Relines and refitting your dentures

Lower Suction Dentures

Part Two of Immediate Dentures

After your teeth have been extracted the tissues in your mouth begin to drastically change. Your dentures will become very loose soon after insertion.

It is imperative you have follow up appointments with your Denturist to monitor the fit and comfort of your denture(s).

How often are relines necessary?

Over time, oral tissues will undergo significant changes. Some denture wearers experience very little change while others experience more drastic changes. Refitting, otherwise known as relining is completed once the denture has been worn approximately 6-10 months* and most healing is complete.

Why do changes occur in the mouth?

There is a special relationship between the healthy tooth root and the jaw bone. The tooth root encourages the bone to stay strong providing support. Once the teeth have been extracted the bone has no “stimulation” to encourage it to remain, therefore it shrinks (atrophies / resorbs).

As a denture wearer, part of the regular maintenance for your dentures is the occasional procedure of relining or refitting.

What is a reline?

A reline/refit restores proper fit by filling in areas under the denture where supporting gums and bone have shrunk (atrophied). The reline material bonds to the fitted side of the denture and shapes itself to reflect the changes in your mouth. Soon after extractions is when the greatest amount of change occurs. Often so drastic within weeks of extractions, that the dentures are extremely loose. At this time a temporary soft liner is placed to help keep the denture snug while the mouth continues to reshape itself after extractions.

Relining/refitting is an economical way to maintain the proper function and fit of your denture and help keep the supporting tissues from experiencing the stress that a loose or ill-fitting denture can cause.

Are there different reline techniques available?

There are several reline procedures available.

Some require lab procedures, while others may be completed directly in the Denturist’s chair. There are special relines made from soft materials for those with very sensitive or reduced gums.

The most advanced reline material and technique is called Ivocap Injection System. This is a proven advanced technique used in this clinic sine 1988.

Ivocap is known for its superior fit, function and quality.

Relining can extend the life of your denture by keeping the fitted side well adapted to the supporting tissue as it changes over time. Stabilizing a loose denture improves speech, effective chewing and jaw comfort. Never underestimate the intangible benefits of these positive changes: a sense of well being and greater self-confidence.

Recap on reline information-

  • Part of the regular maintenance of your dentures.
  • A reline restores proper fit by filling in areas under the denture where supporting gums have receded.
  • Is an economical way to maintain the proper function and fit of your denture and can extend the life of your denture.
  • Relines are often done following the removal of natural teeth. Otherwise, the recommended minimum time to reline a denture is every 2-3 years*.

Did you know?

You do not need a referral from your Dentist or Medical Doctor to visit a Denturist. Denturists must be licensed with the College of Denturists of Ontario. The College of Denturists is a part of the Regulatory Health Professions Act of Ontario.

*Results may vary

Call Teresa for a consultation

So you Need New Dentures… Now What?

Immidiate dentures

The first thing to do is to ask family members or friends who have dentures for a denturist referral. People who are willing to share their personal experience regarding their denture treatment are the best source for a referral. It may be difficult to know what clinic to choose and who to trust with this very important service that will dramatically impact your overall health. It is important to have a relationship with your dental/healthcare provider and feel comfortable enough to discuss your situation and issues.

Nancy Tomkins, denturist and owner of the Nancy Tomkins & Associates Implant and Denture Clinic believes that word of mouth is the best way for individuals to confidently choose a denture clinic.

Nancy and associate Cliff Muzylowsky encourage questions and suggest you prepare a list of several questions that you may have about your specific situation.This is an opportunity to allay fears that you may have. These may be a few of the questions you are pondering.

ARE ALL DENTURES CREATED EQUAL?

No. Dentures are similar to any other item we purchase. There are inexpensive, low quality and expensive high quality dentures, and you really do get what you pay for. It is not only the dental materials used in fabricating the denture that determines the cost and quality. It is the procedures and techniques used to take critical measurements of the mouth, jaw movements and muscles of mastication and facial expression. However, the other half of the equation is often not even discussed with patients – that is the skill set of the laboratory team.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH DENTURE I NEED?

