When it comes to dentures, no two patients and their needs are ever exactly the same. Here are the 3 golden rules of dentures as demonstrated by 3 different denture cases that we recently came across here at The Healthy Smile Dental Center. And we all know, we always follow the golden rules.
If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium
Did you see that movie? It was a light comedy that came out in 1969. It reflected a cultural phenomenon at that time where people would pay for vacations overseas that visited multiple countries in a short time. These whirlwind tours became a favorite in the ’50s and ’60s. What does this have to do with teeth?
If This is Tuesday, It Must Be Dentures Day
I want to share with you my version of this picture. It’s entitled “If This is Tuesday, It Must Be Denture Day.”
One of the joys of dental practice for me is the variety. One day it is all crowns. Another day is all root canals.
Last Tuesday was an all denture day. I saw three patients who requested dentures. Each one was different, and each one drove home a different principle.
I want to share these 3 Golden Rules of Dentures with you.
The Golden Rules of Dentures
Rule 1: Dentures were meant to chew with another denture.
My first patient had an ill-fitting upper denture. Besides struggling with the fit, her denture had cracked and was never the same after that. In her case, her upper denture was chewing against a full set of natural lower teeth. It is a known fact that the chewing forces exerted by natural teeth are tremendous. Think of a dog going after your leg. Serious damage can occur. An upper denture, which is made from a special acrylic many times falls victim to these high forces. The result is a cracked denture. When I see this situation, I incorporate procedures in the new denture to avoid this unwanted yet inevitable result.
Rule 2: Corporate Dentistry is Expensive
My second patient came to me for a second opinion. She needed all her teeth removed. Decay and broken teeth took their toll in her mouth. She asked me for advice and then a cost estimate. My fee for the same service was incredibly much less money. Everyone thinks that large corporate practices have low prices and are a bargain. I have found over the years that just the opposite is true. Private practice dentistry usually exhibits a better fee structure only due to fewer costs in running a practice. The practice that can manage overhead offers considerable savings to the patient.
Rule 3: A Denture is Not for Everyone
My last patient of the day wanted her remaining six teeth removed and an upper denture made for her. She had to get everything done in August in a week that she was off from work. We spoke over the phone a few weeks earlier, and I told her to get all the preliminary work done in July, and I could fulfill her time requirements
When I met her on “Denture Tuesday,” it turns out that she doesn’t need a denture at all. A couple of crowns would solve one of her main concerns. Her teeth were all stable and in pretty good condition. Her second complaint of metal showing on her partial was a perfect situation for a metal-free partial denture. These two procedures did not require spending her vacation week with me. The work will be performed on her weekly day off. What day is that? You guessed it. It is on Tuesday!
Every Patient’s Situation is Unique
Three patients all presented with the same request. Each one was unique and treated uniquely. There was no preset mold or script to follow. Many times, we believe that one size fits all. This mistaken concept neglects our individuality and the requirement that everyone must be treated based upon his or her needs. The three treatments were all customized and created for each person.
If you are thinking of a denture, whether it is your first experience or a denture wearer, please call Joyce at (440) 892-1810 and set up a visit to discuss your mouth. You are special, and your dental care must follow suit. I look forward to meeting and helping you.
Jeffrey Gross, DDS, FAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.