Dental Implants Versus Dentures What is There to Compare?

Lady biting in apple with dentures

The media abounds with articles about dental implants and dentures. The internet also contributes to the volume of information accessible to consumers. However, the vast amount of material available can result in information overload and sometimes lead to confusion. Comparisons commonly made about dental implants and dentures may add to the confusion.

In fact, there is no comparison between dental implants and dentures. It is like comparing apples to oranges. With dental implants and dentures, one does not include or exclude the other. Perhaps describing what they are and their purpose in the oral cavity will help to shed some light on the subject.

Dentures
Dentures are the replacement of one, multiple or all teeth and their supporting structures i.e. the soft tissue (gums) and hard bone. This could be in one arch (jaw) or both arches (upper and lower). A tooth or teeth can be missing for a variety of reasons: decay (cavities), periodontal (gum) disease, injury (sports and other accidents), or congenitally missing (born without). There are different types of dentures fabricated from different materials: dental plastics (acrylics) and/or dental metals. Dentures are further classified into partial (some teeth missing) to complete (all teeth missing) on that arch. Dentures are designed to be removed by the wearer after each meal for cleaning. They are easily removed as they rest on soft tissue with no anchor or they clip to remaining healthy natural teeth as anchors. Dentures ‘sit’ on the soft and hard tissue of the jaw bone.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone usually with minor oral surgery. New cells then grow and fix (integrate) the implant into the jawbone. Dental implants serve as anchors to secure an oral prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, or denture. A natural tooth consists of the root (the part below the surface of the gums) and the crown (the part above the gums). A dental implant replaces the root but it does not include the crown. A dental implant by itself does not replace a tooth or teeth. It is an anchor to which a crown or denture can be made and attached to. A simplistic analogy for dental implants would be to think of them as a house foundation. Houses can be built on the ground when there is solid ground underneath such as bedrock. However, if the ground is soft, then a house is likely to settle and have problems if it isn’t supported by a foundation. The same is true for dentures, especially complete lower dentures. A foundation is a part of a house; it is not a house on its own. A foundation is the anchor/support for the house that is built on top of it. A dental implant is not a complete replacement for a missing tooth. It is an artificial root; it is not a tooth on its own. A dental implant serves as an anchor or foundation for the tooth or teeth that will be fabricated and attached on top of it.

Replacing Missing Teeth
Are you or someone that you know missing a tooth, several or all of the teeth? There are a number of treatment options including dental implants for different situations. Here are three common scenarios.

1. Single Tooth Missing
A simple solution to replace a missing tooth is an acrylic partial denture that is removable by the patient. A fixed bridge is another solution. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are prepared to hold the bridge permanently in place. A fixed bridge cannot be removed by the patient. And then there is the implant alternative. A dental implant (artificial root) is placed in the jaw where the tooth is missing. A period of time is allowed for healing and integration of the implant. Afterwards, a single crown the shape, size and colour of the missing tooth is fabricated and fixed to the dental implant. The crown cannot be removed by the patient.

2. Multiple Teeth Missing
Removable partial dentures, an acrylic partial or cast metal partial with wire clasps to retain the denture, are options to replace multiple missing teeth on an arch. Depending on the number of missing teeth and their location, dental implants can be used in different ways to assist tooth replacement. One approach involves the placement of multiple implants and a fixed restoration that is not removable by the patient. Partials on implants that can be removed by the patient are another alternative. These dentures are fabricated to fit over and attach onto dental implants. One or two implants can hold a partial prosthesis securely in place, the denture can be made without clasps.

3. All Teeth Missing
When all the natural teeth are missing a number of options are available.
A conventional acrylic complete denture can be fabricated. The denture sits directly on the gum tissue. However, holding complete dentures in place (retention) can be very challenging for some patients, especially complete lower denture wearers who have lost a lot of bone. Denture adhesive is a common but unfavourable solution. There are different approaches to replacing all the teeth that utilize dental implants. The minimum placement of 2 implants on the lower arch can help to retain a lower denture. The placement of multiple implants (minimum of 3 to 4) allows a more secure and stable approach to retain and support the denture. It is also possible to replace all of the missing teeth with a prosthesis that is fixed onto dental implants and is not removable by the patient. There are pro and cons to all the alternatives for each individual. It is important to seek different opinions in order to decide which option is best for you. With advancements in materials, design and techniques, dental implants have come a long way since their introduction in the late sixties. Dental implants allow the closest possible replacement for natural teeth and the best way to restore your natural smile. Ask your Dental Professional about how dental implants might be the right solution for you.

Call Teresa for a consultation.

Are You Tired Of Eating Only The Foods You Can, Not The Foods You Want?

