"I'm only as good as my last set of teeth"

A good ole toothy grin : Craig Coppock creates false teeth from his Eden Laboratory. Photo: Rachel Mounsey
A good ole toothy grin : Craig Coppock creates false teeth from his Eden Laboratory. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

What does it take to make someone smile? The answer according to Eden dental technician Craig Coppock is a little bit of resin, a few tiny tools and a whole lot of patience. Mr Coppock has been in the business of making false teeth for over two decades and he told the Eden Magnet what it has meant to dedicate his life's work to bring back the smile in others.

After losing a tooth at age 11, Mr Coppock knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. Make people smile. 

 "I was sitting in the dentist chair and the dentist made an impression of my mouth. When I saw the tray he had used I thought  that was something I could do and so years later that's what I did." 

Fast forward roughly 50 years and thousands of false teeth handcrafted later. Mr Coppock came out of retirement to set up Eden Acrylic and Chrome Laboratory mid 2018.

The small little laboratory sits conveniently next door to the dentist. The room, a small shop front, is full of tiny little metallic tools, powders and mouth shaped moulds.

Single false teeth are laid out neatly on a small work bench where Mr Coppock is busy carving into a plaster cast. Embedded in the cast is what looks like a real set of teeth. 

 "I only use quality material from Australia, America and Europe to make my products. It's important for me and the customers to know what is going into them,"  Mr Coppock says.

According to Mr Coppock, the denture industry is being undercut by some countries making cheap dentures and as a result he believes people's health is being affected. 

 "That's why I came out of retirement," he said.

"I feel proud of the industry that has given so much to me and I wanted to give something back. It's important that people use quality products." 

Putting a smile on local dials: Dental Technician Craig Coppock creates false teeth in his Eden laboratory. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

Putting a smile on local dials: Dental Technician Craig Coppock creates false teeth in his Eden laboratory. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

The shop front hours have been scratched off the front door. A sign that the laboratory is not open to the general public is there instead.

"When I moved in the word got round and within the first few days people showed a lot of interest.

"I needed to tell people to visit their dentist. I legally and morally can't give people personal service." 

On a table in the 'office' part of the laboratory, formal certificates lay side by side. One acknowledges Mr Coppock's service as an air crafts man in the Royal Australian Air Force, the other his dental technician qualification.

 "I am getting them ready to be framed," he says with pride. 

"First I served our country and now I am serving the community - nothing makes me prouder than seeing somebody with a new smile."