Vulcanite dentures were made from a material called vulcanized rubber, and they were first used in 1853, with widespread usage just 10 years later.
Vulcanite dentures quickly gained popularity among dentists and patients alike, due to their ability to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use, their resistance to stains and discoloration, and their ability to be easily repaired.
However, vulcanite dentures were not without their drawbacks. They had a distinct rubber smell and taste, and were known to cause allergic reactions in some patients. Additionally, vulcanite dentures were quite heavy and had a tendency to warp in the mouth, which made them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Still, we used these as our primary denture base for nearly 90 years, from 1853 to 1938.
Similarly, we’ve been working with acrylic for almost 90 years. When we look at the process of creating dentures today, we find that we are facing a similar paradigm shift. ‘Traditional’ dentures today are created, for the most part, with polymethylmethacrylate. While this is the “tried and true” method, let’s take a look at all the places that error or deviation can be introduced in this process:
- During Impressions (gaps, bubbles, pulls, voids)
- During Model Pour ((holes, gaps, pulls)
- During Occlusal records (cant, incorrect midline, incorrect relationship)
- During Try-in (teeth move in wax, incorrect “final” bite)
- During Processing (acrylic porocity, failure to compress, voids, moved teeth)
- During finish (too thin, too thick, dropped and broke at the finish line ( i swear this has never ever happened))
If a process comes along and reduces many of the points of error, reduces chair time, and has other benefits, it’s likely it’s going to become the new norm.