You can eat anything with dentures

Too often this question is answered with a resounding “Yes”, both by denture wearers and those with missing natural teeth. In addition, there is frequently a lack of confidence and a great deal of embarrassment due to missing natural
teeth, broken and ill-fitting dentures and the inability to eat certain foods.
The limited food choices available for those unable to chew properly includes overly processed foods with inadequate nutritional value and very few manageable options for fruits, vegetables and proteins like meat or nuts.
A restrictive diet results in poor nutrition which can lead to a multitude of health issues – including heartburn, acid reflux, obesity, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues and more – which can significantly affect the quality of your life. The solution to your chewing dilemma is easier to solve than you might think. Our clinic specializes in the design, fabrication, fitting and adjustment of complete and removable partial dentures, as well as overdentures on implants. Referrals are not required, and most of our fees are covered by dental plans.
Because most laboratory work is performed on the premises, the quality of care is customized and personal.
We can improve your oral health, which impacts your overall health, as well as your smile, by providing denture solutions.
Take this self-assessment quiz to determine if visiting a denturist is right for you.
Do you have missing natural teeth?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you cover your smile with your hand or
are embarrassed by your smile?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you have missing back teeth (molars) and
think that just because no one can see that
they are missing that it is not important to
your health?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you avoid restaurants or social events
because you cannot eat the majority of food
on the menu?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do your denture teeth feel dull and are you
unable to efficiently eat apple skins, meat or
salad?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you have difficulty efficiently chewing
your food well enough to swallow safely?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you get heartburn or an upset stomach
after eating?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Are your dentures loose? Do they slip or
drop when you eat or laugh?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do they cause discomfort and stop you from
enjoying your favourite foods?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Are your dentures cracked, missing teeth or
stained?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do you have to wear denture adhesive
(Poligrip®) to hold your dentures in place?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Are your dentures over 7 years old?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Do the corners of your mouth appear red
and cracked?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Is your speech impaired with dentures?
❏ Yes ❏ No
Does your family tell you that you don’t
show enough front teeth?
❏ Yes ❏ No
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, make an appointment to discover how you can restore your smile, your confidence and get back to a healthy and nutritious diet.
Call Teresa for a consultation

Denture Myths

Denture myths

When it comes to myths, dentures have a colourful collection.

Unfortunately, many common misconceptions about dentures have prevented denture wearers from achieving their optimum oral and general health, appearance and self-confidence.
Some denture myths are; dentures last forever and all dentures are fabricated using the same techniques and skill. We invite you to read on as we debunk some of these denture myths.
There are approximately 40 million North Americans who wear complete or partial dentures. These are dentures that replace one or all natural teeth, this does not take into consideration those individuals with missing teeth, who have chosen not to wear denture(s) due to economics or other factors.

Dentures last forever. True or False? False.
While it’s true that dentures are durable, they will not last forever as your mouth changes over time and the fit and bite are affected. Take for example eyeglasses, (spectacles) everyone knows that your eyesight changes over time, requiring new prescription lenses. The oral tissues and jaw bones may change significantly requiring relines (refitting) of your denture(s) or new dentures.

Once I have my denture[s] made, I don’t need to see my denturist unless I have a sore spot. True or False?
False. If you want to maintain a healthy mouth and an accurate fit of your denture(s) you should see your denturist at least once a year. The oral tissues and jaw bone may change so dramatically in a person’s lifetime that an annual check-up may detect a problem before it begins. Another important reason for annual checkups is to detect oral cancer or any other tissue abnormality. Oral cancer is on a dramatic rise and if detected in the early stages, may drastically increase your chance of survival. Oral cancer is not detected just in those who smoke; everyone should have a checkup by their dental professional. Special cancer screening devices, such as Velscope® will screen for cancer and other abnormalities before it is visible to the naked eye.
During your annual checkup appointment, the following should also be checked and questions are asked to gauge the following:
– Optimum, comfortable fit of dentures. Loose dentures cause chronic gum irritation and/or rapid bone shrinkage
– Sore spots – open lesions caused by ill-fitting dentures
– Determine how effectively you are eating – are the teeth dull? Are you able to chew food as you once did when your dentures were new? Are the teeth flat and smooth, is mincing of food impossible, causing stomach and digestion problems?
– Are you choosing softer, overcooked foods with little nutritional value because you are unable to chew effectively and comfortably?
– Increased swallowing problems that may lead to choking
– Are your facial muscles and lips being supported by the dentures and are you content with the appearance of the dentures and facial structures (lips, chin and wrinkles around the mouth)

Denture wearers can’t eat normally. True or False?
This myth is both true and false. While many denture wearers cannot eat everything they would like, some do have few restrictions in their diets because they have either precision dentures, good supportive bone structure or have had dental implants placed to secure their denture[s].
Although being able to chew all foods is wonderful, the key is really about nutrition and the food value to assist your body function, immune system and in staying energetic. Chewing is simply the ability to break down a food bolus (a piece of food in your mouth) small enough to swallow safely. Food is safe to swallow when it has been minced to the consistency of apple sauce.
What happens to that food after it is swallowed is the critical piece of eating food. No restriction to food intake means that a variety of foods, food textures and nutritional values are consumed for good general health. Your mother likely told you to chew your food 40 times before swallowing- she was right! The stomach requires small pieces to be able to process the food and prepare it for the small intestine to absorb and use to fuel and keep your body healthy. Good nutrition is a key component of a healthy lifestyle for people of all ages. However, for the elderly, nutrition is especially important for staying fit and fighting off disease. One of the most important reasons for good nutrition is resistance to disease, says Caroline Fee, a member of the core faculty at the Stanford Geriatric Resource Center and lecturer in the department of nutrition and food services at San Jose State University.
Dental problems can also get in the way of good nutrition. Poorly fitting dentures, dull chewing surfaces of dentures, tooth decay, missing ‘back’ teeth and other problems can interfere with the ability to chew and swallow, making eating less enjoyable or even painful. Good nutrition is just as important for senior adults as it is for younger adults. Optimally fitting dentures may actually encourage you to eat a varied and well-balanced diet that maximizes your oral and general health, you will then be able to enjoy the social benefits that make dining with friends/family such a pleasant experience!

All dentures are fabricated the same. True or False?
False. Is there a difference between automotive manufacturers? Absolutely. As with any technology and craftsmanship, there is a varying qualitative difference in denture fabrication. There is advanced technology and there is dated technology. Advanced technology is the sophistication of the instruments used, and the knowledge and skill set used in the fabrication of the denture. Don’t buy just on price, but rather based on the service and care given after the dentures are inserted. Ask a lot of questions, including if there is a guarantee and discuss other treatment options with your denturist.
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.

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.

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.