Tracy Merkley of the Central Park Denture & Implant Centre in Victoria, BC answers the six most often asked questions about dentures...
How much does a denture cost?
In order to accurately determine a price for a denture it is important to know the history of the denture wearer, history of denture wearing experience, jaw relationship, and budget. The brand of teeth and acrylic used in the denture and the steps involved to retrieve the biological information determine the price as well. We offer free consultations to assess your needs and give you an exact quote in writing.
My dentures are loose, do I need a reline?
Yes and no. Relining a denture addresses fit surface adaptation only. A denture that was made within two to three years ago can generally benefit from relining. Generally speaking, dentures older than this have more than fit surface issues to address. Tooth wear affects jaw relationship or the bite. This must be addressed or a reline will not be affective.
My teeth are dull, can my teeth be sharpened?
Loss of tooth anatomy means the cusps or “bumps” on the teeth become flattened or smooth. Flat surfaces don’t cut very well. Edges or “spillways” can be cut into the teeth to simulate cutting edges but loss of tooth anatomy means the teeth, which hold the jaws the right distance apart, are allowing the jaws to over close which compromises muscle strength reducing your biting force. This makes it feel like your teeth are dull. The proper solution is to re-establish correct jaw position to maximize muscle strength resulting in greater biting and chewing efficiency.
How should I clean my dentures?
Most people think that toothpaste, which is what we use to clean our natural teeth, would be the logical choice for dentures, however, toothpaste is very abrasive causing micro scratches in the denture surface which allows bacteria, spores, and fungus to cling more easily to this roughened surface. A better solution is a liquid soap or one of the excellent denture cleaning products such as Polident Fresh Cleanse foam. These products will clean without scratching.
Soaking dentures in a denture cleaner is important to do every day, either overnight or just for 20-30 minutes. It is essential that dentures be brushed under running water to rinse off the cleaner and any food partials and plaque.
Do I need to use adhesives?
Denture adhesives are a tool, an aid, in a temporary situation, but if you must rely on adhesives to wear your denture it is an indication that your denture is not fitting properly or that you don’t have the anatomy to secure the denture. A visit to your denturist can determine what should be done to allow you to wear your denture comfortably without the need for adhesives. In cases where a lower denture will not fit as well as it can with denture adhesives, a better alternative would be to explore the possibility of dental implants to secure the lower denture thus anchoring it down.
Lower denture not fitting?
Think of a snowshoe.........how covering a wider area prevents the pressure of the foot going down into the deep snow. Now think of a lower denture sitting on a flat narrow ridge.......if the denture has been made or ground down to a narrow skinny “bikini denture” then the pressure on the gums is more focused. Therefore the impression process is important to get the imprint of the gums and supporting structures so as to distribute the load of chewing over a broader area. The extra width means less pain. The proper length and width of the base determines the fit surface experience. However, the way the lower teeth meet the upper teeth has a bearing on this too. So the bite will affect the base and this is why we usually check this first.
Tracy Merkley, denturist and owner of Central Park Denture & Implant Centre in Victoria, BC would be pleased to offer you a free consultation to answer all your questions. For quality and individualized professional advice and service, give me a call.
Central Park Denture & Implant Centre
Suite 201 – 1711 Cook St., Victoria BC