WHY SELECTING THE BEST DENTURES (FALSE TEETH) IS IMPORTANT
Not all dentures are created equally, and when it comes to oral health, it’s important to select dentures that will fit well, allow for proper eating and speaking, and boost the patient’s confidence. There are several factors that impact the quality of a set of dentures. If your loved one needs dentures, Geriatric House Call Dentistry can help you select a high-quality set of dentures that are comfortable, functional, and beautiful.
THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY DENTURES
Dentures are a critical part of improving the quality of life for elderly patients. Those with decaying and missing teeth or bone loss can significantly benefit from dentures. Dentures allow patients to eat and drink properly. Without the ability to chew, the patient may not be getting adequate nutrients in their diet. Dentures allow those with tooth loss to eat wholesome fruits and vegetables and enjoy mealtime like they did when they were younger.
”CHEAP, LOW-QUALITY DENTURES MAY BE MORE AFFORDABLE, BUT THEY CAN CAUSE PAIN, AND THEY DO NOT SUPPORT THE PATIENT’S FACE AND JAW MUSCLES PROPERLY. HIGH-QUALITY DENTURES PREVENT DISCOMFORT AND FACIAL SAGGING. Dr. Alisa Kauffman
THE BEST DENTURES IN 2021: WHAT MAKES HIGH-QUALITY DENTURES? WHAT IS THE BEST DENTURE TO GET?
Wearing a complete denture means that you are completely edentulous (no teeth remaining in the mouth) and a prosthesis replaces all your teeth. Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring onto the remaining natural teeth. To clean them, remove the partial dentures and brush both the partial and remaining real teeth that remain in the mouth.
I only recommend Dr. Berland’s Cleanadent (drbsolutions.com). It’s the only product that I know of on the market that is ADA approved that can be used on both your natural teeth as well as on the denture teeth and denture as a whole. Remove the denture by using your thumb or index finger under the clasp and pull down if it is an upper partial, or under the clasp and pull up for a lower partial.
There are three types of partial dentures.
The first type of partial denture has a predominantly metal frame. Patients generally find this to have the best fit. Clean it by brushing it everywhere with Dr. Berland’s Denture & Mouth Toothbrush and disinfect it in the Liquid Crystals by dr.bsolutions.com and water for up to 15 minutes. If you do not remove the partial denture while brushing the remaining teeth, food and bacteria will collect around and under the clasps that hold it on their real teeth. This will eventually lead to decay and possible tooth loss. I get the occasional call that the patient’s partial denture is loose and no longer fits. I usually go intending to tighten a loose clasp but unfortunately find the clasped tooth decayed and broken off to the gumline. The broken tooth must then be extracted and a new clasp must be added to a different, healthy tooth. It is a complicated procedure and must be sent to the laboratory for repair.
The second type of denture is a soft, flexible partial denture that is popular when deciding which partial denture offers is the best “fit”. There is no metal. The clasps can be clear, pink, or even tooth colored. This type of partial denture looks very natural in the mouth. Because it is soft and flexible, it can be kinder to the tissues and easier to get used to. But this type of partial denture is more porous and attracts more food and bacteria.
Like all dentures, these must be removed at night and if the individual cooperates after every meal. Soak it for 15 minutes in cool water and Liquid Crystals by Dr.B, then leave it clean in a case or clear glass overnight.
If you step on it or accidentally put it in the washing machine, it is not repairable- so be careful. If a natural tooth breaks, you may not be able to add a new clasp to a flexible partial denture. That is an important consideration when deciding which partial denture is right for a patient with dementia. For these patients, I always recommend a metal partial or an all acrylic partial because it is easier to repair and adjust. This should be discussed with your dentist at the treatment planning visit.
The third type of partial denture is an all acrylic (all plastic) partial with wire clasps. Like a complete denture, it is repairable, and you can easily add a new wire clasp if needed. It can also be converted to a full denture if all the teeth require removal in the future.
This partial denture is also referred to as a flipper- because they flip in and out. They can replace one or several teeth by attaching to the remaining teeth. Of course, these also need to be removed at night. All clasps are food traps that can eventually cause decay.
