Transforming a person’s ability to comfortably eat and drink brings a smile to denturist Danielle Wagner’s face.
“It gives me great joy to see my work bring so much happiness to my patients,” says Wagner, from Red Deer’s Plaza Denture Clinic, which focuses on precision-made dentures with an emphasis on aesthetics and function.
“After gaining experience in a denture clinic, I knew right away I wanted to be a denturist,” says Wagner, who graduated with honours from NAIT’s Denturist Technology Program.
Now a licensed denturist for eight years, patient education is an essential part of Wagner’s practice.
“Whether you’re looking to replace some of your teeth or all of them, I take time to explain all the procedures and options, and help patients feel comfortable every step of the way.”
1. Not your grandparents’ dentures. Far from the dentures of your grandparents’ day, patients now have many options, from implants over dentures to full dentures carefully crafted to look more like natural teeth. “It’s wonderful to see how far denture technology has come – it’s made a big difference for people,” says Wagner.
2. Fit just for you. Because no two patients – or dentures – are the same, it’s essential to craft something unique. “I spend a lot of time getting to know my patients and what their expectations are, what’s important to them and what they don’t want,” Wagner says.
Digital jaw recording also shows how a patient’s jaw moves. “The more measurements you have, the better the fit and bite.”
3. Implant options. Implant-retained dentures are the way of the future. For these, denturists create dentures to be attached to posts implanted into the jaw by dentists. “We are seeing more people interested in it, especially those just starting to lose their teeth,” Wagner says, noting implants are most like natural teeth and also help prevent bone loss that can come from traditional dentures.
4. Sore dentures aren’t working well. While dentures won’t feel like your natural teeth, they shouldn’t hurt; if they do, see your denturist. “The longer you go with your dentures not fitting properly, the more likely you are to get sores,” Wagner explains.
5. Check-up. Because your mouth is always changing, dentures that fit well when you first wore them home may need adjusting a year or so later to regain that fit. “I talk to people a lot about maintenance: Make sure you come back and get them checked,” Wagner says.