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Based in Christchurch, Dentures Plus's news blog brings you the latest Dental Industry news from New Zealand.

Immediate Dentures

Friday, May 25, 2018

You start the day with bad teeth and gaps in your smile and end it beaming proudly to all and sundry. Such is the effect of immediate dentures.

Fitted the same day as teeth are extracted, immediate dentures are the top choice for most first-time denture wearers, says clinician Ryan Carlton, the owner of Dentures Plus in St Albans.

As well as allowing people to avoid the embarrassment of a collapsed-looking face, they also help gums heal after teeth have been removed, acting as a bandage over tender tissue, he says.

Dentists fit such dentures immediately, however, the actual crafting of dentures is done by specialized clinics, and choosing a clinic independently gives people added control over quality, Carlton says.

Dentures Plus operates one of the most technologically advanced clinics in New Zealand and regularly produces dentures for dentists around the country. It is also home to the only laser welder in Christchurch specifically designed for the repair of metal partial dentures.

Patients who visit the clinic directly find a relaxed, friendly environment that soon puts them at ease, says Carlton, a motorbike enthusiast often found at the racetrack in his spare time.

“There are a variety of reasons people might need to get teeth extracted, and getting your first set of dentures can be quite a daunting decision to make. We always try to make people feel as comfortable as possible about it. We also keep them informed through the whole process,” he says.

Gums change shape quite soon after teeth are extracted, so follow-up visits to adjust dentures are usually required a week or two after they are first fitted. There is no charge for this at Dentures Plus.

After about six months, once the surrounding bone and gums have settled into their new shape, a final reline is made and “immediate dentures” become permanent.

The teeth, carefully chosen and positioned according to clients’ wishes, remain the same throughout.

To maintain dentures in good condition, Dentures Plus supplies the industry-leading Caldent cleaning solution, either over the counter at the clinic on Innes Rd or via its website.

“It’s the best stuff on the market. It works far better than anything else,” Carlton says.

“Sometimes people have bad breath and it’s actually coming from the denture. Plaque and tartar will build up on any hard surface and that can lead to sores and bacteria. Soaking in Caldent removes all that and gets the denture back to the nice clean acrylic.”

Anyone unsure which dentist to see for extractions can get a referral from Dentures Plus at their first consultation, which as with aftercare, is free.

Custom-fitted mouth guards

Monday, April 30, 2018

Looking after one’s teeth is important, but Kiwi’s love of sports, and being involved in the physical contact that these activities can involve, can put our teeth and jaw in harm’s way! The solution is a custom-fitted mouth guard, and that’s where Dentures Plus comes in.

Besides all their regular services associated with the making and repairing of dentures, this practice offers custom-fitted mouth guards direct to the public. Mouth guards are an essential part of playing sports – and becoming compulsory in more sports each year. “Not only do they help protect teeth, but they may also help limit concussion and jaw injuries.”

Over Ryan’s career he has dealt with many of our top professional athletes in the custom moulding and fitting of mouth guards. Our mouth guards are made of multiple layers which absorb the impacts more effectively. “I like people to keep their teeth, especially children. That’s why we have a special offer for school age kids on our heat- moulded rubber mouth guards. These mouth guards are custom-made for each child and although children’s mouths and teeth are still developing, the mouth guard should last for a season”.

There are just two appointments needed – the first to take a mould of the upper teeth and the second to check that the mouth guard is fitting properly and is comfortable. “We have a large range of colours and patterns to choose from, whether it’s your team colours or something to show your personality”.

Dentures Plus is located at 396 Innes Road. Phone (03) 385 5517. Open Monday – Thursday 8am – 5pm, and on Friday 8am – 2pm. We also have some limited early evening appointments available. Check out their Caldent denture cleaner as well.

Teething problems

Monday, April 30, 2018

Like a new pair of shoes, dentures worn for the first time often come with some teething problems, so to speak, as the body adjusts to its newest addition.

Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says renewed confidence, an attractive smile and the enjoyment of new foods awaits denture wearers, but a few bumps on the path there should be expected.

The unnatural feel of newly fitted dentures is the first thing most people experience, he says. However, this feeling of the mouth being too full will soon be replaced by a “new normal” and forgotten.

Similarly, the extra saliva produced as a response to having a foreign object in the mouth will go away as the body learns that the dentures are now part of you.

Until that happens, though, the mouth might try to dislodge the dentures, Ryan says, just as it would anything else that it doesn’t think should be there. This can make the dentures feel loose. However, this too will pass, along with the initial challenges of chewing.

Should sores form, these should be seen by a denture maker so adjustments can be made, Ryan says.

“It’s a bit like with new shoes where you might get a blister. But instead of letting them wear in, with dentures we actually make an adjustment.”

