2010年2月 « トップへ » 2010年5月



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My mother has 3 teeth left in the upper right side of her mouth. What kind of dentures do you recommend?

Q. I have a mother who uses upper jaw dentures. She only has 3 front teeth left up there and one of them is loose.

She says she gets the feeling that the clasp gripping at this loose tooth is placing a great burden on it. Can she get implants? What do you recommend she does to get her dentures newly made?

A.So she has 3 teeth left and wears dentures with clasps. Clasps are metal pieces that provide the grip that keeps her dentures in place.
Normally we have 14 upper teeth. If she has dentures covered by insurance then that means that only 3 front teeth (which are the weakest ones) are supporting 11 others! This sounds like quite a lot of work for them.
It is only a matter of time before her front teeth fall out due to the burden placed upon them by the clasps. And if she goes with implants than she is talking about 11 prosthetic teeth. That is a huge financial burden for your mother to bear.

If she wants to protect those remaining 3 teeth and experience dentures that will function as if they are a part of her own body then I recommend Resilience telescope dentures developed in Germany. We have many patients who are very satisfied with this treatment.

Resilience telescope dentures are perfect for cases in which 3 or less teeth are remaining. They place no burden on the remaining 3 teeth and use membrane and muscle power to stay in place. They also will incorporate her 3 teeth into their design (they are made with an upper crown and lower crown structure where nooks and crannies are opened in consideration of membrane subduction). A special characteristic of Resilience telescope is that it will incorporate her loose tooth but should the tooth come out, her dentures can be easily adjusted.

These dentures can be used for a very long time as there is no longer a need to have her dentures remade from scratch every time she loses a tooth. By using the membrane and muscles of her mouth, her remaining teeth can relax a bit, her pronunciation remains unaffected, and there is no worry that her dentures may slip out leaving her to speak freely without anxiety.

Our prosthetic teeth are not made with soft plastic. We use esthetically and functionally superior prosthetic teeth made by Liechtenstein Ivoclar. They are long lasting beautiful dentures that will protect your mother's remaining 3 teeth. I highly recommend that she tries this method.


Do you recommend implants or full dentures for people in their 30s?

Q.I am in my late 30s but I have severe gingivitis. I only have 4 teeth in the upper left and only my front teeth on the bottom.

implants or full denturesMy remaining teeth are loose and being held together by something like an adhesive. I currently use partial dentures with metal clasps. I have been to a few dental clinics hoping that they could do something for me.
At the first clinic they told me that my remaining lower teeth will all fall out so I have no option but to get dental implants.
The second clinic told me they could use my remaining 4 teeth to secure the upper denture, and they could put in a bridge after giving me 6 implants. They said it would cost quite a lot of money. It is so difficult for me to talk and to eat.
It has even begun to affect my job (I work in sales). I always carry a mask and I cannot laugh or smile in front of other people. Every day is tough. I am not sure if implants or full dentures would be a better for me. Which do you recommend?

A.It is possible that in the future you will need full dentures for the top and bottom.
The question is whether you should choose dentures or dentures that rely on implants. In your case it would be meaningless to use full dentures that rely on implants. Your implants are only as strong as your remaining teeth at the time you have them put it so you may have to go through the same ordeal again after a short while.

Also, considering the large number of implants that you would require and the fact that your bone is likely to thin out due to severe gingivitis, the burden on your bone would be too great.

By using a manufacturing method that utilizes the muscles around your mouth desirable results can be achieved without getting implants. This method is called the "maxillomandibular simultaneous impression method" and originates from Strack dentures developed in Germany.

Type upWith this method we can take a molding of the upper and lower bite at the same time and gather all the necessary information about the inside of your mouth. You will have to swallow some saliva while the mold is being taken but dentures made using this method will allow you to enjoy eating the same way that you used to before losing your teeth. The adhesion of dentures supported by muscles in your mouth is very strong. We make sure that they will not come out by using the water film phenomenon (this is when water is placed between 2 layers of glass making them difficult to separate).

