Denture Exams & Maintenance
Your dentures are an investment and require care and attention to maintain their optimum performance. The fit of your dentures will have a profound affect on your oral tissues and health. An annual examination by E. Wayne Simmons, DMD or Bryhn Simmons, DMD will help ensure your denture is functioning properly.
Over time your soft tissues (gums) and bone will change and diminish which can cause a looseness of the denture(s). This translates to ‘breaking suction’ or poor speech, ‘sore spots’, poor occlusion (bite), and less chewing efficiency. There generally needs to be a ‘reline’ every two to 5 years, depending on the patient.
It is common for patients to be able to accept dentures for a period of several years, but as time goes on, they become more and more compromised in all the functions we’ve discussed above. It is at this time you may wish to consider the employment of dental implants.
We routinely manage patients who may have worn dentures for 30 years and beyond by converting them into a fixed or permanent “hybrid” ( a prosthesis which replaces all or most of the teeth with the incorporation of dental implants to support the prosthesis, ∗fixed or ∗∗removable.
∗Fixed: patient cannot remove the prosthesis, only the doctor
∗∗Removable: the patient removes the prosthesis daily, multiple times, for cleaning, etc.
The bottom line: no one is too age advanced to consider dental implant treatment
Medical and Dental History
Updating your medical and dental history with any significant changes is critical to maintaining your oral health and well-being. A variety of medical and dental conditions can alter a denture’s fit. In addition, some medical conditions may introduce variables which dictate various treatment considerations.
Annual examinations can assist in detecting oral abnormalities including cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions. Early detection of these conditions is generally beneficial in determining treatment.
In addition, we provide individualized testing for patients presenting with certain medical histories to ensure that the treatment they desire is right for them. This ensures a more reliable successful prognosis.
Tissue and bone
Ill-fitting dentures may cause bone and tissue changes and need to be corrected for your oral health. Our practice can assess and recommend solutions to suit your personal needs.
There are normal daily variances of the soft tissues which support a denture that can seriously affect the ‘sensation of fit’ of a denture. In the case of the ladies, it has been demonstrated that many women will either gain or shed from 3 to 5 lbs. of fluid from morning to night or night to morning, depending on the patient’s metabolism and salt intake. This temporary fluid gain is dispersed fairly evenly over the entire body. This includes the moral gum tissues on which the denture(s) rests. The result is that a denture or set of dentures may feel snug at one time of the day and loose at another. This can cause sore areas from the periodic loose fit due to rocking and shifting. Associated with looseness are speech alterations along with poor chewing function. If you are someone who has to occasionally rely on adhesives, you may fall into this category. We can help with the identification and solution of these problems
For some patients, in order to achieve comfort and dependable function, it is recommended to explore implants to provide a stable “home base” for the denture to function from, if not a fully fixed hybrid solution. (discussed elsewhere on this website).
Comfort, fit, and integrity of dentures
Bite problems, speech impediments and tissue irritations can be caused by an ill-fitting denture and should be remedied. Leaving this condition unchecked can lead to complicated situations in the future. E. Wayne Simmons, DMD and Bryhn Simmons, DMD can assess your dentures for cracks, chips, and broken or loose teeth and suggest solutions.
Overview of denture exam
- Update of medical and dental history chart
- An examination of your oral cavity
- Tissue and bone assessment
- Denture stability and bite examination
- Cleaning and polishing of your denture
- Oral hygiene review