Today’s dentures look better, fit better, work better, feel better and are ready sooner than those in the past. The process of getting dentures is far less daunting, and the outcomes for new denture wearers is far better than ever before.
According to the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, approximately 37 million Americans wear some form of dentures. Fifty-seven percent of adults age 65-74 wear some form of dentures, and 51 percent of the people in that age group wear full or partial dentures.
And if you think dentures are only for grey-haired retirees on a pension, think again. A whopping 16 percent of Americans in the 35-44 range wear full or partial dentures.
More People Wear Dentures Today
The number of denture wearers has been ramping up since the 1990s, due in part to the success rate of modern dentures, where getting dentures is often a more viable alternative than trying to save diseased teeth. When an attempt is made to save a tooth that was in extremely bad shape and a year later the tooth dies anyway, then the year was wasted. The patient could have had a denture or partial put in during that time and would be done with it.
To capitalize on this growing trend and wider acceptance of dentures, the market for dental adhesives has expanded exponentially, with new brands coming on the scene and new ad campaigns aimed – primarily – at the baby boomer generation have glutted the airwaves and magazines. It’s become a confusing whirlwind of information and claims that are sometimes difficult to substantiate. What used to be a couple of brands is now dozens, and more are jumping into the fray at every juncture.
To cut through the hype and to give you information you can really bite into, we present the top nine denture adhesives. This list is not ranked, but a representation of the brands and types that offer the best value overall.
Best Denture Adhesives
Best Feature: Lasts for up to four days
While Cushion Grip is listed as an adhesive, it’s not to be considered a glue. It works by creating a form-fitting buffer between the dentures and gums that makes the fit more snug and renders the denture plates less likely to loosen or fall out. An exclusive polymer formula provides waterproof security for up to four days with a single application.
The formula stays put, even when the dentures are removed for daily cleaning, soaking and brushing, When the dentures are re-inserted, the Cushion Grip reconforms to the shape of the denture, creating the same dependable seal for up to four days in a row.
It’s recommended for upper or lower plates and partial dentures.
There is an art to applying just the right amount of Cushion Grip, one that may take some time to master. Consumers can US Pharma – the manufacturer – and speak with what they refer to as a “Brand Ambassador”, who will assist those having trouble.
Cushion grip can be used with other products, although it’s generally more than adequate to hold dentures in place.
This is a re-introduction of the same Cushion Grip that was distributed by Schering Plough and Merck some years ago. The formula is unchanged.
Best Feature: Seals out food particles
You’ve seen this one advertised on national TV. Yep. This program has been sponsored by Super Poligrip. That’s SUPER Poligrip to you, mister.
Aggressive pitch advertising aside, this is a quality product that does the job it claims to do. It is indeed super, when you need 12 hours of hold. That’s an all-day hold for most dental adhesive users.
It claims to create a bead so solid it will seal out up to 74 percent more food particles than a lower full denture with no adhesive. This provides no small degree of comfort for dental wearers.
It has no artificial colors, adds no flavor to the palate and is zinc-free. The zinc-free formula is pretty important. Those who wear dentures are also more likely to use dietary supplements that contain zinc, and using a dental adhesive that contains zinc would make it more difficult to regulate the amount of zinc entering the body. An excess of zinc can lead to health problems and potentially cause nerve damage, among other things.
So, no zinc in your denture adhesive is a good thing.
No excess ooze is another good thing. This product – sold here as a four-pack – has a “no ooze” tip, so you get just the right amount every time if you follow instructions. As with the previous product, there will be a learning curve on getting the application just right.
Best Feature: Zinc-free and waterproof
They named it Secure for a good reason. It holds dentures securely. No slips, slides or errors for up to 12 hours.
It’s zinc free AND waterproof at the same time – an advantage not shared by the other brands on the list. Food particles do not leak out.
While some brands of denture adhesives have a taste to them, this product does not, so foods taste as they should.
The product information recommends applying the product to dry gums and dry dentures in the morning to create a good bond. When applied properly – two to three pearl-sized drops spread across the entire edge – the 1.4-ounce tube should last a couple of months.
Best Features: Mint flavor; Trusted Brand
While other brands on the list claim to be taste-free, Fixodent comes right out and says that it’s mint-flavored, for brisk coolness, fresh breath and the confidence that goes with it. This may not be your idea of a minty good time, but the bottom line is, this product holds dentures in place.
It’s the number one dentist recommended denture adhesive on the market (they have the data numbers to prove it, if you’re inclined to challenge them on that claim).
The all-day seal is strong, and helps lock out food particles that can sometimes wiggle in between the denture and gums, and therefore prevents gum soreness.