According to Nancy, that’s where you need to rely on the expert advice from your denturist. The focus of a denturist is fitting and fabricating dentures for better oral and overall health,and they will guide you to the best solution. “That is what we do,” says Nancy. “That is all we do. Our education is solely dedicated to fabricating dentures. Understanding the complexities of the mouth and jaw movements is a small part of what we need to know. We are committed to the advancement of dentures and the overall satisfaction of denture wearers.” Denturism has been a licensed profession in Ontario for over 40 years,and is recognized and regulated by the Ministry of Health.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

Depending on your specific needs, costs may vary.

The question of cost can be addressed at your consultation to give you a better idea of what to expect. It is possible that your dental insurance may cover some of the costs. Each treatment option will have varying costs associated with it, it is best to obtain a written estimate prior to commencement of treatment.

WILL DENTURES CHANGE THE WAY I LOOK?

It may, but only if you want it to change. You have complete control to choose the colour, shape and size of your new dentures. We will advise you and guide you, but ultimately the choice should be yours.

We welcome family members to have input and also, encourage you to bring in pictures from yesteryear to provide guidance for your new smile. Dentures don’t have to look so obvious,we specialize in natural appearing dentures.

If you are like many other denture wearers you have had a dramatic change to your facial appearance surrounding the lips, creating wrinkles and thinning out of the lips.These lines and thinning of the lips may often be dramatically improved when the dentures are fabricated by special measurements and custom fittings. These advanced techniques are part of the precision technology that our clinic has embraced since 1988 from studying in Europe.

This technology ensures proper chewing and mincing of the food, as chewing is the first step in food digestion. Correctly fitted dentures can also impact your health and weight-loss strategies. Properly fitted dentures allow you to eat foods that are more nutritious for you, rather than the overly processed soft foods that many denture wearers are forced to eat because it is easier to chew.

We are in the business to create a better smile for every patient. Your dazzling smile won’t just come from the way it looks, but the way you feel. Call Teresa for a consultation.

A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Tips for Caregivers

We are here to help with your dentures

Tips for Caregivers

  • Wash hands before handling denture or wear disposable gloves.
  • Apply a water-based lip moisturizer and remove dentures from the mouth before brushing thoroughly.
  • Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all surfaces of any remaining natural teeth, and if possible use floss or a proxabrush to clean between the teeth.
  • Brush natural teeth twice daily, especially before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss!
  • Clean and massage all mouth tissues (cheeks, gums, roof and floor of the mouth) with a super soft toothbrush, gauze or an oral swab.
  • Use a tongue scraper or soft toothbrush to clean the tongue from the back to the tip as many germs are harboured in the tongue.
  • Clean dentures over a water-filled sink or a towel to prevent breakage in case they slip from your hands.
  • Use a denture brush with denture paste to brush all surfaces including the underneath or gum side of the dentures. Rinse with warm water. Clean all surfaces of the metal wires [clasps] on partial dentures.
  • Do not use household bleach or abrasive cleaners to clean dentures.
  • Remove denture adhesives daily from the dentures and the mouth to prevent infections and irritations of the tissues. Use only zinc-free denture adhesive products.
  • Soak dentures in a denture cleaner such as NovaDent® or commercial cleansing tablets at least once daily.

Help for dry mouth
A side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva production is affected by some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and by cancer treatment. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession and bone loss.
It also makes denture retention (snug fit) more difficult.

  • Avoid using a mouthwash containing alcohol.
  • Biotene® products (toothpaste, rinse, gel, mouth spray, gum) sold in drugstores help to moisturize and provide relief for dry mouth.
  • Sipping on water, sucking on ice chips, using sugar-free candies and gum may also help to moisturize a dry mouth.

Natural teeth need regular examination by a dentist and regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist.
Dentures need to be examined yearly by a denturist to evaluate their condition, fit, ensure the bite is correct, and for professional cleaning. Denturists Nancy Tomkins and Cliff Muzylowsky can assess the health of the mouth, as well as provide the services necessary to ensure comfortable, well-fitting dentures. We make nursing home calls and work with many local dentists to ensure your oral health concerns are addressed.

– Call Teresa for a consultation

A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Information for Caregivers

We are here to help with your dentures

What is the importance of a healthy mouth?

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for a healthy mouth. Good oral hygiene contributes significantly to overall systemic health and well being. If you are a denture wearer or care for someone that is, well-fitting dentures and a good cleaning routine are necessary.
Removing bacteria and plaque from the natural teeth, gums, dental implants and dentures is important as a daily routine. Dentures harbouring dental plaque may lead to problems with the underlying tissues that support the prosthesis, as well as, create problems for remaining natural teeth. Daily oral care helps to prevent bad breath, infected gums, tooth decay/ loss, abscesses and life-threatening infections. Good oral care can reduce the risk of pneumonia; help to
prevent heart disease, stroke, and problems controlling diabetes.

