A Clinical Dental Technician or CDT is a registered Dental Care Professional who is trained and qualified to provide a range of denture services direct to patients – services that were previously only available through your dentist, such as carrying out oral assessments and providing dentures directly to the public.
Qualifying as a Clinical Dental Technician involves years of intensive study, which gives advanced technical and clinical skills needed to carefully design and hand-craft every denture to the individual requirements of the patient. They can describe the different types of dentures available and the technical procedures involved so you can make an informed choice about the treatment you receive.
Whilst dentists and Clinical Dental Technicians often work independently of each other, they may confer on treatments when it is in the best interest of the patient.
Dentures are worn to replace lost or missing teeth, this enables you to enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence. Dentures are made of either an acrylic (plastic) or a metal base.
A ‘complete’ or ‘full’ denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws.
A ‘partial’ denture fills in the spaces left by missing teeth when you still have some of your own natural teeth remaining. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps.
Full dentures, to replace all your own teeth and lost gum, will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly as well as restore your facial height and fill out your cheeks to improve your appearance and self-confidence.
Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have some gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may drift to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your natural teeth.
Today, the technology behind dentures has become so advanced that you will barely notice a difference in your appearance. Each set of dentures is personalised to your gums and tongue, your lips and cheeks, and how you would like them to look.
A complete or full denture replaces your natural teeth and gives support to your cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person look older and you will find it harder to eat and speak properly.
Dentures can be made to closely match your natural teeth so that your appearance hardly changes at all. Modern dentures can improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face.
You may have a little difficulty at first, but you’ve spent years eating in a particular way and now you’ll just need to tweak it a little. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the denture from moving. As you become more used to your denture, add other foods until you return to your normal healthy diet.
Pronouncing certain words may require a little practice as your tongue will have to adjust to the feel of your new dentures.
Don’t worry – it’s not like relearning how to speak completely. You may experience some lisping at first, but it shouldn’t take long to re-teach your tongue and lips where they go to regain you original speech patterns. Reading out loud and repeating difficult words will help.
During the first few days, it is sometimes advised for you to wear them for most of the time, including while you are asleep to allow your mouth to get used to your dentures. After this period it’s generally advised that you take them out before going to bed. This allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes a better long-term health of your gums.
When you do leave your dentures out it is important to leave them in water to prevent any warping or cracking.
Your upper denture has much more suction to hold it in place. The gum support in the lower jaw is much less and the lower denture may feel a little loose as it has to be balanced between your cheeks and your tongue.
If your lower denture is made in the correct way you will learn how to adapt to it and how to keep in place using your tongue and cheek muscles.
Dentures are custom made to fit your mouth; although in some cases where the gums have greatly receded you still may need to use a little denture fixative.
Over time your dentures will become loose and not fit as well due to gum recession. When this happens, some people prefer to use a fixative for a short time before having them replaced. A poorly fitting denture may cause irritation and sores.
Even whilst wearing full dentures, you will still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning and evening, brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush. This removes bacteria and helps with your oral health. If you wear partial dentures, it is even more important that you brush your teeth thoroughly every day. This will help stop tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to you losing more of your natural teeth.