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With the winter season and contact sports fast approaching it's time to think about protecting your teeth and head during a game. A mouth guard is a flexible custom fitted device worn over teeth during contact sports and recreational activities to help protect them from damage and concussion. A good-fitting mouth guard may be especially important if you wear braces, have fixed anterior bridgework or just want to protect your teeth/smile from potential trauma.

Generally, a mouth guard only covers the upper teeth. However athletes with a protruding lower jaw or those who wear braces or other dental appliances (such as retainers, bridgework or have implants) on their lower jaw may wear a mouth guard over their lower teeth.
There are also bimaxillary mouth guards which combine the upper and lower mouth guards together with an airway in between.

Who Should Wear a Mouth Guard?
It is recommended by the New Zealand Dental council that mouth guards should be worn by people who participate in contact sports such as (but not limited to):

- Rugby
- Soccer
- Hockey
- Martial arts
- Boxing
- Basketball

Advantages of a Mouth Guard
Wearing a mouth guard helps to protect against chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, and tooth loss. As well as serious injuries such as jaw fracture, concussion and neck injuries by cushioning blows to the TMJ (lower jaw) and the socket/when the lower jaw is jammed into the upper jaw. By keeping soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, mouth guards help prevent cutting and bruising of the lips, tongue and cheeks, especially for athletes who wear orthodontic appliances.

The ideal mouth guard:
 - Allows speaking and does not limit breathing.
 - Stays firmly in place during action.
 - Provides a high degree of comfort and fit.
 - Is durable and easy to clean.
 - Is resilient, tear-resistant, odourless and tasteless.

Mouth guards we offer:
Choices between: single sheet, laminated and triple laminated custom mouthguards in a range of colours.
Custom mouth guards are considered superior to other types due to a greater degree of fit, comfort and protection because they are made from an impression of your own teeth.  

Call or come see us for a free, no obligations consultation.


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photo credit: Denture Care Services.



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What is a reline?
A reline gives an original denture a new fitting surface that will fit more closely to the current state of the mouth.

The Reline Process:
The reline process involves a Clinical Dental Technician or Dentist taking an impression of the mouth using the original denture. A stone model is the made and a new fitting surface is created inside the denture.

This process takes half a day, so it should be anticipated that the impression is taken in the morning and the relined denture will be returned in the afternoon.

There are two types of relines:

  1. Permanent hard relines.

  2. Soft relines which can be either temporary or permanent.

Hard relines are made from the same material as the original denture and generally last longer.

Temporary soft liners are used to condition the tissues under the denture in preparation for a hard or permanent soft reline, allowing ulcers or sore spots to heal. It only last 6-8 weeks after which it should be made into a permanent material.

Permanent soft liners are a last resort for patients whose mouths cannot tolerate the hard acrylic due to boney ridges. They are not as permanent as hard relines, requiring replacement after two years. 

Reasons a denture may need to be relined:

  • The denture no longer fits, it slips or falls down.

  • This could be because the wearer has lost/gained weight or from water retention.

  • The age and condition of the denture.

  • The original denture was an immediate denture (made right after teeth were extracted). This means that where the gums and bone natural teeth were removed has now shrunk/resorbed causing a gap between the tissue and denture, causing looseness.

What a reline does NOT do:
It does not change the teeth or occlusal surface. The teeth will remain the same.

A reline only makes the fitting surface of the denture fit more snuggly and can increase the suction of the upper denture.

Please feel free to contact our friendly team for a free no obligations consultation.

Denture Care Services

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Denture Repairs

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Denture Repairs

Dentures can break. The best advice when this happens is to avoid repairing the denture yourself. This is because once products such as; superglue are introduced to the fracture surfaces it can melt the edges preventing the accurate relocation of the two sides.
Reasons why dentures break vary considerably and the long term success of a repair may also be questionable.

A Clean Break
Clean breaks caused by dropping a denture can be repaired with the long-term result likely to be successful.