Strack dentures are superior both functionally and esthetically.
implants or full denturesIt is unfortunately true that people who have lost all of their teeth and have suffered from thinning bone often have an emaciated and elderly look to the area around their mouths.
Strack dentures can add volume from inside of the mouth that can be adjusted to give you the look that you want by using the maxillomandibular simultaneous impression method. You can regain your vibrant youthful smile.

Since implants are implanted into the thick inner part of our bone, it is very difficult to reproduce the exact positioning of your teeth and it is impossible to add volume to your smile.

People who get dentures tend to get shy and lose their ability to enjoy every day. Needless to say, the mouth is not just for eating but it is also important for communication. But our dentures are so natural feeling that you will forget that you are even wearing them.

Moreover, there is another technique, also developed in Germany, known as 'Resilience telescope' that can be used in case you still have a few teeth remaining.

Hear from Our Patients

My jaw has gotten worse since having dentures made.

Q. I spent 2 years having my teeth treated. I had partial dentures with metal parts made for my remaining upper teeth and I have silver fillings in my lower teeth that have received nerve treatment. After treatment the condition of my jaw has only gotten worse.
I feel pain in the joints around my jaw every time I eat. I have noticed a crumbling sound when I open my jaw wide. Every morning the area around my neck is stiff and it has become difficult to raise my arms. I also get headaches frequently. My family always tells me that I look tired. I wonder if the cause of my problems is that my dentures don't fit. It worries me and I would like to come in for consultation. (woman in her 50s)

A. "I cannot open my jaw widely", "The joints in my jaw hurt", and upon follow up questioning many say, "My neck hurts", "I have stiff shoulders", "My back hurts", "My hands and legs go numb", "My ears are ringing", "I get bad migraines". These symptoms are common in patients in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

TMJ arthrosis is a condition in which the area around the jaw hurts, and opening the mouth becomes difficult. Conventionally it is considered an ailment common in people in their 20s and 30s but in recent years the number of patients in their 50s and 60s suffering from TMJ arthrosis has been increasing quickly.

It is believed that the main cause of TMJ arthrosis in people in their 50s and 60s is unbalanced bite alignment caused by dentures.
In order to adjust the balance of one's bite alignment, the upper and lower dental mold must be centered symmetrical down the center of the body. This mold is then placed into a bite alignment device and examined. It is extremely important to create dentures that match perfectly to the data retrieved through this method.

However, conventional dentures covered by health insurance are often unable to meet these acute specifications and it has often been observed that continuing to eat with such dentures only serves to worsen the problem.
Here at Inaba Dental Office we are able to accurately create a bilateral symmetrical plane with 'Riegel telescope', dentures first developed in Germany, the leading country in dental technology. With this technology we can provide the most effective treatment available for patients suffering from TMJ arthrosis.
After treatment, patients experience the same plane symmetry from when they still had all of their teeth, even though they are wearing dentures. Pain in the jaw joints is relieved and accompanying symptoms such as stiff shoulders and ringing in the ears improve over time.
First it is necessary to have the balance of your bite alignment examined.


What can I do to avoid ever having to get dentures?

Q. I have been prone to cavities since I was a child. Now I am in my mid-30s and all of my upper teeth are false teeth. I always thought that I brushed my teeth more than the average person. I have bridges on both sides of my lower teeth. I can't believe that I am actually going to need dentures in 5 or 10 years in my 40s. That is too young! Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to prevent this. (N.J.)

A. In the condition that you are in now, the deciding factor to whether or not you will need dentures is proper treatment.
When you say false teeth, I assume that you are talking about metallic or ceramic crowns. Normally crowns are a suitable treatment when teeth are weak due to missing nerves. (In the same way that a tree will not easily fall over when it is alive but it will fall over easily if it is withered, teeth without nerves are brittle and fragile).

It seems that your teeth are most likely missing nerves. If this is the case, then too much force will cause them to become loose and they may crack. The best thing that you can do to prevent your teeth from falling out is to link the crowns together. When you link crowns they become stronger and force is distributed more evenly. This prevents weak nerveless teeth from taking the full brunt of a force.