What are the warning signs?

Bad breath, swollen, red and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, clicking dentures, behaviour such as refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating, are signs of problems in the mouth.
Is dental disease preventable?
Oral cancer and dental disease can afflict anyone, including those missing all of their natural teeth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer are critical. Dental disease is preventable with daily oral care and routine visits to oral health care professionals.

What can I do as a caregiver to assist?

Dental plaque accumulates in everyone’s mouth each day and needs to be removed daily from the natural teeth, oral tissues (including the tongue) and dentures, ideally after each meal. However, we are aware that in nursing homes and in other circumstances this is difficult to achieve.

  • Determine how much help is required, speak with the nursing staff and determine what is required and when it should be done.
  • Make sure that mouth care supplies are on hand and replaced as needed – brushes should be replaced every three months or following illness such as the flu.
  • For residents in facilities, label mouth care supplies – toothbrush, denture brush, tongue scraper and denture container – with their name. In our dental laboratory, we can permanently place names in dentures.
  • Help out by including tooth brushing and denture cleaning during your visits. Wash, rinse and tap excess water from brushes after use and store in an open container to air dry.
  • Make regular appointments for professional oral health and denture care.

A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Information for Caregivers

As Time Goes By

What is the importance of a healthy mouth?

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for a healthy mouth. Good oral hygiene contributes significantly to overall systemic health and well being. If you are a denture wearer or care for someone that is, well-fitting dentures and a good cleaning routine are necessary.

Removing bacteria and plaque from the natural teeth, gums, dental implants and dentures is important as a daily routine. Dentures harbouring dental plaque may lead to problems with the underlying tissues that support the prosthesis, as well as, create problems for remaining natural teeth. Daily oral care helps to prevent bad breath, infected gums, tooth decay/ loss, abscesses and life threatening infections. Good oral care can reduce the risk of pneumonia; help to prevent heart disease, stroke,and problems controlling diabetes.

What are the warning signs?

Bad breath, swollen, red and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, clicking dentures, behaviour such as refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating, are signs of problems in the mouth.

Is dental disease preventable?

Oral cancer and dental disease can afflict anyone, including those missing all of their natural teeth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer is critical.

Dental disease is preventable with daily oral care and routine visits to oral health care professionals.

What can I do as a caregiver to assist?

Dental plaque accumulates in everyone’s mouth each day and needs to be removed daily from the natural teeth, oral tissues (including the tongue) and dentures, ideally after each meal. However, we are aware that in nursing homes and in other circumstances this is difficult to achieve.

  • Determine how much help is required, speak with the nursing staff and determine what is required and when it should be done.
  • Make sure that mouth care supplies are on hand and replaced as needed – brushes should be replaced every three months or following illness such as the flu.
  • For residents in facilities, label mouth care supplies – toothbrush, denture brush, tongue scraper and denture container – with their name. In our dental laboratory we can permanently place names in dentures.
  • Help out by including tooth brushing and denture cleaning during your visits.Wash, rinse and tap excess water from brushes after use and store in an open container to air dry.
  • Make regular appointments for professional oral health and denture care.

Tips for Caregivers

  • Wash hands before handling denture or wear disposable gloves.
  • Apply a water-based lip moisturizer and remove dentures from the mouth before brushing thoroughly.
  • Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all surfaces of any remaining natural teeth,and if possible use floss or a proxabrush to clean between the teeth.
  • Brush natural teeth twice daily, especially before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss!
  • Clean and massage all mouth tissues (cheeks, gums, roof and floor of the mouth) with a super soft toothbrush, gauze or an oral swab.
  • Use a tongue scraper or soft toothbrush to clean the tongue from the back to the tip as many germs are harboured in the tongue.
  • Clean dentures over a water-filled sink or a towel to prevent breakage in case they slip from your hands.
  • Use a denture brush with denture paste to brush all surfaces including the underneath or gum side of the dentures. Rinse with warm water. Clean all surfaces of the metal wires [clasps] on partial dentures.
  • Do not use household bleach or abrasive cleaners to clean dentures.
  • Remove denture adhesives daily from the dentures and the mouth to prevent infections and irritations of the tissues. Use only zinc-free denture adhesive products.
  • Soak dentures in a denture cleaner such as NovaDent® or commercial cleansing tablets at least once daily.