A broken tooth
Teeth that have broken off the denture can usually be repaired successfully. However if it has come off a metal partial denture this can be trickier to repair as it may require a pin to be welded onto the framework to aid retention of the tooth.
There maybe the requirement for small adjustments to the bite if a completely new tooth is to be added to a denture rather than reattaching an original tooth. 
For much older dentures where porcelain teeth are present reattaching a porcelain tooth may not be possible as porcelain does not bond to acrylic however modern denture teeth are made from acrylic which allows them to bond with the denture material.

A snapped clasp
If the clasp has broken on an acrylic partial denture, repair may be possible via the addition of a new clasp. However if the clasp has broken on a cast metal denture the repair is much trickier as the clasp is not easily bonded back onto the framework.

Other fractures can cause greater difficulty and may not reproduce reliable long term results.

Old Worn Down Teeth
Dentures with old and worn down teeth can result in an incorrect chewing pattern and uneven distribution of biting forces. In some cases the surfaces of the teeth may be able to be adjusted to provide even contact throughout the arch. However, often the teeth are too severely worn and may not be able to be adjusted to a satisfactory state.

Bone and Gum Shrinkage
Shrinkage of the bone and supporting gums in the mouth can happen gradually and will almost definitely occur after teeth are extracted. It will often take place without detection resulting in a denture that is no longer fully supported by the mouth. Without the proper support and fit, the denture moves about and stress concentration can develop. These stresses cause the denture to fracture under normal chewing patterns. Repairing the denture is possible, however the fracture can reoccur at any time because the denture remains unsupported. In this situation the denture may require a reline, not a repair.

Lower Front Teeth Remain
Only having front lower teeth remaining and no premolars/molars at the back can cause all of the biting forces to be concentrated at the front of the upper denture. This can cause it to crack or break easily. Ideally, lower back teeth need to be in place for eating and sharing of the occlusal forces. The denture can be repaired but fractures can occur again without warning.
Other potential damage caused by lower front teeth remaining may include:

  • Bone damage to the upper jaw (irreversible) which may result in spongy tissue under the upper denture to develop.

  • Hastened bone and gum shrinkage (irreversible)

Please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team for a free consultation.

Denture Care Services

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photo credit: Denture Care Services.

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Immediate Dentures


What are “immediate dentures”?

An immediate denture is where a denture is made prior to teeth being extracted(pulled out,) ready to be fitted immediately over the wound.

The advantages of this approach are fairly limited due to the healing process and continual change to the anatomy of the jawbone (residual ridge) from the time of denture fitting. This change continues significantly over the first few months then decreases to a lesser degree for up to approximately one year. Repeated denture cracks, or denture fractures may sometimes indicate the need to reline. Although we provide urgent denture repair services, you deserve well-fitting dentures without the hassle and inconvenience. 

Healing of the residual ridge will influence the fit of dentures, thus requiring a new fitting surface (relining) to restore the fit at some point. There is normally a cost to make the initial immediate denture and a separate cost to reline the denture. Deciding when the best time to reline your denture depends on the healing process; relining the denture is usually a consideration from three months post-extraction. However, choosing to reline closer to the three month point often increases the probability that further changes could result in a need to reline again. Conversely, the closer one relines to the twelve month point the more likely the new fitting surface and anatomy will provide a stable long-term fit.

The fitting surface of an immediate denture is an estimate of fit in the areas where the teeth need to be extracted. This is because this area has to be shaped in anticipation of the extraction.

Once the dentures have been relined the fitting surface should provide support and retention through a snug fit and border seal between the denture and mouth. However, the “bite” also plays a crucial role in the success of dentures. An uneven contact or “high-spot” can cause the denture to pivot on a single tooth and either result in dislodgement of the denture, ulcers or ultimately cause a fracture in the denture. Therefore it is imperative to provide the patient with a “bite” that is well balanced and to distribute the contact evenly between teeth.

Consult your local dentist or see us for a free consultation if immediate dentures are a suitable option for you.

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Denture Care Services

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photo credit: Slide21 via photopin(license)

Effects of shrinkage: Non treatment complete bone resorption : Non treatment multiple back teeth

Written By Craig Metcalfe 2015-07-16
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