How to Chose the Right Size Denture Teeth
Ok, you’ve decided to make your own false teeth, but how do you choose the proper size tooth set? Well, this can be more of and art then a science.
You go to Ebay to buy teeth for making your new choppers only to find a maze of confusing numbers like A22, 33M etc. What these codes are trying to relate is the height of the central incisor tooth, it’s width and the distance from the outside edge of the K-9 to the outside of the opposite K-9 so you can better get an idea as to whether the are going to work for you. These numbers also refer to the contour of the tooth, that is, is it flat or contoured. Is the bottom of the tooth rounded, flat or trapezoid in form.
So, the whole darn thing can be very confusing. You might get a better idea by going to this mold chart. It relates a great deal of information about the sizes and contours of false teeth.
Basically, teeth come in small, medium and large sizes with various other factors such as contour and flat or rounded bottom surfaces. If you have a brother or sister with a similar face contour as you, you might want to measure their central incisors for length and width. Then measure from the outside edge of the K-9 to the opposite outside edge of the other K-9 to get a good starting point for choosing your new teeth.
You buy denture teeth from Dental Supply houses either here in the United States or more commonly from China. They come on what is called “Cards” One card will have the upper or lower anterior teeth, while the other card will have the Pre-molders and molders. These cards never include wisdom teeth.
False teeth are produced in about 20 sizes and 15 different colors. The back teeth chewing surfaces come in a wide variety of surfaces. Then, teeth come several degrees i.e. 10 degrees, 20 degrees and 30 degrees. This is the slope from the top of the cusp to the bottom of the cusp.
Very confusing, isn’t it?
There is another type of rear denture tooth. It’s called a “Cutter Bar”. Theser molars are produced as a single unit, meaning that all four (4) molars, upper or lower, are created and “attached” together. A metal bar in a straight or zig zag pattern is length wise down the central groove of the teeth from one end of the four to the other. The chewing surface will be flat overall but the bar will extend slightly above the chewing surface.
The cutter bar acts like a knife blade against the opposing flat surface. This is usually used in patients who have weak biting ability, which can often be the case in people who have suffered a stroke.
The basic shapes are Square, Ovoid and Tappering.Then their are combinations of those such as Square/Ovoid. Square/Tapering ect. You have a wide selection to choose from and all of those choices should be dictated by your body and facial features. If you want to look balanced color wise, the denture teeth should be a balanced matched between your Hair, Eye’s and Skin tone. They should not draw attention because they are to big or to small for you mouth. There are body features that also balance with teeth..One example is that if you draw a straight vertical line or hold a straight edge at the side of the nostril of the nose so that the line or straight edge extends down past the mouth and you smile, that line or straight edge will go directly down the middle of the Eye tooth. That is true with at least 95% percent of people.
Another cool measurement that proves out in most people is that you can place a pencil dot on the center of the tip of the nose and another on the center of the point of the chin.
If you then measure the distance between the centers of the pupils of the eye’s and have the patient or person close their teeth together and compare the two measurements, the one between the pupils and the one from the dot on the nose to the dot on the chin, you will find that in the majority of people, the measurements will match.
If the one between the nose and chin is closer together than the pupils measurement, that usually means the jaws are “over closing” and the bite is to close together. If on the other hand the measurement between the nose and chin is greater than that of the pupils, it usually means the teeth are coming together to quickly, the bite is to open.
When you close your teeth together, swallow and relax, the teeth should open and rest apart about the thickness of one or two dines…That is called the “REST” position.
If the opening between the teeth in the rest position is such that you can place your tongue between them, without opening the jaws, the teeth are not touching soon enough when you close them together, meaning they are “Over closing”. Using these old methods can work miracles when a patient comes in without teeth or and old denture and they say, “These never really looked like my old natural teeth and makes my face look different.”
Picking the right size, shape and color of teeth and setting them in a proper jaw opening will always be the difference between your success and your failure.