It is possible to have all of your upper teeth linked together. A linking device called the key-and-key way connects the front 6 teeth, and the four molars on either side one by one. This effectively links all of the teeth together. There is slight movement because the joints of the jaw are also connected, but this movement is absorbed by the key-and-key way.

If you, Mr. N.J., leave your condition the way it is, you may eventually need to get full dentures. Through properly treating your nerves and having your foundation linked securely, you will be able to protect his teeth.

Of course it is still necessary to brush your teeth and receive maintenance from a dental hygienist. You must act now if you want to avoid having to get dentures in the future.

Can I use false teeth while waiting for my dentures? (person in their 40s)

Q. Can I use false teeth while waiting for my dentures?

Even though I am only in my 40s, most of my teeth are false teeth or a bridge. Recently the bridge on my upper front teeth fell out and my molars feel as though they could fall out at any moment. Currently I am planning to have a front tooth taken out because the root is cracked. The molar next to that one is loose and I was told I will need to get it taken out.
I have come to peace with the fact that I will need dentures, but will I really have to continue my daily activities with no teeth in my mouth while my dentures are being made? My work conditions will not allow me to walk around toothless so I am not really sure what to do.
Is there any way that I can have false teeth put in while I wait for my dentures? Thank you.

A. There are dentures available where you can have prosthetic teeth put in as soon as you have your problem teeth extracted. I get a lot of questions from patients who are worrying about having to spend time toothless while their dentures are being made.

We have come up with a few solutions to make sure that no one notices your oral condition while undergoing treatment.

If you have to live without teeth during treatment, eating and communication becomes nearly impossible. This can be a big worry for your family.

At our clinic, we absolutely provide false teeth for our patients while they wait for dentures.

Before having your teeth removed, we make a set of false teeth based on an assumption of the condition of your mouth post-extraction. It is very important to us to consider the esthetic and functional recovery of our patients' oral condition after extraction.


Concerning Dentures for Young People in their 30s and 40s

Q. Do young people also get dentures?
I was diagnosed with gingivitis in my late 30s. I have suffered from cavities, inflammation, and pain for many years, but every time I went for my periodic checkup, my dentist just cleaned the plaque from my teeth without mentioning anything about gingivitis. When I finally mustered up enough courage to change dentists, I was shocked to find out that the bone of my three upper molars on either side had rotted and would no longer last. I was told that more bone had begun to rot. The bone has become too thin to support implants making the procedure too difficult. Do young people also get dentures?

A. We receive many questions about young people and dentures.about young people and dentures.
"I'm too young for dentures. It's embarrassing."
"I can't talk to my friends or family about this."
"I'm nervous about seeking consultation"

We hear from many people who share the same apprehensions. A lot of people know that their teeth are getting worse but avoid consultation due to anxiety.

In recent years consultations with young people concerning whether they should choose dentures or implants have increased drastically.
Our clinic has adopted the telescope system, a technique developed in Germany, the world leading country in denture technology. This technique completely changes the conventional image of dentures. Clasps are completely invisible and no shifting occurs while eating.
They are esthetically superior just like implants. And there is no need to remove them before going to bed at night. They feel like a part of you.

If you have only lost 1 or 2 teeth, then it may be better to choose implants. But if you have already lost more than a few teeth, then it would be rather risky to treat all of them with implants.

Implant treatment lasts for 40 years at best. If you have numerous implants put in in your late 30s, then it is hard telling the difficulties you may encounter 40 years later in your 70s.
This is where our telescope system comes in. With the telescope system, dentures can be adjusted and used continuously for a very long time. Also, no one will be able to tell that you are wearing dentures.

There are many patients who have undergone telescope system treatment at our clinic I their late 20s.
One patient who underwent our Riegel telescope treatment 7 years ago in his late 20s has been coming in for monthly maintenance and has not required adjustment or repair to his dentures at all. He also put on a few pounds since he is able to enjoy meals unhindered by dental equipment but that is another story. He is not the least bit embarrassed about getting dentures at his young age.

