Dentures

Dentures, Tyler, Texas:  Rick Coker

Tyler Texas DenturesAt The Smile Studio, Dr. Coker creates dentures called Strickland Facelift Dentures.™ Isn’t that a great name? You know exactly what those dentures are supposed to do.
When a person loses all of their teeth and gets a set of dentures, there is bone loss. Many times that’s the reason for the tooth loss.

Periodontal disease causes drastic bone loss and when the bone resorbs, the roots of the teeth no longer have any “soil” to dig into. So even if you have bone loss before you get dentures, you will get even more bone loss after you get the dentures.  Eventually you will get a “sunken-in” face. Your chin and your nose will get closer together as your face begins to collapse.

It’s bad enough to have to wear dentures, but it’s AWFUL when everyone who looks at you knows you have dentures.

In the past, dentures were made to fit the ridge of gum that was left and for those few dentists who were skilled craftsmen in the making of dentures, it was important that they fit so you could eat. Now, with new procedures and techniques in the art of cosmetic dentistry, we have been able to transfer those techniques over to the art of making dentures that don’t look like dentures.

If your bone loss is extremely severe and your ridge is not stable enough to hold the dentures in, we also have learned to place implants. These are small titanium posts that are placed in your jaw bone and when they heal, the screws that are placed in your denture can then be screwed into those posts in your jaw.

Voila’! you not only have a beautiful smile, but you can eat!!

We just returned from a trip to Savannah where we spent a couple of days in a classroom learning all the finest techniques for creating these incredible dentures. In the evenings after class, we got to walk around Savannah, poking into the shops and eating at some wonderful restaurants.

Disclaimer: The Strickland Facelift Dentures™ services are in no way related to Dr. Sam Muslin’s exclusive Face Lift Dentistry® treatment.

Learning Neuromuscular Dentistry

We recently hosted a learning opportunity for a group of dentists who were here to clinically brush up on their skills with a type of dentistry called neuromuscular. But, they were also here to interact and have fun with one another as they were learning.

ABOVE: Dr. Durham (Savannah), Dr. Coker (Tyler) and Dr. Westersund (Calgary)
BELOW: Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Strickland (Savannah), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
The group was also treated to 3-days of a plant-based diet. They told us that they were more worried about having to eat a “vegan” diet than they were about learning new clinical skills. However, by the end of the week-end, they all commented that they didn’t realize plant-based foods could be so good.

ABOVE: Dr. Mack (Edna), Joleen (Edna), Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Incrapera (Houston), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
BELOW: Mary (Tyler), Cylisa (Tyler), Leah (Tyler), Dr. Durham (Savannah), Ronda (Tyler)

Neuromuscular dentistry is used for people who have a lot of head, neck and/or jaw pain. After years of patched up fillings or just clenching or gritting their teeth, many patients have ended up with quite a bit of pain. Part of the treatment involves having the patient sit and relax for about an hour with electrodes pasted on their head and neck. These pulsing electrodes actually manage to get the pain points to relax.

At that point, the patient will be fitted with some really high-tech equipment and measurements are taken as he puts his teeth together. After those measurements are analyzed, impressions are taken of the upper and lower teeth and then placed on an articulator so the new relaxed relationship of the teeth is kept in place. Eventually a removeable splint is custom made for the patient to wear for 3-6 months. Sometimes, if the patient has been nearly locked into his painful position, it could be necessary to do another session of relaxation, measurement and impressions with another splint made to make sure his teeth are finally in a position of comfort.

Most patients find such relief from all of this work that they do not want to go without their splint. At that point, their teeth can be fitted with new porcelain crowns or veneers to keep their teeth in that most wonderful, comfortable position without having to continuously wear their splint.

As you may be able to tell from the above description, it is not a technique that most dentists wish to learn as it is very technical for the dentist and his team to learn and it is very expensive to purchase all the the necessary high-tech equipment needed. But, for those patients who are in extreme pain, it is definitely worth it to find such a skilled dentist.