Recreating that perfect smile is no easy task.
The physical process of making new dentures takes about 12 hours per set -- and that's on top of any appointments the patient has with a denturist.
It all begins with a consultation between the patient and denturist, followed by the creation of wax impressions of the teeth and gums. Once those are ready, the patient comes back to have them fitted properly.
"It's the actual denture teeth, stuck into a wax medium. We can take them off the model and try them in the patient's mouth," registered denturist Nelson Neudorf explained.
The wax models can be easily adjusted by heating the wax to ensure a secure fit.
Once Neudorf confirms the bite is correct, the wax dentures are put in a metal box and surrounded by plaster. The entire unit is put in a boiler to melt the wax away and leave a void equivalent to where the dentures would be.
The acrylic substance that's used in the actual denture is then mixed into a dough and placed into the reverse mold that was created when the wax was removed.
A clamp is used to squeeze out the excess acrylic dough and after that process is repeated the denture is left in another boiler to cure for eight to nine hours.
The hardened dentures then need to be cleaned and polished before they can be given to the patient to try out for the first time.
Dentures generally last eight to 10 years, but they need to be occasionally refitted with liners as the bone the dentures rest on recedes over time.
"If you get your teeth removed, the first year is the toughest because of major bone (shrinkage)," Neudorf said. "Usually it slows down and then you need relines only periodically."