What Can Be Done to Prevent Patient Discomfort?
There are many patients who feel that they have to “grin and bear it” when it comes to loose and painful dentures. Thankfully, that’s not the norm. More dentists are focusing their efforts on doing whatever they can to rid their patients of uncomfortable dentures. Patients are also aware that they have options for denture care.
While it is encouraging to note that more is being done to help denture-wearing patients, there are still some who don’t yet know just how important it is to get their ill-fitting dentures fixed. In fact, it is vital that patients and their dentists address the situation immediately.
Why Ill-Fitting Dentures Should Be Addressed By Both Patient and Dentist
Patients should talk to their dentist right away if they have loose and painful dentures. Not only are they painful and annoying, they can do more serious damage to a patient’s overall health. For example, if the dentures are especially painful, some patients are inclined to eat less or even stop eating altogether. This can lead to weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and a lowered immune response, not to mention the fact that drastic weight loss can contribute to increased denture discomfort.
Others may switch to soft foods or avoid chewing and swallowing the way they used to. Again, nutritional deficiencies can occur, and improperly chewed food can put a strain on the digestive system, making it difficult for some nutrients to be absorbed. Not to mention the fact that these types of eating behaviors aren’t enjoyable and can lead to a disinterest in food.
According to the National Institutes of Health, ill-fitting dentures can cause a callus, called an epulis. The gum tissue is experiencing what the National Institutes of Health refer to as “low-grade trauma,” and the result is a lesion. If the issue is not addressed, it can result in inflammation, pain, and even ulceration.
4 Ways a Dentist Can Help Prevent Loose and Painful Dentures
When a patient is dealing with loose and painful dentures, their dentist can remedy the situation in a number of ways.
Fabricate the Dentures Themselves
Dentists like Dr. Westman are utilizing part of their office as a dental laboratory. One of the things they can do in this lab is fabricate a patient’s denture themselves, instead of relying on an outside lab. Because the dentist is more familiar with their patient than the dental lab technician, it is easier for them to get the esthetics and fit of the dentures right the first time.
If a patient has a set of dentures that aren’t fitting properly, a dentist may recommend a permanent reline or new dentures. If the patient can’t afford these options, or if the timing isn’t right for their current circumstances, the dentist can offer a soft, temporary reline. This can be done in one in-office appointment. The results will only last a few months, so it is definitely only a temporary solution.
Taking a current impression of the patient’s mouth allows the dentist to fix the fit of the denture without having to replace the dentures. The permanent reline lasts quite some time; however, at some point the patient may want to consider new dentures for the best fit.
Having implants placed in the bone is a great option for many denture patients. The implants keep the bone stable, which means it won’t recede as much, if at all. The dentures have little snaps that click down onto the implants, making these type of dentures extremely stable. Most patients never experience loose implant dentures.
A Beautiful, Pain-Free Smile Is Possible With Optimal Denture Care
Patients who are dealing with loose and painful dentures should talk to their dentist right away. Avoiding the dentist could lead to dental and health problems. With gentle, thorough care from their dentist, patients can have better fitting dentures quickly and affordably.
If you want well-fitting dentures (and who doesn’t?) contact Dr. Westman’s office today.