Help for dry mouth

A side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva production is affected by some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and by cancer treatment. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession and bone loss.

It also makes denture retention (snug fit) more difficult.

  • Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol.
  • Biotene® products (toothpaste, rinse, gel,mouth spray, gum) sold in drugstores help to moisturize and provide relief for dry mouth.
  • Sipping on water, sucking on ice chips, using sugarfree candies and gum may also help to moisturize a dry mouth.

Natural teeth need regular examination by a dentist and regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist. Dentures need to be examined yearly by a denturist to evaluate their condition, fit, ensure the bite is correct,and for professional cleaning.

Denturists Nancy Tomkins and Cliff Muzylowsky can assess the health of the mouth, as well as provide the services necessary to ensure comfortable, well fitting dentures. We make nursing home calls and work with many local dentists to ensure your oral health concerns are addressed.

  • Call Teresa for a consultation

Dental Implants and Their Benefits

Dental implants and their benefits

From the desk of Nancy Tomkins

Millions of people experience difficulties associated with missing teeth. These difficulties can severely undermine your self confidence and quality of life.
Missing teeth can compromise your overall health, eating habits, food choices, speech and appearance. When teeth are lost, jaw bone loss is inevitable, which will affect the fit of your denture. Bone loss will result in the denture becoming loose, which may result in difficulty chewing, cause pain, decreased self confidence, and deterioration of the jaw bone structure over time.

What can you do to help yourself?
The preferred method of tooth replacement is a dental implant. Dental implants form a stable foundation for permanent replacement of teeth. If you wear a full denture (missing all teeth) a few implants may be used to “snap” your denture securely into place. Many people think that one dental implant is necessary for each tooth lost, when in fact a few implants ideally placed, may support several missing teeth. Dental implants also act as a support for partial dentures (missing some but not all teeth) in order to eliminate metal wires (clasps) from showing when you smile.

Other than securing my denture, what other benefits are there to dental implants?
Implants help to preserve the jaw bone by providing stimulation that was previously provided by the natural healthy tooth root. Maintaining bone structure also helps to maintain the integrity of your facial structures. The bone loss over years can be drastic, exposing denture wearers to uncomfortable gums and sensitive nerve impingement.

After all these years, do I have enough bone left to place dental implants?
I have been providing denture implant related treatment since 1988. There has never been a patient I have referred to the implant placing doctor that did not have enough bone. With the evolution of implants and the knowledge of dental professionals, so much wonderful advanced technology is available to create bone in areas where it may be necessary. There are small diameter implants and shorter implants with greater strength that may be used in areas where bone is not optimum.

Who makes the dental implants?
I believe this to be the most important question to ask. I am amazed when patients consult with me for a second opinion and have been given no information regarding the implant system, the company’s reputation or its biomechanical (technical advantages) over another company’s implant. All dental implant manufactures claim to have the best technology, similar to car manufacturers who market their vehicles to us. In fact, more people will know more about the vehicle they are purchasing than the dental implant technology they are considering.
Long term clinical documentation is the only way to compare technology and companies with one another. Straumann ® is the world leader in dental implants. In my 29 years of practice, I trust their technology to be very advanced, offering the clinician and patient many more treatment options. Dental implants are the closest possible replacement for natural teeth, and the best way to restore your natural smile. The cost of these implants has become very affordable. Ask your Denturist about how dental implants might be the right solution for you.

Why are dental implants a good choice?
Implant secured dentures are more stable and “real” feeling than most types of dentures. Implants are a proven restoration option with a long, clinical history and an excellent success rate. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or all your missing teeth. Many patients who have chosen implant secured dentures report they are happy and comfortable for the first time since the loss of their natural teeth.

Is there pain when placing dental implants?
Often, patients who are missing all their teeth have not seen a dentist for decades. They are frightened by the thought of having any dental work performed. In fact, studies show that the number one excuse denture wearers use for not having implants placed is they are dental phobic.
With the advancements in dental fear management and techniques, patients report to me, if they knew that it was that simple, they would have done it years ago.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • improved oral health
  • ability to eat well and enjoy a variety of foods
  • increased nutritional intake/digestion
  • improvement to overall general health
  • increased self-esteem
  • increased denture comfort
  • increased denture stability

In summary, so often denture patients tell me that they lost their teeth when they were young and were not in the same financial situation they are today. With the advancements in dentistry, you can turn the hands of time backwards and restore your smile to the way it once was.
Call Teresa for a consultation.