We also conduct consultations through mail. Please feel free to contact us.

Dentures in Your 30s
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I was told that may facial expression would change when I get my teeth fixed...

This is a question answered by Dr. Inaba, representing dentists, in a feature article from a home magazine titled, Famous Doctors Answer Questions from Concerned 40-Somethings,

Q. The other day I took my mother to the dental clinic. She is going to be 66 years old this year but her face looks older. Many people think she is in her mid-70s. Not only does she seem older than her peers, but there is something about her expression that makes her look somewhat impoverished. She has always had all of her needs met and she is now living with me, her daughter. I don't think she should look so worn...

My mother doesn't like to visit the dentist, even if it is only to receive treatment on a single cavity like it was the other day. She really never goes to the dentist on her own. I was finally able to get her there the other day and the dentist suggested that she have 3 false teeth put in where she had already lost her teeth. She got right up and headed straight home upon hearing that. The dentist told me that since she had left those 3 spaces toothless for such a long time, her chewing functions have deteriorated and it has even had an effect on her bone. He said that this is one of the reasons for her emaciated look.

I don't quite understand a lot of the more difficult things that he said, but I do recall him saying "If she just gets those 3 teeth fixed, she will look 5 years younger at least". After he told me this, I couldn't help but think to myself that she certainly would look younger with her upper teeth numbers 3, 4, and 5 intact. Is it really possible to regain a youthful look by having your teeth fixed? I want to convince my mother to go in for treatment and I was wondering if you could help me find the right words. I would love her to get treatment as soon as possible so her grandchildren can play with her and look upon her beautiful face the way it used to be.

Also, I am sorry to bother you with more questions, but I was told I should replace the metallic fillings in my lower teeth with white-colored false teeth. You can see them when I laugh and it can be quite embarrassing. I heard that this could give me a brighter look so I was thinking about getting that taken care of as well. But if it won't help, I might regret getting treatment. Do you know how much this procedure could help my smile? Also I am willing and able to pay for treatment even if it comes out to be a little pricey.

A. Leaving the mouth with 3 missing teeth can have a negative effect on mastication functions (chewing functions). Just as your dentist has said, when you lose teeth the bilateral balance of the mouth is lost and the muscles on the side of the jaw where teeth are missing will deteriorate. As a result, facial features will most certainly lose their balance. Therefore, I absolutely recommend putting in false teeth.

You can see from the profile of someone who has lost teeth that their upper and lower lips sink inwards (left), but when the same person uses dentures, you can see that their natural features are restored (right).

Our appearance is also related to our personality

Just as people are told to take responsibility for their appearance after turning a certain age, it is said that people are responsible for creating their own countenances. In our society, the countenances of people who run companies, are in positions of responsibility, or have a business, are shaped by their various lifestyles. People who have healthy teeth give a nice impression to people around them and it is even said that our teeth say something about our level of education. Long ago people did not worry so much about poor tooth alignment or missing teeth. But in recent years, the state of our teeth has become an indicator of our status. For that reason, it seems that our appearance is beginning to tell a lot more about our personality.

It is true that fixing your teeth can make you look younger. But it is not just the teeth that effect the countenance. If someone stays at home all day with a negative attitude, that will add to their dreary demeanor. Nothing is more important than getting out of the house and interacting with people positively. The condition of your teeth is just one part of that equation. It is possible that if your mother has her teeth fixed, she may become more optimistic. This is why I recommend that you help her get dentures.

It is ideal to have your teeth fixed to look more natural

You also brought up the issue of your metallic teeth. We dentists always wish that our patients can have a natural smile of nice pearly whites just like the ones their parents gave them. It is important to have your teeth fixed so that no one can tell that you have had treatment done at all.

In recent years, most tooth disease has become preventable. With the correct oral care, you can protect against cavities and pyorrhea. But in the unlikely case that you do suffer from tooth disease, it is best if you can repair your teeth to their natural state. So for that reason, I think that you should aim for white teeth.

