Denture appearance and prosthodontic privacy It is impossible to overstate the importance of dentures to the wearer yet they remain one of the most challenging aspects of modern dentistry. As dental health in the population improves, more patients feel embarrassed about wearing dentures and wish to keep the fact secret. Naturally, as dental professionals, we frequently notice patients who wear dentures – as do their family and friends. Often the teeth chosen are too light for the patient’s age, or too small for their face, or are set up in unnaturally perfect alignment; but just as much a give-away are teeth that look artificial or dead through lack of sufficient translucence, inadequate colour change from neck to body, unnaturally wide necks, or the absence of small imperfections. These factors defeat privacy, reducing denture wearers’ chances of feeling attractive. They lose confidence and smile and laugh less with friends, family and work colleagues; for instance they may cover their mouth with a hand while talking or smiling. This is why lifelike denture teeth and gums, personalised tooth positioning and the resulting improved lip support are all essential for improved denture appearance – and also why the improvements in patient self-confidence and social freedom are so dramatic and rewarding to the dental team.

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