Meet my Fabulous Team

Nancy Tomkins and Cliff at the denturist clinic

As the clinician treating patients directly, I receive all the kind words, homemade preserves, cookies and thank you cards. I really appreciate the kind gestures and take them all to heart. I even share my cookies with the people who make me look good every day –my caterpillars, the staff who I refer to as the ‘team’.

Patients may not recognize that part of my success is due to my dedicated and loyal team. Individuals who work diligently alongside me without complaint. This article is dedicated to them, as they deserve as much of the publicity as I receive, helping to create smiles and healthy mouths. I am honored to work with this team; they are fun, hardworking and reliable. Allow me to tell you a bit about each of them and introduce you to my‘family’.

Teresa Catherwood, Office Manager/Receptionist.

Teresa and I first met while working for Dr. Mark Mahnin Paris in October 1985. She was his dental receptionist and I was the dental technician fabricating dentures for Dr. Mahn’s patients. In 1994 Teresa left to work forDr. Bruce McConnell in Cambridge and was whisked away to work for me when I opened my own denture clinic on Charing Cross Street in 1999.

Teresa has vast knowledge of all dental procedures, insurance claims and direct electronic billings. She is the famous friendly voice on the phone and the warm bright smile when she greets you by name as you enter the clinic. She is recognized wherever she goes in Paris and Brantford and always has a smile on her face. Teresa is very active member of St. James Church in Paris, enjoys golfing, gardening and you will hear her singing to the tunes playing on the radio. She has a lovely voice.

Marie Jenkinson, Certified BPS denture technician has been working with me since 1997. I have known Marie the longest of all the employees, as she is my sister. She used to take me to Disney movies when I was young and was my biggest fan cheering me on during my softball playing days. Marie is known in the profession as the ‘Ivocap Queen’, as she has perfected this advanced technique in Canada. She is often everywhere in the clinic, trained to cover Teresa when she is away from her front desk and in the on-site laboratory ensuring that things are running on time. Marie is skilled at all aspects of denture fabrication and makes it possible to offer to our patients same day denture repairs. Often done in a few hours for their convenience. Marie is an avid golfer, reader and enjoys gardening.

Sandra Goergen, Certified Dental Technician from Germany. I met Sandra during a BPS Masters denture course in July 2001 and since April 2004 she calls this beautiful country, home. Sandra’s unique skills are known throughout many countries and she has trained hundreds of dentists, dental technicians and denturists in the advanced denture fabrication techniques since1999. Unlike other technicians, you will often find Sandra in the treatment room with Nancy or Cliff discussing treatment with their patients. She brings her vast skills chairside to assist in the procedures, which allows for a predictable, successful outcome. Sandra is an avid alpine skier, enjoys the outdoors, especially during the winter and is a great cook.

Krista Cooper, Certified Denal Assistant.I first met Krista in 1996 while I was doing consulting work in a dental office in Brantford. This bubbly, bright-eyed young woman who loved to laugh impressed me and we soon became friends. Laughing at each other for admitting that we are self-diagnosed germaphobes who love music and like to dance.

Krista has been a certified Dental Assistant since 1995. She is also a certified Treatment Coordinator, who has worked in different aspects of dentistry. She has worked in general practices, orthodontics and now in dentures and dental implants. Krista is the clinic’s Infection Prevention Officer working diligently to maintain high sterilization and asepsis standards. She enjoys attending educational seminars and training sessions to learn about the new techniques and products that are introduced to the market each year.

In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her children, dogs and cats. She is close to her parents and loves to learn new things. Krista recently enrolled in healthy cooking classes, becoming aware of healthy living and loving it!

And to make my fabulous team complete, I have the pleasure of working with an associate to provide services to our patients.

