A dentist is claiming to have revolutionized the denture process with a novel addition: using your DNA to help improve the fit of your dentures. We don’t really know much about the process–the news article just says that the dentist “uses a combination of measurements, molds, and equations to help crack the DNA code to make the final dentures.” We will have to reserve final judgment until we know more, but there are good reasons to be skeptical about this claim.
We Don’t Understand the DNA That Makes Teeth
The biggest obstacle to using DNA to design dentures is that we have an incomplete understanding of the DNA that controls the development of teeth. There are many regions in the genetic code that refer to the development of teeth, but what exactly each part does is a bit of a mystery. We don’t really have a way to look at the DNA and determine what it predicts about the shape or size of individual teeth.
Unless this dentist has made some major scientific breakthroughs that he hasn’t shared with the rest of the world, it’s hard to believe that there is much useful information that could be gained from a DNA sample that would be useful in making dentures.
DNA Is Not Destiny
Another big problem with using DNA to make dentures is that DNA doesn’t actually tell us what your teeth and jaws developed to be, only what they had the potential to be.
The size, shape, and orientation of your teeth and jaws is only partly controlled by your DNA. It’s also partly controlled by the forces that influence their development. This includes your daily chewing, exercise, diet, and any interventions you may have had. Just looking at your DNA wouldn’t tell whether you needed braces, nor would it be able to replicate the changes that braces made to your teeth and jaws.
Dentures Need to Be Designed for the Present, Not the Past
Another problem with using DNA is that most of the information it gives is very outdated. The time when DNA dominated the size and shape of your teeth is long past. As we said, other forces influence the development, and, as we get older, these come to dominate. By the time we are middle-aged, the unique influence of DNA is relatively small, and it’s much more important to be trying to fit dentures to the true realities of your mouth, rather than trying to tailor them to some version of your mouth that may or may not have ever existed.
DNA Isn’t Ideal
Finally, trying to mold your dentures to meet your DNA would put you back in the limits of your smile as it naturally developed. For many of us, that was a less than ideal situation. When you get dentures, you have the opportunity to completely remake your smile to give yourself the best smile of your life. Why squander that opportunity to just get teeth that had the same limitations as ever?
Optimal Fit for Your Dentures
If you’re really looking for dentures that fit properly, work with a dentist who uses established science to fit your dentures to your mouth as it exists now. FOY ® Dentures dentists work hard to create harmony between your dentures and all the complicated systems of your mouth and jaw, including the bones, lips, cheeks, chewing muscles, and more. Utilizing the latest principles in neuromuscular and cosmetic dentistry ensure that dentures are both functional and beautiful. And if you want to have your smile the way it used to be, we can do that, too. Using pictures, your dentures can be better matched to the way your teeth actually developed to give you back your natural smile.
To learn more about the benefits of these high quality dentures, please contact a local FOY ® Dentures dentist today.