Introduction: DIY Dentures / Temporary Tooth
This Instructable is going to show you how I made my own denture at home.
I did see another Instructable on this topic, but it looked very complicated compared to what I did. I'm really happy with my results, so I thought people may be interested in reading another method that doesn't need any fancy tools or know-how. Just some mouldable plastic and false teeth!
For a bit of backstory, I have several teeth missing due to poor care on my part, and have been ashamed of them for a long time. I couldn't afford dental treatment, but then I came across this DIY denture kit online and it seemed like it was exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't sure if it would work for me, but I decided to give it a try.
I followed the instructions that came with the kit, which I'm going to share with you today, along with some tips and tricks that I learned along the way. It took a bit of time and patience, but I got there in the end, and it was worth it!! This has completely changed my life - I only wish I'd found it sooner. Hopefully this can help someone who finds themself having a similar problem.
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a dentist and am not responsible for anyone who may want to try this. Follow this at your own risk! I'm only sharing what worked for me.
- Do it yourself denture kit (I used this one by Denturas.com)
If you want to gather the supplies individually, you'll need:
- A set of false teeth
- Dental impression tray
- Dental putty
- Dental stone powder
- Imitation gum material
- Emery board (optional)
Step 1: Getting Familiar With the Process
Before we begin, I'd recommend watching the above video tutorial to prime yourself first. Personally I found it really helpful to visualise what I would be doing, before actually doing it. The kit that I used included enough materials to do it once - so I wanted to make sure I didn't mess anything up!
The video goes through the step-by-step process, starting by taking a dental impression, and then using it to shape your own dentures.
If you're looking to make both upper and lower dentures, it's much easier to make one at a time, and repeat this entire Instructable again as needed.
Step 2: Taking a Dental Impression
To start, we'll need to take a dental impression. This is a mould of your teeth and mouth, which we'll use later on.
The kit that I used came with pre-portioned dental putty. There were two different coloured parts: one green and one white. You combine the parts with each other and use your fingers to mix them until they blend into one uniform colour. It takes about 30-40 seconds.
Then, you take your dental impression tray and evenly spread the putty across it.
Put the tray into your mouth and bite down on it while making sure your teeth are positioned in the centre, not touching the sides of the tray. Now, you'll need to let the putty set while using 2 fingers to put pressure on the tray handle. Keep applying pressure until it's fully set - mine took about 3 minutes.
You can tell when the putty's set if you press your nail against it. (The dental tray has holes in it, so part of the putty shows through). If you're able to leave a dent with your nail, the putty isn't ready yet. If you can't, then it is.
Remove the tray by putting your fingers on both sides of your mouth (instead of using the front handle) and applying force. It should come out pretty easily. Rinse your mould with water and remove it from the tray.
Step 3: Casting From Mould
Next, we're going to make a cast of our teeth by filling the impression mould we just made. Then we can use the cast to shape our dentures so they sit right and feel comfortable when we wear them.
Take a clean mixing bowl and add 13 ml of water to it. Then add 50 g of dental stone powder and stir for 30-45 seconds. The instructions call for a spatula, but I used a knife to stir like they did in the video, and it worked just fine. After you've initially combined the powder and water together, press down on the mixture and spread it across the sides of the bowl as you stir. This helps get rid of air bubbles. You'll want the mixture to be pretty smooth in the end. Not exactly runny, but not overly thick.
Then, pick up a bit of the mixture with your knife and start filling your impression mould. You don't need to put any petroleum jelly or anything on the mould beforehand. Just start by filling in your teeth indents (if there are any) with the mixture and pressing down to make sure everything's tightly packed in there.
Keep adding more of the mixture until the entire mould is filled. Let it fully dry - it should take about 15 minutes. Then remove the hardened cast from the mould.
Step 4: Choosing Your False Teeth
If you're making a full denture, feel free to skip this step.
If you're making a partial denture, take the exact false teeth you'll need from your set, and remove anything that you don't need. Set the ones you'll use aside, because we're going to need them in the next step.
Step 5: Shaping the Denture
Now we're going to use our cast to make the actual denture.
The process involves using the imitation gum strips from our kit, which are made from a special reusable plastic that reacts to heat. When you put the strip into hot water, it "melts" and becomes transparent and mouldable, but when it hardens, it becomes opaque and rigid again. When the plastic is in its "melted" form, it can be shaped into anything we want, so we'll use that as our gums. Combine that with our false teeth, and we've got our denture.
Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Drop a pink strip into the water. It will slowly turn transparent. Then, take it out and place it on your cast, shaping it to fit. Careful, because it may be hot! Put your false teeth on the material while it's still transparent and press it down firmly to make sure it stays in place and locked in the right position. Then keep working the material around the gums of the cast until you're happy with the look.
You can remove any extra material that you don't need while it's still hot. If you need more material, just heat another pink strip and add it where it's needed.
Don't be discouraged if you don't get it right on the first try! The best part about the plastic is you can keep reheating and reshaping it until you're fully satisfied. It just takes a little patience, that's all. So if it hardens on the cast when you're not finished yet, just put it back into the saucepan and let it turn transparent again. If you've already set the teeth on the gum material, that's fine - nothing will happen to them if you put them in the saucepan too.
I repeated the reheating and reshaping process 3 or 4 times until I was happy with my denture. I let it cool down and then removed it from the cast. And since I'd used the cast to shape it, it fit perfectly inside my mouth on the first try!
Step 6: Adding the Finishing Touches
If you find that the false teeth are too big for you, take your emery board and file them down until they're the right size.
Finally, if you're having trouble keeping the denture in place, try putting a bit of denture adhesive on it. I like using Fixodent - it's £3 at my local pharmacy, and it works perfectly.
And that's it, a brand new set of dentures that's ready to be used! I have to say I'm really happy with how the results turned out for me. I found that the more time you spend shaping it and tweaking it, the more it pays off in the end. What I also really liked about this method was how accessible and affordable it was - I really recommend it.
I would love to know if anyone else has tried this, or if you have any helpful tips or tricks to add. Hope this helps someone with the same issues I had :)
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