Have you been following my dental implants journey? As you know, we were in clinic on March 1st for impressions of my dental implants. We returned to the clinic at UIC College of Dentistry on March 22nd, where I was able to see the cast of my dental implants.
The Journey to Dental Implants – Part 7
Dental Implant Casts
A dental cast is a copy a patient’s teeth and mouth structures for diagnostic purposes and are used as models for further casting of dental prosthetics such as bridges, crowns, implants, dentures, etc. When dental implants are present, the cast also reflects the placement of those.
As I mentioned in my Journey to Dental Implants – Part 6 post, the impressions for dental implants are made with the implant rods (not sure the actual name) attached so that the implants do not become occluded or “lost” in the impression material. The rods are then removed along with the impression and used in the cast.
The next step is to make this acrylic piece that tells the dental technologist where the implant openings need to be on my implant restoration dentures. Of course, this piece had to be tried in, too, to ensure that everything lines up correctly.
The existing temporary dentures are also fitted onto the casts to make sure everything is aligned there.
Selecting Tooth Color
By far, the funnest part of this visit was the ability to select the color for my implant restoration dentures.
Most dentures are made from a color matching guide. The color of the acrylic is matched to the patients existing teeth and/or existing denture. A typical denture patient will fall on one of three color matching scales.
I have never been, nor will I ever be, typical. LOL
Even the whitest options on the three typical color matching scales were too “aged” (read too yellowed) for my smile. They had to pull out the bleach guide for my color match.
Dr Stanford was amazed. His bleach scale was actually buried in one of the drawers, because he never has to use it. He even had the hygienist hold the guide up so that he could step back a few feet to make sure the color would suit my face. Since I have very little, if any, pigment in my face, anything else would look too yellow against my skin.
Of course, Dr. Stanford brought jokes and said they should make my new smile from the other end of the scale. Ummm, I don’t think so!
Dr. Stanford said he doesn’t think he’s ever used such a “bright” color for implant restorations before. I’m not surprised, considering the median age for dental implants is in the mid-50’s.
Anyway, I left that appointment with my temporary modified denture re-installed and an appointment for April 19th. Between now and then, the dental lab (in North Carolina) will create two prototypes for me. The first will be a 3D printed prototype, that will be used to indicate any adjustments that need to be made before the final implant restoration denture is made. The second will be a milled acrylic set. IF the necessary adjustments are minimal, I should leave my next appointment with a new smile. Eeep!
Want to read the other posts in this journey? You can find them all in the Dental Implants tab. I do have a Dental Implant Journey Facebook Group, where I post more photos (some of them are more graphic), if you’re interested.