Based in Christchurch, Dentures Plus's news blog brings you the latest Dental Industry news from New Zealand.
“There are exciting things happening in the world of dentures. We’ve really embraced the digital age and its associated technology. ”
Ryan Carlton of Dentures Plus has recently been to IDS, the leading global trade fair of the dental industry in Cologne, Germany. “IDS presents the most important concepts and advances for the practices and laboratories of today and tomorrow. I was looking in particular at 3D printing of dentures.“
Ryan says that 3D printing of dental appliances is not only accurate, but it is quick, helps to streamline the making of high quality polymer-based dentures and is far less messy than creating plaster models. It also reduces the amount ofmaterial required and is a rather more pleasant experience for patients.
"As 3D printer techology becomes more accessible the cost of use is also going down. I have been waiting for an all-in-one system that covers virtually the whole process and that is now available from a company called Kulzer. My patients can look forward to 3D printed dentures when I introduce the tecnhnique over the next few months. It will be great for them and stimulating for me as well.“
No matter how realistic they appear, dentures are never as good as well-maintained natural teeth, so anything that improves fit and function is a big deal.
Most first-time denture wearers opt for traditional fitting dentures, although it is telling that longtime users keen for a better experience usually go for implants.
Using small clips embedded in the jaw, implant-retained dentures provide a stronger bite and put an end to worries that a denture could come loose mid-laugh or while eating.
Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says implants cost more than traditional dentures but few people who make the switch ever regret it.
“You might have only half your bite force with a full lower denture. That can be greatly increased with implants, which makes eating much more pleasant and increases the range of foods you can eat."
“Getting the implants is a simple procedure but it can make the denture much more stable.”
Ryan says people with dentures are often limited to foods they can eat successfully, which can present problems when going to a restaurant or a friend’s house for dinner. For some people, the pain and embarrassment of poorly fitting dentures is enough to stop them going out at all.
With implants, the denture can still be removed for cleaning or any other time the wearer wants, but when attached will stay securely in place.
The clips that hold the denture are implanted by an oral surgeon or dentist and usually take a couple of months to bed in.
The denture, meanwhile, is prepared by a specialist clinic such as Dentures Plus, which has one of the best-equipped facilities in Christchurch.
Implant, regular and “immediate” dentures – which can be fitted the same day teeth are removed – are custom-made for patients using high-tech fabrication processes at the St Albans clinic.
Acrylic is used to produce hard-wearing dentures with the snuggist, most true-to-form fit the industry can provide, while teeth are painstakingly positioned with the tiny twists and turns that ensure a finish indistinguishable from the real thing.
Sometimes a patient’s existing denture can be used for attaching to implants.
“We offer a free consultation to allow us to evaluate your dentures and give you all the options,” Ryan says.
Dentures of all kinds require proper upkeep if they are to remain comfortable and free of the bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Unfortunately, most cleaning solutions sold in supermarkets do a poor job of removing the plaque and bacteria that can build up on not only the teeth but also the denture, Ryan says.
By far the best cleaning product is Caldent, he says.
Known to be the gold standard in denture cleaning solutions, Caldent is sold over the counter at Dentures Plus or online through the clinic’s website. Solution baths, brushes, pastes and options for pain relief are also available.
Dentures patients quickly find a lot to smile about as they show off their new teeth, but for the man who makes some of the city’s finest dentures, there’s nothing like motorbike racing to bring out a grin.
Ryan Carlton is the owner of Dentures Plus, and while the clinic in St Albans is bright and clean, Ryan’s spare time is decidedly grubbier, with black leathers, the smell of fuel and the roar of the racetrack filling his weekends.
This month, Ryan’s two passions come together with the Sound of Thunder motorbike racing event at Ruapuna, for which Dentures Plus is the major sponsor.
Ryan will be competing in two classes at the February 23-24 race meeting, and the picture of him tearing around the track, inches from the asphalt, helps explains how Dentures Plus has become one of the city’s most welcoming and down-to-earth practices.
It is also one of Christchurch’s best-equipped clinics, providing new dentures, repairs and refits for patients and dentists from across New Zealand.
Ryan took over the business in 2014, following a period in New Brighton and before that 10 years with the country’s largest denture lab. It was there he met his wife-to-be, Marion, a German-trained denture technician who today helps make up the highly skilled team at Dentures Plus.
With multiple rooms for full denture services, they use the latest techniques and technology to create dentures with a fit and style unique to each person.
The work is precise and has little margin for error. The racetrack holds similar challenges for Ryan, but it’s also a chance to blow off steam so he’s fresh and attuned when seeing patients, he says.
Raised in Fairlie and Dunedin, he didn’t start motorbike racing until 2016, nearly 20 years after he started making dentures.
“I played a lot of ice hockey in Dunedin but I didn’t start racing until a friend loaned me his bike for a race at Ruapuna, and that was all it took – I was hooked,” he says.
“I mainly focus on BEARS racing but I also love street racing, especially the Greymouth Street Race held over Labour weekend.
“Dentures Plus sponsored the Sound of Thunder in 2017 and 2018 and this year I’m the major sponsor. Riders and bikes travel from all over New Zealand, as well as some from Australia and sometimes even further abroad. We also sponsor some other riders to help them do what they love.”