Cliff Muzylowsky, Certified Denturist. I have known Cliff for over 25 years. A well respected Denturist in the profession. Cliff graduated from Western University with his Bachelor of Science in 1977 and became a denturist in 1981. He is a former Registrar for theCollege of Denturists of Ontario and worked for 8 years as the Executive Director of the Denturist Association of Ontario. His hometown is London, Ontario and he practiced in Toronto in his own clinic until 5 years ago, when he decided to relocate out of the big city to work in Brantford. He has fit into this clinic of all women with ease and his patients grow fond of his gentle, compassionate demeanor. Cliff enjoys reading, traveling and scuba diving with his wife Linda.

Call Teresa for a consultation.

As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By

The New Year is a time to reflect on the past, consider the present, and plan for the future. Ushering in the New Year marks the passage of time. We hear phrases such as “where did the year go?” and “how time flies”. Some view the passage of time unfavourably. However, by being conscious of time, acknowledging change and heeding a call to action, time can become our ally in living a life of happiness and health – including our oral health.

Time Goes By
During the course of daily living, it is easy to lose track of time and awareness of the time interval related to objects and events. A case in point is the fact that denture wearers frequently forget when their dentures were made and/or they do not think about the age of their dentures. Dentures are subject to formidable chewing forces which, over the span of time, causes them to wear and affects how they fit and function. On average dentures have a life span of about eight to ten years; however, in order to extend their useful life, fit properly, be comfortable and chew efficiently, dentures need to be periodically examined, adjusted and refitted (relined) by a denturist. Unfortunately, many people who are managing with their dentures tend to forget about their oral health and fail to have regular checkups.

Change Happens
Our bodies are not static; they are constantly changing. This also holds true for our mouths, especially after teeth have been extracted. Following extraction, gums/bone will change rapidly and they will continue to shrink throughout one’s lifetime. Denture wearers are usually unaware of the changes happening within their mouth and with their dentures because changes are typically subtle and occur gradually over the course of time. Frequently, denture wearers are unaware of problems that are developing until they face an emergency, such as pain or a broken denture.

It is important that everyone have their intraoral (mouth) and extraoral (head and neck) examined annually, regardless of the number of natural teeth missing. Oral disease can occur even after all of a person’s teeth have been extracted. Oral disease does not always provide clear warning signs in the early stages of development. Oral disease, including oral cancer, is often treatable, however, early detection is critical. In addition to a visual and tactile exam, a number of newer screening technologies have become available to assist with the early detection of oral abnormalities. For instance, the Velscope® – a hand-held device that uses fluorescent light – can help to identify abnormalities often before they can be identified with the unassisted eye. Early detection can lead to more treatment options, potentially less invasive treatments and better outcomes.

Take Action
Symbolically, the New Year is the time of year when people acknowledge the need for and embrace change. People make plans for the coming year and programs, such as dental insurance, are refreshed. Good oral health is essential to one’s overall health and happiness. When was your last oral checkup? Are you confident with your smile? Are you able to eat the foods that you want to eat? Caregivers: are the people you are providing care for comfortable and able to eat with their dentures? The New Year is a fitting time to take action. Good oral health is essential to you and your loved ones’ overall health and happiness. Call Teresa for a consultation or to schedule a Velscope® examination. From all of us at the Nancy Tomkins & Associates Implant and Denture Clinic, we wish you a happy and healthy new year.

The Technical Aspect of Dentures

Nancy Tomkins working on dental implants

There are two components involved in the detailed process of designing, constructing and fabricating precision dentures: the clinical procedures performed by Nancy and Cliff directly in the patient’s mouth, and the technical procedures completed in our denture laboratory.

Fabricating precision dentures is far more complex than most people realize and multiple appointments are required to determine the specific measurements unique to each patient to ensure optimum fit, ideal function and a natural looking smile.

In our laboratory we use high quality European dental materials to simulate the gum tissue and teeth. Since we all have varying shades of gum tissue, denture acrylic is available in different shades. The commercially manufactured teeth are also available in a variety of shades, shapes and material quality that reflects directly on the natural appearance, durability and cost of the dentures.

Cheap denture teeth are used far too often in the fabrication of dentures without the patient being aware of it. This compromises the durability, chewing efficiency and appearance of the denture.

The process of creating a denture begins with an impression (mould) of the upper and lower arches (gums). These impressions are used to create dental stone models that are replicas of the arches. A customized form-fitting impression tray is fabricated on these models to take a second, far more detailed impression, using precise impression material to capture muscle movement. After a second set of dental stone models are poured, a wax rim is fabricated to assist Nancy or Cliff with establishing the bite (the relation of the upper and lower arches to each other).

