Montrose Star interviews trusted dental authority Dr Randy Mitchmore from his Montrose practice called LifeSmiles.
M.S. I was hoping that my teeth would last me a lifetime. I am not sure they are going to make it. How long are teeth supposed to last?
DrM I do believe our creator had a pretty clever design. We get two sets of teeth to start with. You get to totally screw it up until the age of six years old. That first set is lost. Then you get a get out of jail card and the clock starts ticking on the second set. The dilemma is, how long is a lifetime? We do not know that number at the age of six, but it has been getting longer over time in the developed world. As better public health measures have allowed us to live longer, greater demands are put on keeping our teeth longer.
M.S. So at age 45, how many teeth am I supposed to have?
DrM A full house of permanent teeth is 32. However, most people have the wisdom teeth removed and some people are born without all four wisdom teeth. Therefore, I do not include wisdom teeth in my count of what is considered a “full set”. So, you get one last pass. A full set is considered 28 teeth.
M.S. I am one tooth short of a full deck. How do I stack up to the rest of America?
DrM Out of the 500 million Americans, 178 million are missing one tooth. So you are still in the upper half of the class. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades. The interesting thing is that once a person loses one tooth and doesn’t have it replaced, the next category of missing two or more teeth sky rockets in the number of people in that class.
M.S. So the moral of that story is if you have lost one tooth you have stepped on a slippery slope to more rapid tooth loss.
Dr M. Yes. With today’s technology of computer guided dental implants and digital CAD/CAM impressions and crowns it just makes sense to stop the madness. One last interesting statistic: By age 65, 100% of Dental Hygienists have All of their Teeth! Maybe there is a lesson there?
M.S. Well I am not a Dental Hygienist and I live in the real world where a lot of people have had life circumstances that just were not fair. Or they had other priorities in their life until now. What hope do they have?
DrM About 23 million Americans have no teeth at all. That is embarrassing for some because they feel like they are looked down upon for not being like everyone else. However, denture wearers are some of my favorite paitents.
M.S. Why would they be some of your favorite paitents?
Dr M: I believe denture wearers deserve the same fine care and respect as someone with perfect teeth. Unfortunately, most younger dentists receive little training in dentures and because of that, they do not like making dentures. When a denture patient has a bag full of ill-fitting dentures made by several different dentists, they get labeled as a nut case. I find that denture wearers are hungry to find a dentist that understands them. Besides that, we have incredible new technology for denture wearers!
M.S. What has changed?
Dr M We finally have a technology breakthrough in making digital CAD/CAM AvaDent dentures! Ava means birth, Dent means teeth. AvaDent means the rebirth of your smile. There has never been anything like this before. AvaDent takes digital records of your jaws, face and bite and creates a virtual denture right on the computer. It even makes little ridges in the palate just like yours and texture to the gum part of the denture. Nothing has ever felt and looked so real. Typical dentures take 5 appointments to make. AvaDent only takes two appointments. One to make the records and the second to give you the final result.
MS How can you do that?
DrM Using digital records, the denture is designed on a computer simulation of your jaws and bite. Then the denture is milled out of a solid block using Rapid Prototyping technology. Unlike traditional dentures there is not shrinkage so you get a great fit. This is not out of the old porous material that could give that horrible denture smell/breath. AvaDent is also more bacteria resistant. That is how you can get that youthful feel back again and natural look that you thought were gone forever.
Because the records are all digital, if you lose or break a denture, a new one can be reproduced with the push of a button! I like that they are American made.
At LifeSmiles, you are welcome to come by for a complimentary assessment to see if AvaDent just might give you a virtual smile back!
Dr Mitchmore is active in the community. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the Monstrose Management District. His passion is Dentistry. He has also been a City Councilman and Chairman of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Charitable Foundation, Give Back A Smile. The foundation helps survivors of intimate partner abuse regain their smile.