What happens if something goes wrong?
What measures are in place and where do you go if you have a dispute?
The process of making and providing dentures is a very difficult one. If you ask any dentist what they feel is one of the most difficult tasks and a great deal of them will say providing dentures. Clinical dental technicians have it a bit easier because of all the resources they have to hand and their ability to resolve issues as they arise but, even so, it’s still a very difficult task to make a denture and have little or no issues. Don’t expect your new dentures to be comfortable right from the start because the chances are, they will need several adjustments to get them just right. We usually take five or six appointments to make the denture and then allow for about four or five adjustments to get them just right but sometimes it can take a few more and sometimes you may not need any. This is not a reflection on how well made or poor a denture may be but rather the very nature of the denture construction process. Lets look at what’s involved to give you a better understanding of why adjustments are needed.
Firstly an impression of the mouth is needed and this is taken with a soft material, the material can compress the soft gum tissue whilst the impression is being taken and this compression will be reflected in the final finished denture. Also the impression material may have a slight expansion during the setting process, the plaster that is used will also have a certain amount of expansion and then the final acrylic will expand whilst being cooked. There are measures that can be taken to reduce these issues, for example, I will almost always use an addition cured silicone for taking impressions because of its low expansion rate and a very high quality plaster too. The injected acrylic dentures also have an extremely low expansion rate compared to high impact and standard acrylics. If, after four or five adjustments, the dentures are still not right, they may need to be remade. Sometimes, with hind sight a second attempt at making the denture is all that’s needed. This may be because the teeth need to be set in a slightly different position, or maybe a different material needs to be used. In almost every case the remade denture will be just right.
If your denture is still not right after the remake and several more adjustments you may be entitled to your money back. Discuss this with your dental care provider to try and resolve the issue, if you still feel unhappy then you can make a complaint directly or contact the General Dental Council for more guidance on what to do next. The general Dental Council (GDC) can be contacted via their website www.gdc-uk.org or by phone on +44 (0)20 7167 6000.