Dentures Plus provides full aftercare services regardless of where a person’s dentures were made. With its own products, though, a number of high-tech processes help produce a comfortable, snug fit from the outset.

After a free, no obligation consultation, an impression is made using a specialised material known as alginate, from which a denture is formed first in wax and then acrylic. Using acrylic allows for the most hard-wearing and true-to-form denture possible.

Friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere is matched by a willingness to share all the details of what is often an unfamiliar process for patients, Ryan says.

“For impressions, we use one of the most accurate alginates available. It’s in the mouth less than a minute and the one we’ve got now has a really nice bubblegum flavour to it."

“The wax then replicates the pink, acrylic part of the finished denture, and people can try wearing that to see how it’s going to look and feel when finished.”

Four or five visits to the clinic are usually required as the denture is refined, although much of the action occurs behind the scenes in the Denture Plus laboratory and plaster room.

With an artist’s vision, teeth are chosen and placed according to the client’s desired style, often with the tiny twists and turns to ensure the product is not only attractive but indistinguishable from the real thing.

“It’s about taking the time to deliver what the patient wants,” Ryan says.

A selection of top-quality cleaning products and solutions for home use are also available from Dentures Plus, either over the counter or online.

Problems Associated with their Dentures

Monday, April 30, 2018

People may not be aware of any problems associated with their dentures. When they develop slowly over time, they adapt and think it is normal.

“Common issues we see with denture wearers are sore or irritated gums, difficulty eating properly, loss of lip or facial support, more wrinkles around the mouth, sore jaw, increased headaches, loose or slipping dentures, and sores at the corners of the lips,” says Ryan Carlton of Dentures Plus.
He says pressure and or rubbing can be quite painful, usually a result of chewing but also clenching of teeth or bruxism (grinding the teeth). Other causes may be hard foods, like small seeds getting underneath dentures, or denture teeth that need adjusting, relining or replacement.

Worn or ill-fitting dentures can make it hard to chew and eat properly. As the teeth flatten off over time it’s harder to cut and chew food effectively. Worn teeth also lose their height and bring the lower jaw up further, compressing the lips and giving the face a sunken-in look, more wrinkles, and sores at the corners of the lips. “Dentures need to be replaced to resolve this. Worn teeth can also lead to a sore jaw and headaches as it puts more pressure on the joint and surrounding muscles.”

“Many patients worry new dentures will make them look ‘horsey’ or ‘all teeth’, but although they may show a little more teeth with new dentures, they should look natural - like they belong to the face. At Dentures Plus we make sure each patient is very happy with the final result, including their look and smile.”

Making and Fitting Immediate Dentures

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The first-time or immediate set of dentures is the most important you will ever have made. They are fitted immediately after the extraction of teeth either by an oral surgeon or a dentist. It is critical they are made with the utmost care for the patient’s future comfort and the functionality of the dentures. The position of teeth, how they need to be moved and the change in the patient’s occlusion (the way their teeth come together) are all part of the consideration.

At Dentures Plus their treatment protocol around making and fitting immediate dentures is second-to-none. Ryan Carlton knows that immediate dentures are a major change to your body and that it may take quite some time to adapt to them. They provide comprehensive advice to their patients and are just a phone call away if there is anything you are concerned about. It is their role to solve any problems and to achieve the best outcome for each patient.

Once you have your dentures it is very important to clean them effectively daily to reduce the amount of bacteria that can accumulate on them – just as with natural teeth. Keeping your dentures clean will greatly aid in keeping your whole mouth clean and healthy. They need to be cleaned with denture toothpaste and a brush and Dentures Plus highly recommend Caldent Denture Cleaner.

If you are wanting a new smile for Christmas Ryan says that now would be the time to come in for a consultation. Dentures do take several weeks to design and make.

You will find Dentures Plus at 396 Innes Road. Ryan is happy to take evening appointments up to 7.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to their normal hours.

Having teeth extracted can be a difficult event.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Having teeth extracted can be a difficult event to process and is often compounded by having to face the world immediately afterwards with a mouth full of gums and often nothing else.

It is a concern avoided by many people through use of “immediate dentures”, so called because they are fitted in the dentist’s practice on the same day as extraction.

Custom-made beforehand, immediate dentures also give the talented fabricators a chance to see a person’s natural face shape before teeth are extracted, allowing them to replicate a more realistic look.

Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says immediate dentures are “very common” at his St Albans clinic, and as with other options, people can pick from a wide variety of high-end teeth to create the style they want.

Put together with an artist’s touch to include the tiny twists and turns of natural teeth, the dentures can be indistinguishable from the real thing.

“They go in straight away so they’ll be a bit tender as the anaesthetic wears off, but they have the benefit of acting like a bandage as well,” Ryan says.

“Because it goes over the extraction sites, immediate dentures cover up the areas that need to heal.”