Nowadays, natural looking ceramic teeth are mainstream, but since Japanese healthcare does not yet cover ceramic teeth, people who are limited to health insurance must settle for metal crowns. With that said, we must remember that in some countries, health insurance only covers preventative medicine. That is, from the perspective of, "Since we know the cause of a disease and it is preventable, then if you suffer from the disease, it must be your own fault" and the idea that "Prevention can be paid for from a public source (medical insurance), but treatment must be covered by the individual, out-of-pocket", many countries require that citizens pay for their own treatment expenses. Please see your doctor and have your teeth restored to a better feeling, more natural state.

Changes of the face overtime

I do not know the detailed condition of your mother's face and the inside of your mouth, I can only give you a general answer. Please forgive me for this. You say that your mother looks older than her peers. Many factors affect how peoples' faces look.

When we are children, we inherit our facial features from our parents through genetics. Our parents' features present themselves in our face and there is nothing anyone can do to change this. In Japanese this is called umaretsuki, or 'the face we are born with'. Our faces tend to be rounder when we are young and our skin more supple. We have tight beautiful faces when we are young and at this age we have baby teeth. But they are replaced by adult teeth, our jaws take shape and the area under our noses develops giving us adults a longer face. Our faces are finished growing when we become adults and they begin to change in a different way as we age.

Faces change shape as people gain and lose weight. There are also changes associated with the environment. People who work outside all of the time will certainly have a peculiar look, and people who struggle with illness may lose weight and experience further changes in their face.

Changes to the eyes and mouth stand out the most

Changes that human beings cannot avoid are changes that accompany aging. Especially in your 66 year old mother's case. She has entered a time in her life when the changes are most apparent. Her hair is turning white and the muscles in her face are becoming thin. Changes to the eyes and mouth stand out the most. Some people have large bright eyes, others have small friendly eyes and some have beautiful almond-shaped eyes. The eyes have the largest effect on our expressions. When we are joyful our eyes open wide, when angry they close to a point, and when we age, they begin to gather wrinkles and the pockets of fat under them begin to stand out.

The mouth, just like the eyes, also has a large influence on our expressions. You can usually tell the extent of the expression in our eyes, how happy or how sad we are, by the shape of our mouths. For example, a joyful expression is characterized by glinting our eyes and loosening the tension in our lips. The happier we are, the wider our smiles open up. That is to say, we show how happy we are or how fun something is by how we open our mouths. Following this line of thought, we can say that the eyes and the mouth work together as a pair and that expressions are none other than composites of the various parts of our faces.

The characteristics that are visible around the mouth of an aging person are thin muscles and wrinkles under the nose. People with healthy teeth usually have less wrinkles, but when people lose their teeth the lips, which have lost their support, are pushed inwards by a group of muscles called the orbicularis oris muscles, creating may wrinkles.

You have said that your mother is missing her numbers 3 through 5 teeth in the upper right. Either side of her lips must be sinking inwards. I imagine that she must look thin with no teeth there.

I recommend that she gets treatment soon so that she can lead a happy life.

Patients who use Dr. Inaba's dentures truly have beautiful smiles, don't they!

I am having a difficult time because my partial dentures don't fit

Q. The other day I had partial dentures made through health insurance. I am having a hard time because they do not fit.

This problem concerns dentures for my left and right molars on the lower jaw (4 of my left molars and 3 of my right molars are tied together with wire and are holding my dentures in place with spring metal parts). It is so severe that I have not yet been able to keep my dentures in for a whole day. Yesterday I went to the hospital for the first time in a while to fix the parts that were hitting against my teeth. Even though they fixed the parts for me, I still feel like my bite is weak. In fact it is so weak that it is still easier for me to take out my dentures completely when I eat. (Maybe I shouldn't force myself to use dentures at all?) I have had the nerves in my remaining teeth treated and the dentist told me that they are weak.

They kind of float up when I am chewing and they were pretty cheap (about 7000 yen). I suppose for that price I shouldn't expect anything more precise.

