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Let’s smile confidently in the season of celebration

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Let's get everyone to smile confidently this coming fesive season. Photo by Tim Gouw - Unsplash

By: Dr. Zubaidah Zanul Abidin, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lim Ghee Seong, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nosizana Mohd. Salleh

During the festive season, families and close friends come together, visiting one another to enjoy delectable cuisine, engaging in heartfelt conversations, and capturing cherished moments in photographs. However, there are individuals who often refrain from meeting guests or participating in family photos during these joyous occasions.

This predicament is particularly common among those who have experienced tooth loss, especially those who are completely edentulous. Such individuals frequently devise various excuses to distance themselves from friends and relatives, primarily driven by the embarrassment associated with missing teeth. This not only hampers their enjoyment of the festive feast but also leads to a perceived aging effect, manifesting in a sunken facial appearance. Consequently, a lack of confidence in socializing with the public ensues.

Moreover, they may encounter difficulties in articulating speech clearly, and the absence of teeth may result in saliva dispersion. Therefore, it is strongly advised for individuals facing these challenges to promptly seek dental treatment at a nearby dental clinic to acquire complete dentures, restoring not only their oral function but also their confidence and enjoyment of social interactions.

For those embarking on the journey of wearing complete dentures, understanding the fundamentals becomes key to successful oral function rehabilitation. This involves gaining insights into the general aspects of complete dentures, their advantages, and the essential maintenance practices for optimal oral health and denture longevity.

The endeavour to address tooth loss has led to ongoing efforts to provide dentures that meet both functional and aesthetic needs. In Malaysia, however, there is a noticeable lack of awareness and knowledge among the general population regarding proper denture hygiene and maintenance. Similar to natural teeth, dentures require daily cleaning, with the added step of removal before bedtime and soaking in water to keep them in good condition.

Complete dentures serve as a valuable solution for individuals facing the loss of some or all teeth, offering a path to improved oral health and overall quality of life. Age alone doesn’t determine the need for dentures, as tooth loss can result from various conditions such as accidents, gum disease, or tooth decay. Modern dentistry provides support for individuals of all ages requiring full dentures.

Often referred to as “full dentures,” these dental prostheses are custom-made to provide a comfortable fit while enhancing the natural appearance, function, and aesthetics of an individual’s smile. The collaborative effort between patients and dental professionals is crucial throughout the treatment process, involving consultation, impressions, facial measurements, trial fittings, and adjustments before the final dentures are delivered.

The transformative impact of complete dentures extends beyond the physical, affecting individuals emotionally. Challenges faced initially, such as difficulty in speaking and eating, discomfort, and potential soreness in oral tissues, can be overcome with time and persistence. It’s crucial for

individuals new to complete dentures to continue speaking normally, facilitating a smoother adjustment process.

Ensuring prolonged oral tissue health with dentures requires a commitment to good oral hygiene. Regular cleaning practices, proper storage, and attending scheduled dental check-ups are paramount. Complete dentures, like natural teeth, can accumulate plaque, debris, and tartar, emphasizing the need for daily cleaning using a soft brush or cloth with soap or a non-abrasive denture cleanser. Additionally, removing and soaking complete dentures in tap water before sleeping helps reduce the risk of fungal infections.

Being informed about these aspects is vital for individuals wearing complete dentures to fully benefit from their dental therapy and address potential issues that may arise in the future. Increased awareness not only ensures a positive experience for individuals using complete dentures but also encourages the embrace of dental treatment as a means to enhance oral health and confidently smile, especially during the festive season.

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The authors are from the Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya.

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