Dentures Plus uses an acrylic injection machine to produce all its dentures in a way that provides the industry’s highest level of durability and the snuggest of fits.

Between three and five visits to the clinic are required before dentures will be ready for fitting, to be followed by an additional visit shortly after teeth have been extracted to ensure the fit is as expected.

Six months later, a touch up is usually required to account for changes in gum and bone shape. “They’re not holding teeth anymore so their shape changes to reflect that,” Ryan says.

A “re-line” at this point involves Ryan or one of the clinic’s team of experienced clinicians and technicians removing up to 90 per cent of the initial acrylic denture. A new piece is then made from a fresh mould.

Patients can now expect their “immediate” denture to essentially become a permanent denture.

Checkups are an important part of future care, however, and there are several telltale signs that a fit might need adjusting, Ryan says.

These include slipping and frequent sore spots, staining or plaque build-up, and increased reliance on the sticky paste often applied for added grip.

Ryan says people who don’t yet have a dentist can still discuss their denture needs with the clinic, and they have a number of contacts with dentists across the city they can refer people to.

“We always go through everything with the patient and make sure they’re well involved in the process,” he says.

Dentures Plus also supplies high-quality cleaning solutions and other equipment for denture care, available through a new website for easy shopping.

For a free consultation or to find out more, contact Dentures Plus on 03 385 5517 or at denturesplus.co.nz. For over-the-counter purchases, visit the clinic at 396 Innes Rd, St Albans.

Denture specialists expert at problem solving for patients

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ryan Carlton and his team of expert technicians at Dentures Plus in Innes Road are highly skilled in the design and manufacture of flexible partial dentures.

“We also use industry-leading injection moulding equipment for all our dentures, Ryan says, “and we provide dentures not only for our own patients, but also for dentists throughout New Zealand.”

For anyone experiencing problems with their teeth or gums Dentures Plus offers a free consultation to assess their oral health and possible treatment plans, Ryan says. “People needing first-time dentures or immediate dentures can come directly to us and we will work with their regular dentist or if necessary arrange with another dentist for the extraction of their teeth in preparation for getting dentures fitted,” he says.

“Our team are excellent at problem solving for our patients and providing them with a comfortable, functional, natural-looking solution.” Ryan emphasises the importance of keeping dentures clean and healthy to avoid the damage that can occur from wearing them. Dentures Plus offers a full range of products for keeping dentures in tip-top condition, including denture cleaners, brushes and denture baths for soaking the dentures.

He particularly recommends Caldent denture cleaner, as it is non-abrasive and effectively removes stains, calculus and plaque. All the products can be purchased at the clinic, or through the Dentures Plus website, www.denturesplus.co.nz.

While Christmas is still a few months away, for those people wanting to have new dentures in time for the festive season, now is the time to get the process
underway, Ryan says. “By talking to us now, and getting started, the new dentures will be settled in and comfortable by Christmas, so you can enjoy all the festivities without any denture problems.”

Dentures Plus is located at 396 Innes Road. To make an appointment to discuss your needs, phone 385 55127.

Our Guide to Immediate Dentures

Thursday, August 17, 2017
An immediate denture is fitted immediately after the extraction of teeth either by an oral surgeon or a dentist. As the clinical dental technician I will take an impression of your mouth with the teeth still in place and in consultation with, and approval from you, manufacture an immediate denture. The following information will assist you to understand the sequence of events during the healing period.

  1. Teeth are removed from your mouth. Stitches may be placed to help the mouth heal. If so, they will dissolve by themselves, unless your dentist tells you differently.
  2. Dentures are inserted to replace your missing teeth and gum tissue. On this day these dentures will feel large and bulky until your gums have healed and shrunken slightly. At which time we may be able to make the dentures thinner and less bulky. The dentures may cause your speech to be altered for a few days. This will disappear soon. We recommend eating soft foods during this healing period. Some weight loss may occur.
  3. Do not take the dentures out of your mouth on the day of extractions, they need to stay in place for the first 24 hours. The new dentures serve as a bandage, similar to a cast on a broken arm, during initial healing. After the initial denture removal and adjustment, you may remove the dentures as needed for cleaning. The dentures may be hard to remove the first time and there will most likely be some discomfort.
  4. Some discomfort is usually present when teeth are removed and immediate dentures are placed. The discomfort is due to one of two reasons: a) The trauma of removing teeth. This will heal rapidly and go away by itself. b) The denture may have a pressure spot. If so, that will be observed and removed by us as soon as you tell us about the discomfort. It will not go away by itself.
  5. If you have been given antibiotics, take them as directed until they are gone.
  6. Use pain relieving pills only until the discomfort has gone. Warm, salt water rinses are highly recommended to help with healing. You may use ulcer creams or gels if you choose to.
  7. Your dentures may be relined with a soft temporary material that makes them easier to wear and speeds healing. That material may be replaced during the healing period. It is not the final denture material. Be careful not to dislodge it when cleaning.
  8. As soon as convenient, place some ice cubes in a plastic bag and place the bag externally on the area where the teeth were removed. This will help to reduce swelling and bruising. However, some swelling and bruising may still occur for a short time.
  9. Healing from tooth extraction continues for up to 18 months. Shrinkage of gums and bone is obvious during that time, but it slows thereafter. We can reline your denture after 6 months as your gums will have settled down by then. You may elect to have a second reline of the denture 18 months after the initial surgery. These relines are not included in your initial fee.
  10. Immediate dentures are a major change to your body. Don’t worry if you are slow to adapt, millions of others have been through this experience. We expect your denture to serve you well for many years.
  11. Please take note that dentures do not work the same as natural teeth and it may take quite some time to adapt to them. During this time eating may be difficult and frustrating and you will most likely need to change your eating habits.
  12. During the first one or two weeks you may notice unpleasant tastes or odours, this is normal as the sockets and your gum tissue heals and will go away. Doing plenty of salt water rinses each day will help.
  13. It is expected you will need to see us quite frequently in the first few weeks as your gums heal, so please phone us if your gums are sore or there is something you are not sure about.
  14. We are here to help… please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any concerns.