A. There are usually 14 bottom teeth, not including the wisdom teeth. So you seem to have lost 7 of those, or half of them, right?

Currently, Japan's health insurance-covered treatment method is to provide dentures that use metallic springs called clasps that hold dentures in by hooking them to remaining teeth. Since these springs are simple devices, it is common to experience an awkward feeling due to the dentures moving as they react to the force of your molars grinding food. Also, since artificial plastic teeth and natural teeth are completely different in hardness and shape, it is thought that these dentures cannot function very well. The grooves of your teeth are not random. They are in fact made according to rules that govern the back and forth and side to side movements of grinding. However, dentures covered by health insurance are made to have flat shapes that make it nearly impossible to grind food.

Everyone has a relaxed position unique to their own mouths (the central position), and if the dentures don't match up to that position when chewing, it can feel awfully awkward. The bite alignment plane is very important and basically should be bilaterally symmetrical. Sometimes when examining a patient whose dentures don't fit, we find that this standard is not met. I think that all of these factors lumped together can cause patients to feel that their dentures just don't fit nicely.

The good thing about the dentures that use clasps is that they are covered by insurance and can be used as false teeth after having teeth extracted. There are a few negative aspects about them though. First, if you use them for too long, the teeth supporting the springs can come loose. This is because every time you attach or detach them, they are placing a burden on your teeth, and whenever you chew food, your dentures wiggle around and in turn the teeth supporting them wiggle as well.
The positioning of the clasps is the same positioning that we dentists place our tools in when extracting teeth. Since the clasps are mimicking these actions slowly and over an extended period of time, before you know it, you could be suffering from loose teeth and symptoms similar to pyorrhea. The result is that you may lose these teeth. Also, these dentures are not so esthetically pleasing since they are riddled with metallic clasps. In Germany, a highly developed nation in denture technology, dentures that use clasps are so outdated that they are no longer even covered in textbooks in dental universities.

+ The bite is so weak that it is easier for me to take out my dentures completely when I eat. (Maybe I shouldn't force myself to use dentures at all?)

In response to this, I would have to say that of course it is better to eat with your dentures in. The reason for this is that the upper teeth and lower teeth maintain a balance when they come together biting. If you remove either top or bottom, your teeth can become weaker or start to extend out due to lost function. It is very difficult to adjust the bite alignment plane of a mouth with teeth that have begun to extend out.

One more thing is that without molars, the jaw joints will deteriorate. Bite alignment and joint movement work as a pair, so without molars there is an incredible extra burden on the joints. Muscle movements that pull on the joints are connected to joints in the neck that support the head. This is why these problems can cause other symptoms such as stiff shoulders, back pain, and headaches.

So is there one treatment method that can solve your problems?
One treatment option relies on implants.
This method calls for inserting a titanium plate into the bone of the jaw to create a foundation. In this patient's case, 7 implants would be placed into this foundation.

But in this case,

+ He has had nerve treatment and the dentist has informed him that his teeth are weak. So in this patient's case, instead of implants, I would recommend dentures made using the Riegel telescope method developed in Germany.

'Riegel telescope' is a type of denture technology from Germany first introduced to Japan by Shigeru Inaba (our clinic's advisor). Advisor Inaba spent a year and a half learning the authentic 'Riegel telescope' method directly from Professor Koerber at Tubingen University in 1978.
Since it requires a high understanding of oral theory and skill, this technology is not yet widely practiced in Japan. So we are working hard to spread knowledge of Riegel telescope.

It would cost 400,000 to 500,000 yen per tooth to replace your lost teeth with implants. It is no wonder that a set of dentures that cost 7000 yen, or 1000 yen per tooth, are causing you discomfort.

Konus Krone

Q. I have a question concerning my 65 year old mother who has dentures. 5 years have passed and she is still not used to the dentures that she got through health insurance. I am looking into Konus Krone dentures for her. Her lower bridge has come out and she only wears her upper full dentures when she leaves the house. She says that she feels pain and that it is difficult to bite. I searched for a dentist specializing in dentures and asked his advice. He said that they could leave 4 teeth in her lower jaw and she could have Konus Krone dentures made.

