Denturism is the production and sale of dentures by non-dentists.
Since its origin around 1860 dentistry has grown and diversified into many branches and specialties. This evolution has resulted in the field of Denturism which is comprised of professionals (Denturists) who specialize in the field of removable oral prostheses.
Historically the relationship between Dentists and Denturists has been hesitant at best and more often than not hostile and antagonistic.
While archaeological explorations have uncovered prosthetic appliances as old as 4000 years Denturism at that time involved retrieving extracted and/or lost teeth and binding them back into place with gold wire or gold strips. The first person who made dentures as we understand them today was a French pharmacist Monsieur Fauchard who found that by taking a mouth impression with plaster he was able to construct a rubber appliance into which he could add baked porcelain teeth. By the time dentistry classes were introduced into university studies there had begun a more formal separation between those who for the most part extracted teeth (dentists) and those who specialized in the construction and fitting of dentures (technicians).
Throughout the 19th and early 20th century while technicians continued to work in the mouth dentists were able to persuade legislators to limit work in the mouth to themselves. Legislation continues to define the scope of practice for the two professions.
Professional Denturists are the members of the dental health care team specifically trained and educated in the skills and knowledge necessary to provide denture services to the community. Denturists can design create construct and modify (repair and reline) prosthesis to ensure optimal fit maximum comfort and general well being.
Denturists study for a minimum of three years focusing on the clinical and laboratory skills necessary to supply removable oral prostheses. Denturists are thoroughly educated in the theoretical and practical aspects of both intra-oral and laboratory procedures. Along with diagnostic and treatment expertise Denturists must employ creative manual skills.
Denturists are independent practitioners and the profession of Denturism has developed and grown since its legal recognition in Canada in 1961 to incorporate an ever-expanding scope of practice.