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.