Understanding The Roles Of Denturists In Detail
When it comes to dental health, the word “dentist” is perhaps the most familiar term, but denturist, dental hygienist, dental technician, and dental assistant are also used to describe the professionals who perform dental tasks. With a bit of research, one discovers that denturists tend to be more specific and are the dental professionals who provide patients with dentures.
In many cases, dentists refer their patients to these professionals. And yes! They are not the same profession, even though the roles are almost similar. For one thing, denturist is the dental profession that takes care of patients who are already or would-be denture users, and thus, the patient is expected to be in good health to receive the dentures.
There are other aspects of this profession that are worth learning. Some of the key points include their roles, training, education, and specialization, pros and cons, and denture care. Without further ado, here are the details.
What is a Denturist?
Denturists are dental specialists that specialize in denture therapy. Denturists are suggested to the patients to assist them in caring for their current dentures or dentures that they desire to have fitted. Typically, this means that the patient would need an evaluation for complete or partial dentures, depending on the condition.
It is important to note that dentures are different from implants. Implants are dental devices that are fixed onto the jawbone to replace missing teeth. On the other hand, dentures are removable and replaceable prosthetic devices that replace missing or damaged teeth.
Services Provided by Denturists
While there are several roles that denturists can play, there are some that are of particular interest. In most cases, denturists handle patients that need to have either natural teeth removed or teeth that are extracted and replaced with dentures. Their services include:
Consultation and Examination
There is a need for denturists to establish a rapport with their patients before starting the procedure. During this time, the denturist will assess the oral cavity to establish the oral health and the needs of the patient. Other requirements include gathering information on the patient’s medical and dental history. With such, it becomes possible to determine what type of denture would be ideal for the individual.
Partial dentures are artificial dentures that are meant to restore the loss of a few teeth in either the lower or upper arch. Typically, these are used to treat patients who have suffered from tooth loss from periodontal or trauma-related damage and is effective in keeping the remaining natural teeth firmly in place. This denture comes in different types, namely:
- Flexible partial denture
- Cast metal partial denture, and
- Acrylic partial denture
Each one has its unique functionality, depending on the severity of the dental condition.
In contrast to partial dentures, complete dentures are used to restore and replace the entire set of teeth lost in either arch. These include a combination of teeth and bridges that provide a strong foundation to support the teeth in their functional position.
In some cases, dentists perform extractions. However, in most cases, a total or partial denture will be used to repair the damage caused by tooth loss and in reconstructing the missing teeth.
Denture Repair and Realignment
Most dentures are constructed from acrylic, making them relatively flexible and resilient to some extent. However, these dentures may become weak and become brittle when subjected to physical forces or thermal stresses such as heating or cooling. For this reason, most dentures require repair or re-shaping after wear and tear.
Occasionally, a denture may not fit perfectly or retain completely in the mouth when a patient bites. The solution is to use dental implants. Denturists can install the implant into the jawbone and use a surgical technique to put the prosthetic tooth that looks similar to the real tooth. However, the process of making a prosthetic tooth takes time and requires the expertise of a skilled technician.
Signs a Patient Might Need a Denturist’s Help
Patients who experience any of the following symptoms should see a denturist for evaluation. Failing to do so may result in infection or damage to the teeth.
- Pain, tenderness, or swelling in the jaw or face area
- Loss of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or both
- Severe tooth pain
- Bleeding or tender gum
- Signs of a broken or loose denture
- Indigestion or unusual eating habits
In some cases, the signs of jaw problems are often subtle. Therefore, a dental practitioner can usually identify a patient who needs help by assessing the patient’s appearance and behaviour. If necessary, the professional can prescribe specific treatment measures. This helps to ensure that the patient receives the effectively administered treatment required.
How to Choose the Right Denturist
The first step to finding a dentist is to talk to friends and family. Patients are advised to ask about a denturist’s reputation in their area, including complaints that the individual may have received and addressed. They should also find out if the professional has been helpful with other patients in the past.
Another factor to consider is the precise treatments provided by the denturist, as well as their credentials and experience. Check to see if the professional is board certified and has a license to practice. Avoid working with an unlicensed denturist as this can create more harm than good. Regarding experience, find out how many patients the denturist has seen.
Find out how much the specialist will charge for the procedure as well. While this may not seem as important, pricing should be a top concern when selecting a denturist. This is because a cheaper price may be attractive in the short term, but it will cost more in the long run.
Likewise, an expensive treatment doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality. Ideally, get a denturist that offers quality service. Discuss other details, like dental insurance (if any) and financial arrangements.
Finally, appearance counts. Is the denturist well-groomed and dressed appropriately for the office? Is the person polite and professional? A professional appearance communicates the professionalism of the denturist.
Dentures may be the answer for dental patients who want a beautiful smile. It may appear to be a lot of money for a basic operation, but there are numerous advantages. Selecting a reputable specialist with the necessary qualifications and skills to fix and repair dentures is also crucial to the treatment process. To that aim, select a denturist who is well-versed and well-trained.