of money for them. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to a number of additional problems, including periodontitis (gum disease). Additionally, if you have been caused injury or harm in any way as a result of your dentist’s treatment, the Dental Law Partnership will be able to advise as to whether you’re entitled to compensation.

If you think you have been caused unnecessary harm by your dentist involving dentures or any other type of cosmetic dentistry, you could potentially make a claim for compensation.

What is the process of having dentures fitted?

 

If you are having dentures made for you, your dentist will begin by taking impressions of your mouth and specialised measurements of the relationship between your upper and lower jaws, over a series of visits. These impressions and measurements are completely painless and give your dentist a better idea of how your dentures should fit. Your dentist will give careful consideration to the colour, shape and size of the dentures and they should give you opportunity to specify how you would like your new smile to look. Your dentist will then send your impressions and specifications to a specialist dental laboratory, who will construct a wax model of your new teeth.

Your dentist will then ask you to come in to try the wax model in your mouth to ensure the fit of the final denture. It also gives you a chance to check the appearance and make sure it’s exactly what you want. If you have any problems or if there are any changes you would like to make, now is the time to raise them and your dentist will be able to make alterations.

Only when you’re completely happy with the look and fit of your wax model dentures will the laboratory complete your new dentures for you. Your dentist should carefully fit them for you as well as making sure they are comfortable and that you are happy with the look and feel. They will also talk you through how to look after your new dentures to keep them looking and feeling great.

Are dentures suitable for everyone?

Your dentist can only decide on your suitability for dentures once they have completed a thorough assessment of your overall oral health and the teeth in question. However, if you are missing teeth and would like the gaps minimising to improve your smile, dentures can be a good and cost-effective choice for the majority of people.

What should you ask your dentist before agreeing to have dentures fitted?

 

You should make sure you are clear about the cost of the whole treatment before agreeing to have dentures fitted and your dentist should talk you through all costs in your initial consultation. If you are having partial dentures made, it’s wise to check whether or not your dentist is planning to use any of your natural teeth to support them as, if this is the case, your dentist will need to check that the supporting teeth are strong enough for the task.

If your dentist is planning on using dental implants to support your dentures, you should ensure your dentist fully briefs you on the procedure and makes you aware of all possible risks and alternatives. You should also ask about caring for your dentures and make sure your dentist gives you all of the necessary information.

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