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Busting denture myths

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MYTH: DENTURES ARE UNBREAKABLE AND WILL LAST A LIFETIME 

FACT: Dentures typically last anywhere between five and seven years. No dental material can be guaranteed for a lifetime or to be unbreakable. “Even with proper care, dentures can lose their natural appearance and chewing ability due to brushing and age. They can become warped or dry out if placed in hot water,” explained New Brunswick Dental Society.1 Also, as a patient ages the gums begin to change or deteriorate, and the dentures become looser. Adjustments can be made including relines but eventually they will need to be replaced. However, taking good care of dentures does extend their lifetime. This includes placing them in a container of denture-cleaning solution at night, avoid abrasives and use a brush that is designed for dentures and make use of a denture cleaner rather than toothpaste, which can be too abrasive for dentures.2 

MYTH: PEOPLE WITH DENTURES DON’T NEED TO VISIT THE DENTIST/DENTURIST 

FACT: Many patients believe that once they have dentures that means they no longer need to visit a dentist. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Having dentures is an ongoing process that requires maintenance. “The tissue in the mouth is constantly changing and can be affected by many variables,” said Swiss Denture & Implant Center. Explaining that a patient’s general health, weight, tension, nutrition, blood pressure, the strength their bite, and medication they are taking can influence the fit and comfort of their dentures, they advised that a patient’s mouth and dentures should be checked at least once a year to monitor and correct any changes which may have taken place.3

MYTH: ALL DENTURES REQUIRE ADHESIVES TO FIT PROPERLY 

FACT: Future Smiles Denture Clinic described this as a particularly dangerous myth. “Properly fitted dentures will fit precisely and should not require adhesive for comfort. Dental adhesives can hold dentures in place in emergencies while a patient waits to see their denturist or dentist, but prolonged use can mask infections and cause bone loss in their jaws,” the Clinic warned. “Poor fitting dentures also cause irritation, which may contribute to the development of painful sores over time.” If a patient complains about their dentures feeling loose or that they cause them pronounced discomfort, encourage them to make an appointment with their denturist as soon as possible.4

MYTH: DENTURE WEARERS CAN’T EAT NORMALLY OR SPEAK PROPERLY 

FACT: “While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, many have very few restrictions in their diets,” Sydenham Denture Clinic said laying fears to rest. So, if a patient develops persistent speech or eating problems at any time, advise them to make a trip to their denturist to check out the fit of the denture as soon as possible. “Good nutrition is just as important for older patients as it is for younger patients,” advised the Clinic. “Properly fitting dentures may encourage the patient to eat a varied and well-balanced diet that maximises their overall health and they’ll be able to enjoy the social benefits that make dining with friends such a pleasant experience.5 

MYTH: EVERYONE WILL KNOW I’M WEARING DENTURES 

FACT: “For many patients, the idea of wearing dentures can be scary or embarrassing because they assume that these replacement teeth will appear noticeable and unnatural,” explained Future Smiles Denture Clinic. “However, modern, high-quality, and custom-built dentures can be moulded exactly to a patient’s jaw and gum line and will feel and look very natural.”6 According to Sydenham Denture Clinic, if it’s visible that a patient is wearing dentures then they need to be re-fitted. “If the patient’s dentures are clicking or slipping, have an unpleasant odour or stains, these are all signs of poor fit or improper home maintenance. Regular professional examinations and following a denturist’s instructions on home care are essential steps in assuring a natural appearance.”5  

REFERENCES:  

  1. New Brunswick Dental Society. ‘Denture Facts: If You Wear Dentures.’ Available from: https://www.nbdent.ca/your-oral-health/seniors-oral-health/denture-facts/ 
  2. WebMD. ‘Dental Health and Dentures.’ Available from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-dentures 
  3. Swiss Denture Clinic and Implant Center. ‘Denture Myths and Facts.’ Available from: https://swissdenturecenter.com/dental-prosthetics/info/myths-and-facts/ 
  4. Future Smiles Denture Clinic. ‘Denture Myths.’ Available from: https://calgarydentureclinic.net/blog/Denture+Myths/55 
  5. Sydenham Denture Clinic. ‘Denture Myths.’ Available from: https://sydenhamdentureclinic.com/learn/denture-myths/ 
  6. Future Smiles Denture Clinic. ‘5 Facts About Dentures You May Not Know.’ Available from: https://calgarydentureclinic.net/blog/5+Facts+About+Dentures+You+May+Not+Know/146 

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