Getting dentures can be one of the most life-changing decisions a person will make

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It’s hard to look your best or feel your most confident when afflicted by dental problems, which is why getting dentures can be one of the most life-changing decisions a person will make.

For denture maker Ryan Carlton, helping people with that kind of transformation was type of rewarding work he knew from a young age he wanted to be a part of.

Ryan grew up in Fairlie, South Canterbury but lived in Dunedin during his high school years, he left to start his training, qualifying as a clinician and going on to develop a wide-ranging skillset at one of New Zealand’s largest dental laboratories.

Now the owner of the busy Dentures Plus clinic in St Albans, he works with a talented team of clinicians and technicians in what is arguably the best-equipped denture practice in the city.

A welding machine specifically designed for denture work is the only one of its kind in Christchurch and allows Dentures Plus to make strong repairs to partial dentures faster and easier than anywhere else. Acrylic injection machines, meanwhile, produces the most comfortable and durable dentures the industry knows how.

Ryan’s passion for the work saw him fly to Thailand earlier this year to research 3D printers for dentures – a technology he says is still some way off. He followed this with a trip to the International Dental Show in Germany, where the latest techniques and equipment are revealed.

It is an increasingly high-tech world linked to what are some of a person’s most intimate concerns, and a field Ryan bridges with ease thanks to an inherently laidback and friendly demeanour.

A bloke at heart, he says it was being able to work with his hands that partly attracted him to denture making; racing motorbikes remains his other passion.

Recently, Ryan made Dentures Plus a family business when he and dental technician Marion married. The couple now have two young girls.

“People can lose their teeth for all sorts of reasons. It might be wear and tear with age, genetic, and of course energy drinks are a big problem with younger people. What matters is that there’s an alternative when they need it,” he says.

To that end, Dentures Plus offers a full range of denture-related services.

These include free initial consultations, the creation of bespoke, ultra-realistic dentures indistinguishable from the real thing, “immediate dentures” for fitting the same day as extractions, and re-lines for long-term comfort and effectiveness.

The clinic also produces high-grade mouthguards for winter sports and supplies a range of after-care products, including cleaning solutions, denture baths, brushes and gels for pain relief. These can be bought either over the counter at the Innes Rd clinic or via the Dentures Plus website.

Ryan says it’s always a priority that patients are well-involved in the process of getting dentures and never feel “out of the loop”.

People who already have dentures are welcome to visit for checkups – something Ryan says should be performed every two to three years.

“That way we can pick up any problems and fix them before they become serious,”
he says.

Smile with confidence

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dentures Plus offers the premium Caldent dentures cleaner to keep your smile looking good by removing all stains and build-up, and also special denture baths and brushes.

Caldent is the best on the market”, says Ryan Carlton, clinical dental technician at Dentures Plus. "Our brushes have double-sided bristles and larger handles, which is particularly good for people who have arthritis or trouble gripping. Our dentures baths are available in a range of different sizes. We use the latest products and technology, as well as continuous training to keep up with the new developments and techniques”.

Ryan, who has 18 years of experience in the industry, says the company’s main focus is on dentures that appear natural. “We want our clients smile to look like nice teeth rather than dentures. We take time to ensure they are happy- it’s about what the clients wants, not what we want”.

Although Christmas seems far away, if you need dentures, now is an ideal time, he says “It takes four or five appointments to fit dentures, and the patient may need several adjustments over a few weeks afterwards for then to settle. To be ready in time for the Christmas season, now is a good time to start thinking about dentures".


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