Ester was the elderly mother of one of my dear patients. Her daughter vowed to maintain her mom’s dental health and brought her back to see me after her second set of dentures disappeared. Inadvertently, Ester had placed her dentures in a napkin on her food tray and they were gone. This is a common occurrence in most facilities and winds up leaving the patients with even bigger problems: inability to chew food, embarrassment about their appearance and even an inability to speak with confidence. Unfortunately the spiral continues downward with loss in weight, deterioration of health, self-worth and quality of life. This is especially true for patients experiencing progressive dementia as was Ester. Her daughter was frightened that this was going to be her mother’s fate.
Gone were the two previous sets of dentures. Now my challenge was to create a third pair for her from scratch, no blueprint to go by and very little patient cooperation due to Ethel’s dementia. I asked myself:
What If I could restore a comfortable denture for her?
A denture that could be blueprinted and stored in case she lost it again?
As you know, the process of making dentures hasn’t changed much over the past 100 + years. The old procedure demands you break the stone mold and in so doing the very important information regarding fit, comfort and proprioception is lost. If a denture is lost or broken, the old process requires a dentist to start from scratch. If only I had a way to save her personal blueprint, the comfortable fit she’d had and enjoyed for years.
TO BE CONTINUED…