1. Are Konus Krone dentures more comfortable to wear than dentures covered by insurance? What is the difference? (Are there many people who cannot get used to health insurance dentures who choose Konus Krone instead?)
2. Do they last? How do they compare to health insurance dentures in lifespan?
3. Her current dentist suggests that if we decide to spend the money, we could have upper dentures made through insurance and make use of her bottom teeth to have Konus Krone dentures made. Is it really OK to spend so much money on the bottom teeth and so little on the top ones?

A. First, it is actually quite common for people to have never heard of Konus Krone dentures, so let me explain about them a little bit. Konus Krone are dentures developed in Germany. This is one of the many types of the telescope system, which has a longer than 100 year history in Germany. Konus, of course, refers to the conical shape, and 'Krone' refers to the internal and external crowns used to hold the dentures in place (it is a double crown method).

The angle of the inner crown is 6 degrees (the Konus angle), and retentive force is produced by the wedging force of the inner and outer crowns. If you can imagine stacking paper cups, these dentures work very much in the same way. After putting these dentures on, the internal and external crowns fit into place and will not come apart. This angle can be adjusted to match the condition of the patient's teeth. As for removing them, there is an indentation in the dentures where you can slide your finger to lift and remove them.

These dentures do not fall off on their own during daily activities.
Fundamentally, Konus telescope cannot be used on teeth that lack nerves. This is because the retentive force is transferred directly to the supporting teeth, and if those teeth are nerveless and weak, there exists the danger of uprooting them completely. Also, there is the possibility of contraindication from left over teeth in the jaw. Therefore it is important to have a proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment method. If done correctly under the right circumstances, these are superior dentures that can last for many tens of years.

With that said, I'll answer your questions one by one.

1. Are Konus Krone dentures more comfortable to wear than dentures covered by insurance? What is the difference? (Are there many people who cannot get used to health insurance dentures who choose Konus Krone instead?)

The feel of Konus Krone dentures as compared to that of health insurance ones is completely different. Usually, when a patient only has 4 teeth remaining, Japanese health insurance only covers dentures with wire springs called clasps. The clasps stick to the teeth, but the dentures are not technically attached. This means that there is a lot of movement.
When dentures move around, it creates the awkward sensation of having a foreign object in the mouth. As opposed to this, Konus Krone dentures are attached firmly by the wedging force of the internal and external crowns and this means that there is no extra movement in the mouth. For this reason, many patients who cannot get used to health insurance dentures find relief with Konus Krone ones.

2. Do they last? How do they compare to health insurance dentures in lifespan?

When the teeth that support the clasps of insurance covered dentures fall out, it is necessary to have the dentures remade from scratch. In Japan, you are allowed to have these kinds of dentures remade over and over again if they do not fit or if they break, but with these German dentures there is no need to have them remade at all. They can be adjusted to fit the changing shape of the mouth. So it can be said that they are made for long-term use.

3. Her current dentist suggests that even were we to spend money, we could have upper dentures made through insurance and make use of her bottom teeth to have Konus Krone dentures made. Is it really OK to spend so much money on the bottom teeth and so little on the top ones?

It would be meaningless to go through all of the trouble to treat the bottom teeth but leave the top teeth with an implement that is not matched. The bottom and top teeth work as a pair. No matter how well the bottom teeth work, if the top teeth are not in synch, it will be impossible to eat and speak correctly.
They are also made out of completely different materials. The prosthetic teeth in Konus Krone dentures are made by Dr. Strack design. They are superior in function and beauty. Prosthetic teeth in dentures covered by insurance are made from a very soft plastic. If your mother gets insurance-covered dentures for her top teeth and Konus Krone dentures for her bottom teeth, it will be very difficult to get them to match since they will be made at different labs by different technicians.
I recommend that if you do choose to go that route, you should at least have the top dentures made with the same materials that the Konus Krone dentures are made with, and make sure that the dentist uses an articulator (a bite alignment device) to match the bite as accurately as possible.

