Even though dentures are fabricated from extremely durable materials, they will break, wear out, a tooth will come out, or their fit will change. Then its time for denture repair.
Accidents happen, dogs still like to chew on plates of the dental kind, and trash compacters have never taken kindly to dentures. In fact, it is frequently not a matter of "if," but rather a matter of "when" a denture will become broken, lost, or damaged beyond repair.
One can be assured that a problem will happen when least expected, and immediate, usually important, plans definitely will be altered unless a person is prepared.
A short-term use duplicate denture will bridge the gap while a regular denture is being repaired, renovated, or replaced. Sometimes this type of denture is referred to as an "embarrassment denture" because it helps a person avoid the embarrassment of being without teeth in an emergency or during planned denture maintenance.
While this type of denture may be made at any time from an existing functional denture, it generally is fabricated immediately after a new denture is made. The embarrassment denture is neither as accurate nor as esthetic and durable as the original, but it is adequate and only meant for short-term use. The cost is generally considerably less than the original denture.
Such an interim prosthesis may be relined annually and adjusted in advance to fit the current changing shape of an individual's jaws, and therefore be ready to use at a moment's notice.
However, some individuals choose to have their embarrassment denture relined and adjusted only when they need the short-term denture. Following this latter course means that they will have to wait to wear their interim denture until an appointment can be scheduled with a dentist to complete the reline and any adjustments. But a reline for an embarrassment denture can be done in the dentist's office during a single appointment so a patient may leave with it refitted in the mouth.
In either case, a person would not be without a prosthesis while their regular denture is being worked on.
All dentures need to be periodically relined to accommodate the constant change in shape of a person's jaws. There are also times when the plastic body of a denture needs to be changed due to deterioration, or the entire denture replaced because of wear or poor fit from changing mouth conditions that can no longer be remedied by relining.
While relines can be completed in one appointment office visit, more durable relines may require that a dentist keep a denture for several days. Replacing the plastic body of a denture (called a rebase) takes several days and making a replacement denture takes several weeks.
It becomes easy to see how an embarrassment denture would solve being without one's regular denture for a period of time, even for planned maintenance, while getting on with one's life.
by Joseph J. Massad, D.D.S.