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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is It Time for New Dentures Yet?

"Doctor, I had these dentures made 30 years ago, do you think it is time for new dentures?"
" I mean, they still feel pretty good!"

Well, my response to the patient is "let me have a look!"

My gut feeling tells me what I am going to find but never be so arrogant as to assume that you are correct without even investigating.

The patient takes out their denture and the biting surface is completely flat and worn down.  No wander their chin looks like it is approaching their nose, the teeth are so worn that the vertical dimension of their face has decreased.  When I look at the dentures the inside is full of plaque and food.  A signal that the denture is not fitting properly.  I put the dentures back into the mouth to see how much movement there is in the denture especially the upper and yes the denture moves all over her upper jaw.  Another sign the denture is not fitting properly.  I ask the patient to smile to check the aesthetics and you can hardly see the teeth as they are so worn down.

I address the patient, "yes Mrs. Jones, I think it is time for a new denture!"

New dentures every 5 years or so is a good rule of thumb.  You can go a little longer but they have to still fit well and not be worn on the surfaces.  Have your dentist advise you.

All the best

Dr. Ron Barzilay

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