Check Out These Articles By Tracy Merkley
Not Just “Bricks and Mortar” | Emotional Eating | Bite Affects Bite | Is It Fear or Finances | The “Upside”
The Art of Removable Dental Prosthetics
When you make a decision to replace a denture, what inspired you to make the call? Pain or vanity? It’s a fact that with most dental situations, pain was the primary cause of taking action. If your denture is loose, or you get soreness, there are adjustments that can be done to help.
The base of the denture doesn’t change, but what supports it does, your gums. The other part of the denture environment that does change over time is the teeth themselves. The quality of the acrylic or porcelain tooth that is used in your denture will likely be reflected in the overall cost of your denture. There is a difference in the density of the teeth to choose from. Be informed. A deal is not a deal in the long run, especially if you’re relying on your insurance to pay a portion of the cost. The limit of coverage for your denture is 5 years.
Now the question of vanity: it’s a good thing to care about the way we look. Most of us get comfortable, and it takes something or someone to cause an emotional response to make a change. This is probably the most difficult task for your practitioner to sort out. Your expectation of the end result is in your heart and in your mind. How you communicate that to him or her is vital to achieving the results you want. Yes, it’s true you can look younger with a new smile. This can be partially achieved by opening up your bite. That means increasing the distance between your nose and chin. If you look in the mirror and relax your face, you will see how it elongates, giving you more youth. Then close your teeth together and see how you age instantly, and maybe look a little grumpier. This is measurable and your practitioner is skilled at making that change. Another indication of youth is the colour, size, and position of your teeth: how much tooth is showing when you speak and smile.
Do you remember your first grey hair? Well, the changes in your mouth happen gradually as well. Your mouth tries very hard to accommodate them, so you could be doing yourself harm by not getting your dentures examined. When getting your dentures examined, often there might be a minimal fee, but don’t hesitate to call a denturist to keep up with the changes. Please take the time to educate yourself on your choices and try to be very clear in explaining your desires and expectations for your new smile and you will be happier with the end results.
Let’s face it, denture teeth just do not chew food as well as natural teeth do. You can become disheartened with the limited choices you have. Is this inhibiting your social life? If your dentures are loose, this can compound the problem. Eating food is how we nourish our bodies and it should be enjoyable as it feeds our spirits. There have been studies that show denture wearers suffer from poor nutrition because they become adept at swallowing un-chewed food and may make unwise choices for their meals. The social aspect of eating can be discouraging if you always have to leave the table to rinse out the food from under your denture. If you’re compromised by your denture, have it checked. There may be something that can be done to improve the situation. The All-on-4®, teeth in a day is excellent for securing dentures. Call us to ask more about this procedure.
The anatomy that is left by years without natural teeth is limiting, and often expectations are too high. The age of your dentures increase and so does your biological age, the body’s ability to adapt to change lessons. We don’t tolerate discomfort as well, or rather, there are more discomforts to tolerate. So keep up the effort, keep your spirits up, and do the best you can with what you’ve got. Don’t let your dentures interfere with your social life. Well then, you can always eat cake.
Bite Affects Bite
The “base” being the pink acrylic that sits on your gums, the “bite” is in reference to the teeth of the denture and how they come together to help you chew. They should be set up to match or interdigitate so that they meet in full contact, with balance. If you don’t, they can bump into each other releasing any suction you may have, which will lead you to think you need a reline. Or, they can tip the dentures in your mouth causing movement and sore spots. As your back teeth wear down and wear away the anatomy of the teeth, this allows the lower jaw to come forward more than it should, giving you a protruding jaw position, which we call over-closed vertical dimension. All this is correctable but will require a new denture as it involves the positioning of the height of the back teeth. (The most accurate method for this is the intra-oral pin tracer. If you can move your jaw forward and back, side to side, then you can be a successful candidate for this type of bite registration. It maps the movement of your lower jaw to get a target for closure.)
If you are experiencing the symptoms of and incorrect bite such as sore spots, movement and lack of suction and your dentures are relatively new, an equilibration might correct the problem. By taking a bite registration in the new denture and remounting it on the articulator, we can grind the imbalances out of your denture teeth, so that they meet correctly and chew in harmony with your jaw. You might feel the premature contact somewhere in your bite and think that it will “settle in,” but it will not. Many frustrating visits for both patients and practitioner could be avoided if the bite is the first thing corrected. Communication is still the key component in your denture success and your practitioner will value your business and referrals.
Is It Fear or Finances
If you overcame your fear and money wasn’t an issue, would you consider dental implants to anchor your dentures? There are long ones and short ones and wide ones and mini ones. Educate yourself on your choices, get a few quotes and listen to what they have to say. Then listen to your heart. The real issue is trust. Who do you feel most comfortable with?
Everyone is a candidate for implants. This is determined by an oral exam and an x-ray. Age is not usually a factor, however your medical condition may have some bearing on the healing process and long-term prognosis, so a thorough medical history is necessary.
Most offices have different methods of payment and will provide you with finance options. The actual procedure can be a simple half-hour little poke through frozen tissue to place the minis, or for the conventional, a minor surgical opening in the gums and a little drilling for the hole and the implant is screwed into place. It’s best to book a consultation and have all procedures explained to you in depth. You’re frozen, so there is very little, if any, pain, even after the freezing comes out. So conquer your fear. Once you decide to go ahead and invest in dental implants, be confident and secure in the fact that this will make a positive difference in how your dentures fit and function for you and uplift your outlook on life. You might enjoy your meals again without having to compromise. Victoria used to be considered the place for the newly wed and nearly death… but now is known as the fitness led and gourmet fed! So, if you need to rinse your dentures out after every bite and it’s preventing you from enjoying those gourmet meals with friends, make that call and investigate dental implants. They can change your life!
Well, for every downside there should be an upside, right? The best thing about dentures is smile design. You can have the teeth arrange to have a “perfect smile.” There is an art to setting the teeth in a natural arrangement, giving dimension and light reflection. A standard arrangement can look flat and fake. Each practitioner will have their own way of putting that personal touch that makes your smile right for you. Your practitioner is your personal artist. It is a team effort, so if you don’t like what you see, stand your ground and voice your opinion on the arrangement of the teeth at the wax trying stage. The length, size, colour and position are all variables of achieving a more youthful, natural appearance. There are physics involved for maximum stability and your practitioner will advise you if your request will inhibit the proper function of the dentures. There is a little “story” written by Dale Carnegie and I quote:
A smile enriches those who receive it, without impoverishing those who give it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friends. A smile is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody until it is given away.
If you don’t like yours, change it. There may be a new smile on your horizon, share it with those around you. It will make a difference in someone’s day.