This information is now transferred into an articulator – an instrument that holds the positioning of the arches to each other and simulates the movements of the jaw (opening, closing and side movements that we all do while chewing and speaking). Once the bite is established, the selected denture teeth are set up in wax according to specific measurements.

This arrangement of teeth is tried in the mouth so that adjustments can be made. After Nancy or Cliff have verified the correct bite with the patient, and all esthetic (appearance) and phonetic (speech) requirements are met, the denture is processed (completed).

Finishing a denture is a time-consuming process whereby the form of the wax denture, including the denture teeth, is invested in dental stone to replace the wax with pink dental acrylic. This investment is heated, and the wax is removed. The empty mould is then filled through high-pressure injection.

After a curing period, the stone investment is removed, the acrylic is trimmed and polished, and the denture is complete.

Because each mouth is as unique as your fingerprint, the techniques that are used in our clinic are even more comprehensive than explained above. We use additional measurements and equipment (eg: intra oral pintracer and facebow) to establish the precise bite and the correct position of the stone models in the articulator in order to simulate the accurate movements of the patient’s jaw.

It is important to know that the quality of materials used in denture fabrication and the correct alignment of the denture teeth is critical for optimum fit and function.

Am I Too Old?

Cliff in the denture clinic

This is a question that we often hear during consultations with patients considering their options for denture treatment.
Many people wonder if it’s worth spending money on new dentures or dental implants because they are not sure how much longer they will be around to enjoy them. Surprisingly, some of these people are only in their 60s and 70s! But the question should really be, ‘what is the quality of life I want to enjoy now?’

Dentures affect more than just how you look, they are critical to your self-confidence, speech and chewing efficiency all of which have a direct significant impact on your nutrition and overall health and longevity. We have had several patients over the years that are well into their 90s – and beyond – who chose to improve their quality of life with new dentures and dental implants after years of suffering. They improved their quality of life by improving the fit and comfort of their dentures.

At 92 years of age, Edna came to us with tremendous lower jaw pain. She was unable to eat because her dentures were not fitting well. Her health was seriously declining due to her inability to eat and subsequent weight loss, and out of concern her son was anxious to find a solution for his mother. After discussing the options of new dentures versus dental implants, Edna opted to have the dentures without implants. Edna’s son drove 2 hours each way to bring her to our clinic for the multiple appointments necessary to complete her treatment. When her dentures were inserted, Edna was elated. She is now able to eat comfortably and Edna’s son said, “I am not sure if I can handle the ecstasy, it is all that she talks about.” Edna is pain-free and enjoying food again.

Ruby was 93 years of age when she came to the clinic for a consultation. She decided against replacing her 40 year old dentures, “I am too old for new ones.” Recently, at the age of 101, Ruby decided she would spend the money and get new dentures, and she is excited at the prospect of eating in comfort.

Close to 94 years of age, Eleanor had dental implants placed to improve the stability of her lower denture because her son told her he had dental implants placed at age 72, and ‘they are a miracle’. She just celebrated her 102nd birthday and she continues to eat comfortably and every day enjoys the present she gave herself, “… when I was younger.”

I consulted with Paul a few days before his 100th birthday. He didn’t need new dentures; he required an upper denture refit/reline as he had recently lost a few pounds. On his 100th birthday, I telephoned Paul to see how he was doing and to make sure everything was comfortable. He said, “Thanks to you, I’m eating a steak on my 100th birthday!“

These individuals demonstrate that no one is too old for new/replacement dentures or dental implants as the quality of life should be important at any age. Comfortable dentures allow you to eat and smile your way through any social function, without the worry or pain of ill-fitting dentures. Efficient chewing, safe swallowing through proper mincing of food, and the ability to comfortably eat a variety of healthy and delicious food contribute to a high quality of life, no matter what your age. We inform our patients of all their treatment options regardless of their age.

Call Teresa for a consultation.

*Not their real names- true stories.

A Warm and Welcoming Environment

Nancy Tomkins Denture Clinic in Brantford is conveniently located at the corner of Charing Cross Street and St.Paul Avenue in a bright, fully wheelchair accessible clinic with ample free parking.

Fully certified and equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, we pride ourselves in offering our patients the absolute best in precision denture solutions in a warm and friendly environment.

No dentist referral necessary.