My only word of warning is to be careful when the flipper is small enough that it can be swallowed if accidentally dislodged. If the patient has dementia, you need to think carefully about the repercussions if you can’t find it in the mouth. This type of partial must be monitored and must be removed every night. It should be permanently removed if there is even the slightest possibility of swallowing it.
If you are caring for an individual in long care or assisted living facility, my best advice is to have the patient’s name or ID placed in the patient’s partial or full denture. If a lost denture is found, they can easily identify the rightful owner.
Identifying a found denture is a lost cause. A denture lab can easily place a name or ID number into the denture.
What should you do if the denture becomes loose and slips when eating?
Over time, the bone, tissues, and fat in the mouth change. It is even more common if there is a recent weight loss. Gum tissue naturally shrinks, bone wears away, and the denture will become less stable and more uncomfortable. When this happens, there are four treatment options. The patient, family, caregiver, and the dentist determine the final decision.
Soft Denture Reline: Adjusting and Fixing a Loose Denture
An experienced dentist such as those at Geriatric Housecall Dentistry can usually provide a soft reline in one visit. With proper care, a soft reline may function for 6 months to two years. Because it is soft, many people find soft relines very comfortable. Remember to clean the inside of the denture gently so the soft reline does not get dislodged, and only soak it in the Liquid Crystals for 3- 5 minutes to kill the bacteria that accumulate over 12 hours. It should be kept overnight in warm water ONLY so that the reline remains in place.
Hard Denture Reline
On the tissue side, a hard denture reline is similar to a new denture. Proper fitting may require additional adjustments. A hard denture reline may be accomplished chairside in one visit, but it is usually best finished in the dental laboratory. This requires the patient to be without the denture for a few days to finish.
A NEW DENTURE: HOW OFTEN SHOULD DENTURES BE REPLACED?
Depending on the person and their healthy weight fluctuations, a denture should be replaced at least every five to ten years. Most dentures are kept way past their expiration date. Most often, the best treatment is a new denture. However, new dentures are not always possible for people with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, or any neurodegenerative disease. For these individuals, a soft or hard reline may be the only option.
Brush the patient’s teeth and dentures at least twice a day. Caregivers should especially brush the patient’s teeth at night. At night there is a considerable buildup of collected food and a full day’s worth of bacteria. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, such as those in Dr. Berland’s denture system. This practice should be followed up by a gentle mouth rinse. If a full or partial denture is worn, caregivers must remove it, soak it and leave it in a clear glass or denture container with a cleanser like Dr. Berland’s Cleanadent’s Crystals. The denture should never be stored in tissue or anything other than a proper denture container. We advise using a mouth rinse which will not cause problems if swallowed. If the dentures feel loose while speaking or eating, try a denture adhesive such as Dr. Berland’s Adhesadent. If that isn’t sufficient- call your dentist as a reline or a new denture may be necessary. Caregivers should never attempt to repair a broken denture but call a professional instead. Dentures should have IDs placed so that they are easily returned should they become misplaced especially in long-term care facilities. And never wear your dentures if you must go in an ambulance or to the hospital. Bring them later when you are settled in your room.
DENTURE PRODUCTS RECOMMENDED BY DR. ALISA KAUFFMAN
We recommend Dr. Berland’s Denture Care System with ingredients that we can recognize and pronounce. The Liquid Crystal ™ disinfecting soak cleanser is easy to use. It kills dangerous pathogens, such as Candida Albicans, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Actinomyces, and E.Coli. We like to use the product by simply soaking the dentures for 10 minutes in water and four Liquid Crystal pumps. After soaking the dentures, caregivers should rinse the dentures under cool running water. If there is a soft reline, they should soak them in cool water and the Liquid Crystal for no more than 15 minutes to preserve the soft liner’s integrity.
Using the Liquid Crystal in a Sonic Cleaner will improve efficiency. We also recommend Dr. B.’s Denture & Mouth Toothbrush and Cleanadent Paste ™ to clean and remove biofilm from the denture and the gums, tongue, cheeks, palate, and any remaining teeth. If the denture has an inside reline, caregivers must brush very gently not to dislodge the reline material away from the denture. Cleanadent Wipes ™ can also be used to clean the inside of relines. They are convenient for cleaning both the mouth and the denture while reducing gagging. Caregivers should refrain from using regular toothpaste on dentures because it will cause microscopic scratches that collect stain, odor, bacteria, and fungi colonization.