I am self-conscious about wire hooks in partial dentures.

About partial dentures with invisible wires

Q. I have had the second to last molar on my lower jaw removed and now there is a bridge connecting my deepest molar to the third molar. I recently went to the dentist and learned that these two molars had gingivitis so I got them removed. Now I am missing all three of those teeth.

The dentist recommended that I get partial dentures covered by health insurance, but he also told me that my good teeth that the wires clasp onto are susceptible to gingivitis. When I mentioned that I am worried about the wires being visible, he suggested implants. But, I am afraid of surgery. Are there partial dentures that are better than those covered by insurance and have invisible wires?

A. Currently dentures made using Japanese health insurance use metal springs called clasps. The clasps are attached to the teeth, but there is no adhesion.
Because of this, when the dentures move the teeth also move. These movements exert a force that can lead to the tooth gradually becoming loose and falling out.
These dentures are constantly moving inside of the mouth because they are attached to the teeth using springs. When we dentists extract teeth, we do so by exerting a side to side force. It is the same exact movement caused by insurance-covered dentures.
Germany, which is a leading country in denture technology, doesn't even teach about partial dentures that use clasps anymore at national dental universities. This is because these kinds of dentures cause tooth loss.
There are a few types of dentures that do not move around in the mouth and that are nearly undetectable as dentures. Some of these include Konus Krone, Riegel telescope, CSP, and Milling dentures.
None of these options are covered by insurance, but they have invisible wires and are so comfortable to use that they become a part of your own body.

Let me tell you how we would treat 3 missing teeth with partial dentures made using Riegel telescope.

Subduction (movement) of the dentures can be great when biting with insurance-covered clasp dentures because they use simple metal springs that grab onto the teeth. This force is transferred directly to the teeth and will eventually cause them to become loose due to wiggling.
In contrast with this, Riegel telescope dentures will link and secure the 2 teeth used as a foundation, and those teeth will be double crowned. Retention force is provided by a small locking mechanism and the dentures are held firmly in place by closing this lock.

The subduction (movement) of dentures made using Riegel telescope is limited to 300 microns when biting.
Of course this provides a firm bite and the dentures feel like your own teeth. It can be said that Riegel telescope dentures feel as much a part of your own body as implants would.


Should I take out my dentures before going to bed?

Q. Should I take out my dentures before going to bed? Or should I leave them in?

A. We receive this type of question often.
It is said that since dentures covered by insurance use a soft resin, the inner part of this resin absorbs dirt and foul smells easily. Because of this, it is suggested that you take out your dentures and sterilize them overnight. It is also said that this is good for the membrane of your mouth.
Dentures from our clinic can be worn throughout the night. The resin used in telescope system full dentures made using the maxillomandibular simultaneous impression method is strong against dirt and smells.

In a joint survey conducted by Nihon University School of Dentistry at Matsudo and Berlin Free University, 55 patients who use dentures were asked about how they take care of their dentures, how long they spend taking care of their dentures, how they use their dentures, and how they take care of their gums. The results showed that there was only a large discrepancy in the way German patients and Japanese patients use their dentures. Many German patients leave their dentures in day and night. But in Japan, almost all patients took out their dentures before going to bed. It seems some respondents were self-conscious about being seen by their husbands or family without their dentures in.

It appears that German dentists recommend that people sleep with their dentures in. Patients at our clinic have even told us, "My dentures have become a part of me so I don't feel right about taking them out."

It is OK to wash your dentures at night, put them in and sleep with them in place if the dentures truly feel like a part of your body.
Also, every time you come in for maintenance, we will clean your dentures thoroughly.
We have heard stories that at the time of the Hanshin Earthquake, there were some people who left their dentures behind and could not eat properly. We recommend sleeping with your dentures in to everyone because no one can be sure what is going to happen overnight.

2010年2月 « トップへ » 2010年5月