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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.

Dentures Plus is proud to support NZ Superbike Team TR20

Monday, July 16, 2018

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.

Implant-supported Dentures

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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.

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 For over-the-counter purchases, visit the clinic at 396 Innes Rd, St Albans.

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