Flexible Partial Dentures

Valplast Flexible Dentures

Courtesy of Valplast Flexible Partials

Most of us don’t enjoy the thought of losing our teeth. No one wants to think about the appearance of lost teeth, having problems eating due to lost teeth, or having to wear dentures. As a result, losing your teeth is often very upsetting, and the emotional side of it usually masks other problems that missing teeth can cause, such as changing the shape of your “bite”, wearing down the other teeth, or even jaw joint disorders.

The most common fix for missing teeth is partial dentures, which are removable and very price conservative when compared to other solutions, such as tooth implants and caps. In additional comparison to implants and caps, partials are the most non-invasive option.

As such, they are a very popular fix, but most patients have difficulty adapting to them. The metal framework and acrylic base are supposed to be rigid–like the bones in your mouth–but they can feel uncomfortable and cause soreness. Your palette also naturally changes over a few years, so dentures can stop fitting correctly and require realignment or remaking them entirely.

Fortunately, there are now “flexible dentures” that remove these comfort problems, and they’re even cheaper than traditional dentures. These partials are lightweight and made of strong, hypoallergenic nylon. Since they are so thin, they are far more comfortable to wear and they easily adapt to the shape of your mouth, greatly reducing the risk of soreness and the need for misaligned dentures. The translucence of the material additionally allows your natural gum color to show, making them more cosmetically appealing.

Flexible partial maintenance is also quite simple. It is easy to remove them for daily cleaning with normal denture cleansers, and they can be stored overnight in water.

If you have traditional, rigid dentures or if you think you need partials, be sure to ask your dentist about your options for flexible dentures.

GlaxoSmithKline Announces Removal of Zinc from Denture Pastes

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced this weak that there is “a potential health risk” linked with long term and excessive use of denture adhesives that contain zinc, such as Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh. They are halting all production of these products immediately and are currently planning to replace these adhesives with zinc-free formulas.

GSK explained that Poli-Grip is safe to use if you use it as directed on its labels, but they have found that some users apply more of the cream than necessary and even use it more than once a day to help make their dentures fit correctly. To help protect these consumers from potential zinc risks, GSK has decided to pull the zinc-laden products completely.

Zinc is an important part of our everyday diet, but recent studies have found that a large intake of denture adhesives with zinc over many years can lead to developing neurological symptoms including numbness, tingling, weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties walking, and anemia or other blood problems. There is no formal recall at this time, but GSK is solely responsible for all recall measures.

If you continue to use these Poli-Grip products, you are highly advised to only use the denture cream as directed or switch to other zinc-free Poli-Grip products such as Poli-Grip Original, Comfort Strips or Powder. However, if you have any difficulty in securing a comfortable fit with your dentures, you should contact our office to assess your poorly fitting dentures.