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.