The only situation that I would recommend using a self-impression kit and direct dental lab for dentures would be when you need a cheap temporary partial denture to replace a front tooth/teeth for cosmetic reasons. There are simply too many variables in making full and partial permanent dentures. For the most predictable results with a temporary partial denture you’ll need teeth both in front and behind the space. You can do it without a back tooth to hook on but it definitely makes it more challenging and can create a lot of excess force on the teeth that it does attach to. You also need to be careful if you have cavities or periodontal disease. These appliances can create additional problems in these situations (think broken teeth or loose teeth). I highly recommend you have a full check-up with a general dentist prior to starting this treatment.
There are a couple of types of appliances you should be familiar with if you do decide to go this route.
- Flipper – A flipper is a purely cosmetic appliance. It has acrylic that covers the roof of your mouth, wires in the back to keep it in place, and teeth attached to it. You can’t use this to eat or you run the risk of breaking it. You need at least 8 teeth on the top or bottom to make this work.
- Flexible partial denture – This is made of a flexible plastic material that wraps around the gum tissue and uses these areas for retention. You can eat with this appliance in place as it is much more durable than a flipper. They can be very difficult to adjust and often do need adjustments so please keep that in mind. You need at least 8 teeth on the top or bottom to make this work.