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HEY DOC, I CAN’T EAT OR TALK WITH MY FULL BOTTOM DENTURE!
CAN YOU HELP ME!? (Part 1 of 2)
Out of all the treatment modalities in dentistry, complete or full lower dentures probably have the lowest success rate. Many people who have lost their bottom teeth, especially those with their bottom teeth removed a long time ago, and have to relegate to wearing full lower dentures, often complain of their inability to keep the dentures in place for proper eating, chewing and speech. They can’t enjoy their food anymore and it becomes a social embarrassment when their full lower dentures fall out of their mouths during eating or talking at social functions or at family gatherings!
Why don’t they stay in?
Continual bone loss- After teeth are removed, human’s jaw bone will continue to shrink away in height and in width throughout the person’s lifetime. This phenomenon is due to the lack of stimulation to the jaw bone during eating and chewing through the teeth. Unfortunately, the lower jaw bone shrinks away much more rapidly than the upper jaw bone. Some research studies show that lower jaw bone can disappear up to 4X as fast as the upper jaw bone after teeth removal! The lack of lower jaw bone means the lack of suction to support a full bottom denture.
Presence of the tongue- Human’s tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body and it can easily push on and dislodge the full bottom denture during eating and speech.
Limited surface area for denture support- A full upper denture can rely on the roof of the mouth for support and stability. The lower jaw is “U” shaped and it simply lacks the amount of surface area of bone that the upper jaw has for denture support.
What can be done?
Denture reline- As the lower jaw bone shrinks away, a space will develop between the full lower denture and the lower jaw bone. As a result, the denture does not seat tightly on the jaw bone anymore and the denture becomes loose. By having a denture reline, new plastic denture material is added to the bottom of the denture so that the lower denture will again fit tightly on the lower jaw bone. However, if the patient has lost a substantial amount of bone, denture reline will not help much at all as there is still inadequate bone for the lower denture to grip onto.
Denture adhesives- There are many types of denture adhesives/glues available over-the-counter that people can purchase to help stabilize their full bottom dentures. Again, just like denture reline, if there is inadequate bone, denture adhesives can only help marginally at best.
Dental implants- For those who have a really tough time keeping their full lower dentures in place, dental implants most likely will be the best solution to their problem. As I have discussed in my previous article, dental implants are pegs/screws made of titanium alloy that are inserted into the lower jaw bone to help stabilize and support the full lower denture. The more implants that the patient chooses to have, the more stable the denture will be, taking into consideration the anatomical boundary for the placement of the implants. After the implants are integrated into the lower jaw bone, “attachments” will be inserted into the bottom of the lower denture. The attachments will allow the lower denture to “snap” onto the heads of the implants for stability and support.
In the next article (part 2), I will examine the different types of implant treatment modalities for full lower denture stabilization.
Give us a call!
If you are having trouble with your lower denture or want more information call Dr. Sun at 705-324-0050 for a consultation. Victor Sun, DDS, serving the Lindsay area and surrounding Ontario community.
“Hey Doc, my teeth are crooked. I don’t like my smile! I want straight teeth. What are my options?
Part 2 – Veneers”
Dental veneers, also called dental laminates, are a superb choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. They are thin, custom-made, porcelain “shells” that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth, giving the teeth a face lift. Think of veneers as “false nails” for the teeth.
After the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent to the laboratory to custom-made the veneers. After the veneers are completed, they are tried-in on the teeth at the dental office. After the esthetics and the fit of the veneers have been approved by the patient and the dentist, the dentist will then condition the teeth and then use bonding agents to adhere the veneers to the front surfaces of the teeth. Often, the front 6 to 10 teeth are involved in a veneer case for a good result.
Veneers are indicated for:
- closing diastemas (spaces between teeth)
- restoring broken/chipped teeth
- covering and whitening
- stained/unsightly/poorly shaped teeth
- correcting minor to moderate crowding
Benefits of veneers include:
- superb esthetics as they are custom-made in the laboratory
- resistance to stain from coffee, tea, red wine as they are highly polished in the laboratory without porosity
- minimal to no anaesthetics is required during the teeth preparation
- minimal to no tooth structure is removed in most cases;however, the procedure is not reversible if tooth structure is removed
- stronger, more durable and more colour-stable than composite bonding
- the ability to cover up dark teeth and make them white and bright.
Even though veneers are stronger than composite bonding, they can still break or fracture due to habits such as nail/pencil biting, chewing on hard foods such as carrots, ice cubes, bones, opening nutshells with your teeth etc. Also, clenching and nighttime grinding can cause damage to the veneers. Therefore, a grinding/ night guard is highly recommended to be worn during sleep to protect the veneers.
If veneers are well-cared for, they can last and look great for a long time!
If you’re afraid of going to the dentist, you are not alone! Fear is one of the main reasons people avoid visiting the dentist. Even patients who see the dentists on a regular basis can find their visits stressful.
Fear of dentistry can be due to:
- Bad dental experience in the past
- Fear of needles or pain or the sound of the drill
- Difficulty with opening the mouth wide
- Strong gag reflex
- Sensitive teeth
Nowadays, with the availability of sedation dentistry, fear of visiting the dentist can be a thing of the past! Sedation dentistry refers to the use of pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The pharmacological agents, called sedatives, exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with “conscious awareness”.
There are different degrees of central nervous system depression, each corresponding to a level of relaxation which ranges from minimal, moderate, to deep sedation:
- Minimal sedation– Patients have reduced anxiety but can readily respond to verbal or physical stimulation.
- Moderate sedation– Patients are even more relaxed and will respond to purposeful stimulation.
- Deep sedation– Patients may not exhibit any signs of consciousness and therefore be unresponsive to stimulation.
Sedation by pharmacologic methods may be obtained by 2 general routes:
- Enteral route- Involves absorption of medication across membranes from the oral cavity, through the digestive tract, ending in the rectum (the alimentary canal).
– Includes medications that are either swallowed, absorbed through the lining of the oral cavity, or inserted rectally.
- Parenteral route– Involves the administration of sedative drugs other than absorption across the membranes of the alimentary canal.
– Includes intravenous(IV), inhalation, intramuscular (IM), submucosal, among others
Sedation dentistry has become very popular because it offers the following benefits for the patients:
- Increased patient comfort and relaxation
- Little or no memory of treatment (amnesia)
- Control of gag reflex
- Movement control
- Decreased pain sensitivity
- Time saving- allowing dental treatment to be accomplished in fewer visits, sometimes as little as one visit.
In the upcoming blog article, we shall discuss the different methods of providing sedation to patients who are nervous of visiting the dentist. Visit us, at http://www.drvictorsun.com.
The entire Victor Sun, DDS team wants to see your smile!
Here’s how to enter:
Snap a selfie of your smile
Post your photo on the Victor Sun, DDS Facebook OR upload your photo to Instagram with hash tag #DRVICTORSUN
Have your friends and family “like” your photo!
The ten photos with the most likes at the end of the contest will be our ten finalists. We will randomly choose one of the ten finalists who wins a