If you or a loved one has questions regarding dentures and would like to meet with us, we can be reached at (207) 236-4740. We would love to help you have the best possible denture possible.
Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here? It would be fun to do another denture for a patient for Donated Dental Services. What can we do to make a better denture? What can we do that is “New and improved“?
Dentures with Color Characterization
One of my pet peeves with dentures is the pink acrylic. We like dentures that look natural. It’s a dead giveaway to a denture when someone smiles widely and you can see the pink acrylic. As a dentist, I do all I can to try to hide that pink acrylic under the lip. Last summer, I did a few dentures using a new technique in which the dentures’ pink acrylic is done with color characterization. The first case I did gave me goose bumps! When I delivered the denture to the patient’s mouth, I was stunned — it seemed like the denture disappeared. I couldn’t see the boundaries of the denture; when looking in the patient’s mouth, all I could see were the teeth and the patient’s mucosal tissue. It blended in perfectly, to the point where my eye couldn’t detect anything unnatural.
I love this idea! The patient doesn’t have to worry about laughing. It disturbs me when patients have to concentrate on keeping their lips together, so as not to show the pink acrylic.
This color characterization is relatively new. The technique for the lab is challenging. I have spoken to lab technicians and they have explained to me how difficult it is, layering the different pink mucosal colors, only to have it all melt in the end. There definitely is a learning curve. We are in the process of working with labs that can deliver this feature in a consistent manner.
Fabricate a denture with less visits.
The next area that I would like to improve on is the number of visits. To do Mike’s case, we needed a minimum of five visits to do his dentures. Can it be done in fewer visits? There is a fair amount of buzz out there now on digital dentures. Some labs are even claiming that they can deliver a denture in two visits! This year, while at Yankee Dental 2013, I was curious, so we went looking.
After listening to a presentation on digital dentures, the main concern I had with this “new and improved” approach was that I as a dentist had no control of where to place the front six upper teeth. I asked how it was determined where the front six teeth were placed. I was told that the computer would decide. We at Seasons of Smiles Dental like to think of ourselves as a high tech dental office, but how can the computer know about the lips, the eyes, and a host of other factors when placing the front six teeth? I must admit I’m skeptical, I’m thinking the old method may be preferred. Everything does seem to be going digital. We will continue to monitor these developments and, at some point, as soon as we see real advantages for our patients, we’ll start offering them.
Use the latest methods in recording a patient’s Centric Relation
Finally, while taking some continuing education at Togus offered by the Maine Dental Association, I was introduced to a dentist by the name of Dr. Joseph J. Massad who showed us some new techniques for making dentures. I believe this is the first time I ever saw the Gothic Arch Tracing Technique. Intuitively, I can see many advantages for doing this. It was fun listening to someone who has a passion for making dentures. I also noticed that Dr. Massad offers continuing education classes in his facilities in Oklahoma. I enjoyed his lecture here in Maine and think it would be a blast to fly out to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to learn more.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.