Now Blessed With A Terrific Smile
When people used to take pictures with Gary Hackman in the group, they’d urge him to smile. He’d tell them, “I can’t, I have nothing to smile with!”
For over ten years, Gary had worn a denture to replace missing teeth. An unfamiliar symptom of tooth loss for many people is ‘resorption,’ which Gary had experienced. This is when the jaw bone begins to shrink, or ‘resorb,’ from the lack of stimulation of natural tooth roots.
As the jaw bone decreases, the denture it was made to conform to no longer fits. “This is why dentures slip and relines are needed,” Dr. Barbat explains. “Patients keep applying more denture adhesive so they can eat, but the denture is just adding to the problem.”
Dentures add to the problem by the pressure they apply to the jaw bone. This pressure actually accelerates the rate of bone resorption. And, for those who sleep in their dentures, it is a 24/7 process.
Active in his church, Gary and his wife were at a prayer group and he mentioned his problem. Another member told him about Dr. Barbat and Gary scheduled an appointment.
When Dr. Barbat explained to Gary what was occurring in his mouth, they discussed his options. “She told me she could make me another denture, but I’d be right back where I was again in a few years. I knew I didn’t want that,” he stated.
Gary learned he could have dental implants with a full arch attached securely to implants, which was the option he chose.
Gary was pleased that the placement procedure was so comfortable. “They did a fantastic job and I was totally confident with them. I had no pain afterwards. It was easy.”
And now that his new smile is securely attached to the implants, he is chewing again with no worries! “Eating before was touch and go. The dentures would come loose and I’d really have to watch what I ate. I’d have to keep adding paste and it was a pain. Chewing now is a whole new ball game!”
And smiling seems to be quite a pleasure again. Gary states that his adult children have definitely noticed how much he now smiles.
“You’re self-conscious with no teeth. I look better now and something like this sure helps your confidence level go up. It takes a few years off, too!” shares Gary.
While treatment that includes dental implants is more costly than dentures or most other tooth replacement options, they are designed to last your lifetime with proper maintenance. This makes them a wise investment with a long list of advantages for your overall health and well-being.
Now retired, having implant treatment was a financial commitment that Gary and his wife had to carefully budget. However, he has been so pleased that his wife is now considering dental implants.
“I see patients who are so frustrated with their dentures,” adds Dr. Barbat. “Unfortunately, dentures are not the best solution for missing teeth. And if you are having problems with your denture, rest assured, it’s only going to worsen. Modern dentistry gives an excellent alternative through dental implants and I’ve never had a patient who has regretted taking this step.”
Certainly not Gary Hackman. I’d do it all again!” he exclaims!
To learn more about replacing teeth with dental implants, arrange a complimentary consultation with Dr. Barbat so she can answer your questions and discuss the types of implants that will work best for you. Or, if you know others who would be interested, suggest they call us. We’re always happy to welcome new patients for any procedure!
Psychological & Social Issues Associated with TOOTH LOSS
Are feelings of depression overwhelming you? Is your self-esteem an issue? Having problems advancing in life or your career? Feel nervous or self-conscious in social settings? According to a presentation at an Annual Meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry several years ago, you may want to start by checking your smile.
Tooth loss may very well be the culprit, and you’re not alone. Nearly 20 million teeth are extracted each year, leaving scores of people to deal with the psychological affects of an “incomplete” smile.
Asuman Kiyak, PhD addressed the psychological issues affecting people who deal with tooth loss and discussed how this loss can affect one’s quality of life.
In Dr. Kiyak’s course, she covered the traumatic effects a patient endures after tooth loss, focusing on ways to help them cope with and understand their options for restoring their smile.
In fact, survey results from nearly 20,000 AGD members revealed that over 86% of dentists reported social embarrassment is one of the greatest problems associated with tooth loss and more than half of these patients avoid social interaction because of it.
In coping with tooth loss, Dr. Kiyak encourages patients to:
- Weigh the pros and cons for replacement teeth or even root canal therapy to save a tooth.
- Review videos or photos of others who have lost teeth and their current status with removable or implant-supported dentures.
- Read testimonials of others who have undergone tooth loss and replacement of teeth with removable or implant-supported dentures.
“Helping our patients enjoy healthy, natural teeth for a lifetime is always our goal,” says Dr. Barbat. “However, for patients who must replace teeth, the look, feel, and function is no less important to their well-being. This is why so many adults are selecting dental implants. They are an ideal replacement for missing teeth. It’s like getting your natural teeth back.”
QUESTION: “I recently read where some denture creams contain toxic ingredients. Can this be true?”
Answered by: Dr. Ban Barbat
What you may be hearing about are lawsuits being brought against major manufacturers, such as Proctor & Gamble (maker of Fixodent) and GlaxoSmithKline (maker of Poligrip) due to the effects of zinc poisoning.
One of the ingredients in denture creams is zinc. When overuse of denture creams put too much zinc in the body, it depletes the body’s natural balance of copper. Copper regulates neurological activity and an imbalance can lead to nerve damage or neuropathy, a painful nerve disorder for which there is no cure.
The issue evolves around the amount of denture cream an individual uses on a regular basis. Although the manufacturers estimate that one tube of denture cream will last between 1-2 months, some users admit to using a great deal more.
When an excessive amount of denture cream is used, it is often to secure an ill-fitting denture or partial. Denture creams help to keep the denture in place, however, bone loss from missing tooth roots means there is less and less of a foundation to hold the denture. Reapplying denture cream several times a day may help for brief amounts of time, but no cream or adhesive can overcome the loose fit for very long.
Poor fitting dentures often cause adults to eat soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. This often means a diet lacking a healthy balance of protein rich meats, hearty grains, and fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals. Not having dentures that fit securely also prevents some from being socially active because of the potential for embarrassing slips.
When dentures need excessive amounts of cream for stability, a more serious fix is needed than denture cream or paste. Today’s dentistry offers many options for every situation. Start by asking for a complimentary consultation and discuss options that are best for your needs. No one need suffer with an ill-fitting denture when the choices are so terrific!
Helping Growing Smiles To Grow Up Healthy
In recognition of February as National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, two of Dr. Barbat’s Hygienists, Anna and Debbie visited Roberts Elementary School in Shelby Township. They gave talks to Mrs. Jones’ Kindergarten and Preschool classes to help children understand the importance of taking care of their teeth and how to properly brush.
The young students were given take home kits to help them get started on healthy smiles for life!
Spreading Holiday Smiles Throughout the Community
In honor of their many wonderful patients, Dr. Barbat and staff made a generous donation to the Samaritan House in Washington Township this past holiday season. Samaritan House helps with emergency needs of food, clothing, shelter and utility funds. For more information on this well-run organization, visit www.samaritanhousemichigan.org
and participation in Christmas Aglow, Shelby Township’s tree lighting ceremony on December 4th. Children who visited Dr. Barbat’s booth were treated to Santa bubbles, toothpaste and toothbrushes!