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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:35:52 PM

QUESTION RECENTLY ASKED OF DR. ATKINSON CONCERNING REPLACING EXISTING TEETH WITH A DENTURE:Dentures seem much easier than taking care of my teeth.  I’m already missing some upper and lower teeth, so shouldn’t I have the rest pulled and wear a denture?”

ANSWERED BY DR. ATKINSON, PERIODONTIST, HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS: Probably the best people to answer your question are long-term denture wearers who come to us for help.  Their complaints are typically the same, such as:

 Denture movement – Eating comfortably and speaking confidently depends on teeth that are stable and secure.  Strong, stable teeth are anchored by tooth roots held by the upper or lower jaw.  While dentures must depend on the contour of the gum ridge and adhesives for a secure fit, any denture wearer will tell you that movement does occur.  This movement tends to rub sore spots on gum tissue, which is not only uncomfortable; it increases your risk of gum disease.  Bacteria from the mouth can penetrate these tears, entering the bloodstream.  This enables the bacteria to travel to other parts of the body, jeopardizing the well being of your overall health.  Research has linked this bacteria to heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, lung disease, and stroke.  Also, being able to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with protein rich meats and grains, is necessary for good, overall health.  Denture wearers often change their diet to soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth.  These people frequently develop health problems associated with a diet lacking in adequate vitamins, minerals, and protein.  Denture wearers tend to have more gastrointestinal problems and take more medications than those who have their natural teeth.

 Inconvenience – While popping a denture into your mouth seems easier than brushing and flossing your teeth, please remember that a healthy mouth and fresh breath depends on good oral care, regardless of whether you have your natural teeth.  Denture wearers must deal with much more than a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.  There are adhesives, powders, pastes, soaking periods, and frequent rinsing that is necessary to keep a denture clean and your mouth fresh.  Denture wearers tell us that adhesives are dependable for several hours, at most, before the hold begins to loosen.  Hot beverages make some adhesives melt, which adds an unpleasant taste to your mouth in addition to a less-secure grip.  Dentures also have a surface that provides a breeding ground for microorganisms that emit a constant odor, no matter how often you clean your denture.  This creates a never-ending challenge to keep your breath fresh.

 Embarrassment – Denture wearers share many “horror stories” with us.  They tell us about embarrassing slips and clicks when speaking or laughing with others.  Many also have had moments that were publicly humiliating when eating out.  Eventually, many begin to turn down social invitations that include meals.  Since many outings with others include food, this severely crimps the social activities, which add greatly to our quality of life.  We also hear from people who “hide” in the bathroom so their mate will not see them without teeth.  They claim they feel less appealing because of their dentures and even sleep in them because of this.  Unfortunately, those who wear their dentures day and night tend to accelerate the rate of jawbone shrinkage, which is the reason why the fit of dentures changes more frequently. 

Denture wearers endure a vicious cycle of problems that only get worse with time.  If you have natural teeth remaining, you may be able to prevent further tooth loss and restore a stable, secure bite.  You can replace those missing with Dental Implants, which are designed to last your lifetime, making your investment one that will give you years of confident smiles.

 Before you make an irreversible decision, please look into other alternatives for replacing your teeth.  Call 501-262-4010 to learn more about today’s options for lasting, healthy smiles.

 Dr. Ross Atkinson

2633 Malvern Avenue, Hot Springs, AR  71901

(501) 262-4010 or (501) 922-9211

Your comments are welcomed. If you have questions, please call my office.


Posted by rossatkinsondds | 4/19/2011 1:35:52 PM



Tuesday, April 05, 2011 5:46:13 AM

QUESTION ASKED OF DR. ATKINSON ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS: My dentures bother me so much that I have to remove them to eat.  How can Dental Implants make this better?

ANSWERED BY DR. ATKINSON, PERIODONTIST, HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS:I am assuming that you have been a denture wearer for quite some time.  What has occurred is a change in your jawbone that results from long-term tooth loss.

When natural teeth are missing, the tooth roots that once provided stimulation to the jawbone are absent as well.  Without this stimulation, the jawbone begins to slowly melt away, or “resorb”.  As the bone shrinks in depth and width, the gum ridge that balances the denture begins to change.  The pressure of wearing dentures actually accelerates the rate of bone loss since the pressure on the jawbone is present both day and night. 

When the shape of the jawbone changes, the fit of your denture does as well.  This is why a denture that fit well when it was first made eventually loosens.  In time, adhesives and pastes do little to hold the denture in place.  Eventually, even relines don’t help. 

While eating is difficult, you are probably experiencing other symptoms of bone loss.  Typical signs are deep wrinkling around the mouth, a sunken in appearance of the mouth, a pointed chin, and corners of the mouth that turn downward even in a smile. 

Not being able to eat a proper diet poses many problems.  Being unable to bite and chew comfortably deprives you of adequate fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.  Soft foods that tend to dissolve easily in the mouth often lack the necessities to maintain those foods that are satisfying, healthful, and nutritious.  It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems, take more medications, and even die at an average age that is ten years younger than those with their natural teeth. 

No matter what your age, you deserve the enjoyment of healthy foods, eating with friends, laughing with confidence, and smiling in comfort.  We frequently place Dental Implants in adults in their seventies and eighties. 

The placement process of Dental Implants is simple.  It is performed in our office while you are comfortably in a state of “twilight sleep.”  Because Dental Implants are positioned into the jawbone, they have the foundation that your natural teeth once had.  This restores chewing and biting strength and stability.  Dental Implants also halt bone loss since they recreate the presence of tooth roots. 

If you have lost a great deal of bone, you may require a bone rebuilding process prior to implant placement.  This is necessary to restore the proper height of jawbone to support Dental Implants. 

As a long-term denture wearer, you should weigh the advantages of Dental Implants over continued denture wear.  Your situation will only worsen without treatment and Dental Implants can restore a healthy diet, confident smile, and eating comfort.  Imagine eating all the foods you love without worry of embarrassing slips or clicks or pain.  With Dental Implants, you’ll have the stability and strength of natural teeth once again. 

To learn what type of Dental Implant is most appropriate for your needs, a thorough exam is the first step.  Call 501-262-4010 or visit www.atkinsonimplants.com.

Dr. Ross Atkinson

2633 Malvern Avenue,

 Hot Springs, AR  71901

(501) 262-4010 or (501) 922-9211

Your comments are welcomed. If you have questions, please feel free to call our office.


Posted by rossatkinsondds | 4/4/2011 10:46:13 PM



Saturday, March 26, 2011 4:25:00 AM

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Posted by rossatkinsondds | 3/25/2011 9:25:00 PM



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