Ryan will be riding his 2010 Buell in two classes at this month’s Sound of Thunder: Milwaukee Iron, for American-built bikes, and Formula One.
With any luck, he’ll be smiling as freely as his patients by the close of weekend.
Dentures make a difference to the mental wellbeing of wearers every day by boosting the confidence, and to their physical health by opening up diets to a wider range of foods.
These benefits – and their absence – are never felt more acutely than during the festive season.
Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says a lot of people in need of new or better dentures approach social events with trepidation.
Worries over appearance, being unable to eat the same food as others and what would happen if a denture slipped out usually top the list of concerns.
But while there are solutions for all scenarios, people often need help taking the first step, Ryan says.
Dentures Plus has a naturally relaxed and friendly environment to ease people into the life-changing transformation dentures can herald. Questions and support people are welcomed and great care is taken to produce highly realistic dentures that look and fit exactly how the patient wants.
“It’s not a scary process and we can help people before or after they've seen a dentist for extractions. If they need, we can recommend a dentist,” Ryan says.
“There are some people who are busy looking after everyone except themselves, so helping someone like that get dentures can really mean a lot, especially at this time of year.”
Patients at Dentures Plus have access to one of the best-equipped clinics in Christchurch. As well as standard full and partial dentures, there are “immediate” dentures for wearing the same day as teeth are extracted, and implant dentures, offering the securest fit of all.
All are made using the acrylic injection method that ensures the most precise fit the industry can produce, for long-term comfort and durability.
Even the best made dentures need adjusting or replacing as the gums and jaw change shape with age, though.
There are wider health issues to consider, too, and as such Ryan recommends a checkup at least every 2-3 years, even if everything seems fine.
"It's like a warrant of fitness for the mouth," he says. “We check the denture, gums, any remaining teeth and the tongue for abnormalities such as potential oral cancers or growths that could turn into a major problem if left unchecked.
“If you've got a loose denture, that can cause a lot of unnoticeable problems and disguise potential issues that could flare up. But if we catch problems early, it's normally simple to fix and get you back on track.”
Denture care products are also available from Dentures Plus, either over the counter or via the website.
This includes the industry-leading Caldent solution, which Ryan says cleans far more effectively than anything sold in supermarkets.
For urgent denture cleaning – before a Christmas party or holiday away, for example – Dentures Plus can provide a one-day clean using Caldent with a specialised ultrasonic machine. This gives a result in a few hours that would take a week at home.
Dentures Plus is proud to support NZ Superbike Team TR20 racing in Italy again this season. Rider Dillon Telford and his partner Jo Taylor (mechanic, organiser, promo girl), are in the middle of their second season racing in Italy. This year they are riding the Gabro Racing Team Aprilia Tuono, and in his first race this season Dillon took the bike on its fastest lap around the MotoGP track Mugello!
Dillon and Jo have sacrificed everything to get back to Italy for this season and are on a shoe string budget. If you want to follow their progress head over to their facebook page TR20, you can also become a Patreon member and donate to their dream, any little bit helps. As a patreon member you will receive updates and news before the general public.
Show your support and help this Kiwi couple live their dream motorbike racing.
Dentures can be hard to get use to, and even people who have worn dentures for years can still struggle with eating and the movement that can occur.
Getting new dentures or a reline can often solve these issues, but not always, especially with a full lower denture.
Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says people might have only half their bite force with a full lower denture, so anything that improves the fit and reduces slippage of the denture is extremely helpful.
Implant-supported dentures are one of the best solutions here, Carlton says.
Essentially an upgrade to floating dentures, they clip onto tiny metal implants that remain in the gum, allowing people to remove the denture whenever they want but providing much greater security when attached.
“They can greatly improve your bite force, which makes eating much more pleasant and increases the range of foods you can eat.
“Denture wearers are often limited to what foods they can eat successfully, so going out to restaurants or a friend’s house for dinner can present a lot of problems – some people will avoid going out altogether to avoid the pain and embarrassment.
“Getting the implants is a simple procedure but it can make the denture much more stable,” Carlton says.
Implants are placed by an oral surgeon or dentist and usually take a couple of months to bed in before the denture is fitted.
Implant, regular and “immediate” dentures, either full or partial, are made by Dentures Plus at its St Albans clinic.
In every case, the denture is customised to the wearer’s preferences, using the acrylic for the most comfortable fit possible and high-grade teeth that are positioned with the tiny twists and turns that make them indistinguishable from the real thing.
Sometimes a patient’s existing denture can be used for attaching to implants.
“A free consultation with us will allow us to evaluate your dentures and give you all the options,” Carlton says.
While implant dentures are a popular choice among people who already have dentures and want to improve their experience, first-time wearers often opt for “immediate dentures”. These are fitted the same day teeth are extracted and allow people to avoid the embarrassment of walking around without teeth.
With all denture types, proper upkeep is essential if they are remain comfortable and free of the bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Unfortunately, many cleaning solutions sold in supermarkets do a poor job of removing the plaque and bacteria that builds up not only on the teeth but the denture itself, Carlton says.
The best cleaning product by far is Caldent, he says. Dentures Plus sells this directly to the public either over the counter its clinic on Innes Rd or online via its website.
Other cleaning products, such as solution baths, brushes and pastes, are also available.