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

Taking your teeth for granted can end up costing you dearly

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Taking your teeth for granted can end up costing you dearly, and it’s the same with dentures, which have their own special maintenance needs.

Dentures Plus owner Ryan Carlton says keeping dentures clean is vital for good hygiene and comfortable long-term use.

Bad breath is one of the first signs dentures may may need closer attention, although the bacteria contributing to the odour are not always obvious to wearers, Ryan says.

A closer look will often reveal an accompanying buildup of plaque and calculus on the denture, including its hard-wearing acrylic “gum” part – an area that with natural teeth is not available for brushing.

Ryan says plaque and calculus, or tartar, provide an ideal environment for bacteria to hide and multiply, and its removal is important for both oral hygiene and comfort.

“If plaque and calculus are allowed to build up, it can change the fit of the denture and cause irritation and soreness to the gums. There’s also chance of ulcers and infection.

“Dentures need manual brushing to remove food debris but they also need need to be soaked in a cleaning solution such as Caldent. This helps remove stains, bacteria, plaque and calculus.”

Checkups at a denture clinic should also be scheduled every two to three years to ensure potentially serious issues aren’t going unnoticed.

Given dentures' initial cost and their importance for diet, self-esteem and social confidence, looking after them is a relatively small price to pay, Ryan says.

“A consultation every two or three years is a good idea even if everthing seems fine. It’s a bit like a warrant of fitness for the mouth.

“At Dentures Plus, we check the denture, gums, any remaining teeth and the tongue for any abnormalities such as potential oral cancers or growths that could turn into a major problem if left unchecked.

“A loose denture can cause a lot of unnoticeable problems and disguise potential issues that could flare up. If we catch these problems early, it’s normally simple to fix and get you back on track.”

Dentures Plus provides a full suite of denture services at its St Albans clinic, which has a laboratory and full denture-making facilities alongside its consultation rooms. It is one of the few facilities in New Zealand with a laser welder made specifically to repair partial dentures.

Cleaning products, including brushes, solutions and bathes for dentures, are sold over the counter and via the Denture Plus website.

Caldent is easily the best cleaning solution on the market and far superior to anything in supermarkets, Ryan says.

For people who want to restore their dentures quickly, Dentures Plus also offers a cleaning service that uses an specialised ultrasonic machine in combination with Caldent. This can produce a result in a few hours that would take a week at home.

Dentures Plus Team

Thursday, October 11, 2018
When coming to Dentures Plus, it’s not just one person you see or who works on your case. Rather, there is a team of skilled people at the St Albans clinic helping make the experience a successful and enjoyable one.

Practice manager Paulette Dench is the friendly face greeting visitors once through the door. She helps get patients settled in and, if it’s their first time visiting, will supply the the “new patient” form to fill out.

With its own onsite laboratory and denture-making rooms, much of the action at Dentures Plus happens behind the scenes.

Central to this aspect is Marion Carlton, one of the owners of Dentures Plus and a German-qualified dental technician. She applies her artistic skills to crafting beautiful sets of personalised dentures.

An artist by nature, she has a number of her works gracing the walls of the waiting room and reception area.

Another key member of the team is Paula Brickman, who has worked at Dentures Plus for about 20 years. Her love of arts and crafts is what lead her into the industry and continues to fuel her love for making dentures.

Seeing patients directly, meanwhile, are the clinicians – reassuring and informative people who guide patients through the whole denture process, from taking initial mouldings to helping them select the teeth for the look they want.

They will also discuss any last-minute tweaks patients might might want before the model, initially made in wax, is set in durable acrylic.

Clinician Nicole Yee has been at Dentures Plus for more than six years. Currently, in her third and final year of studying for a maxillofacial master’s qualification, she will soon be able to make and fit prosthetics devices such as false eyes, ears and noses. It is a significant skill set that will complement her already advanced denture-making abilities.

The other clinician at Dentures Plus is co-owner Ryan Carlton.

It was Ryan’s love of artwork and metalwork at high school that lead him into the industry. Nowadays, when he’s not at seeing patients, sculpting dentures or getting messy in the clinic’s plaster room, he can often be found at the racetrack with his motorbike racing with friends.

Ryan is keen to see others follow their passion for motorbike racing and to help provides a little sponsorship for a few riders, one those being Dillon Telford, who is currently racing in Italy and living his dream.

Dentures Plus also stocks everything needed to keep dentures clean and hygienic, with purchases available either over the counter or via this website.

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