It does contain zinc, however. Excessive and prolonged intake of zinc has been associated with serious health problems. If you’re on a supplement containing zinc, you should consult your physician before using Fixodent.
Best Feature: Blended with ingredients that go into Scope mouthwash
This is similar to the Fixodent original formula product, except that it is combined with the same ingredients that go into Scope mouthwash to provide fresh breath.
Fixodent is a water-soluble product, rather than a waterproof product. The natural moisture in your mouth changes the soft cream into an elastic membrane that conforms to the shape of the denture and the gum line for a solid bond.
To remove adhesive residue at the end of the day, users should brush affected areas with a regular toothpaste, rinsing with “comfortably hot” water.
Beat Feature: Powder form makes clean-up easier
Some users simply don’t like applying a gooey substance to their dentures and gums, so for them, a powder is preferable. The end result is exactly the same, with the moisture in the mouth helping create a pasty substance that fills the gaps and holds dentures in place for up to 12 hours. Clean-up after use is generally much easier than with gel-type denture adhesives.
This particular item represents a good value because you get six 1.6-ounce packs at a much better unit price than buying them one pack at a time.
This is zinc-free, a good feature for those who may already be on a supplement that contains zinc.
Best Feature: Simple and easy to use with pre-cut strips
Carpenters say “measure twice, cut once,” but a lot of denture wearers may just opt for “Give me something that’s already measured for me.” To the rescue comes Super Poligrip Denture Adhesive Strips, with pre-measured amounts of adhesive for most mouths. The box ships with 40 strips.
This takes the guesswork out of application and simplifies the process. Great, huh. About time someone came up with a product like this. But here’s the other side of the coin: It’s kind of pricey. Many will say it’s worth it, because they have probably wasted enough of the regular product to make up the difference in cost. If that’s you, then this may very well be worth your while.
This zinc-free, taste-free denture adhesive lasts for up to 12 hours of dependable holding power.
They’re Not Your Grampa’s Dentures Any More
Not too long ago, getting fitted for dentures was almost like the maximum sentence for someone guilty of the crime of not taking care of his or her teeth as they should – the penultimate last resort for a habitual non-flosser. The process was painful, expensive and all too often provided less-than-ideal results. If you remember seeing grandpa or grandma remove their dentures and setting them aside, it was because their gums hurt due to ill-fitting dentures. Back in the day, “ill-fitting” was pretty much the norm.
Losing teeth, whether through gum disease, wear and tear or injury, represents a sad moment. Adults don’t grow new teeth. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and they’re not coming back.
The first thing people think of on the topic of lost teeth is the inability to chew solid food, but when you lose your teeth, your facial muscles sag and you take on the appearance of a sea hag.
But thanks to research and some pretty amazing technology, it’s a different world now in dentist land. Dentures and all the processes associated with them have made amazing strides over the years, and a lot more patients are getting dentures, and a lot more patients are saying, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”
Restoring diseased teeth to good health remains the number one goal for any dental patient and his dentist, but giving up on bad teeth and replacing them with partial or full dentures is becoming a more viable alternative than ever before. Cases in the past where the dentist might take heroic measures to save a tooth or teeth that were in terrible condition are now more and more likely to be deemed as not worth the effort when compared to the process of getting new dentures.
Modern Day Dentures
Today’s dentures are more attractive, look more natural, fit better and work better than the dentures of the past. New materials and new fitting procedures have made it all so much less of an ordeal.
With conventional dentures, all teeth are pulled, and the denture is fitted after all areas of the gums have completely healed. This often takes several months. In a new process, a prefabricated denture, based on measurements taken during a preliminary appointment, is placed in the mouth on the same day the last of the teeth are pulled. A few adjustments will likely be necessary over the next few months, but the best thing is that the patient doesn’t have to go without teeth during the healing process.
Sometimes, it’s possible to save some teeth and have an overdenture placed over the gaps where teeth had been pulled.
For less profound cases of tooth or gum diseases, bridges, implants and crowns can take the place of natural teeth, and perform just as well, if not better than the natural teeth. In some cases, a combination of denture and implant is called for. This is an affixed denture, which is permanently mounted to the jaw by means of two or more implants. The patient’s jawbone must be healthy enough to support this technique.
Most dentures today are acrylic based, which often outperform regular teeth because of their hardness. Acrylics have no “give” to them, which can sometimes cause issues when the fit is not as precise as it should be.
Acrylics also are easier to mold, creating a greater sense of realism than the conventional “mouth full of teeth” dentures that looked as fake and as abhorrent as the bad teeth they replaced.
The obvious benefit of having new dentures is that you can chew and digest food with greater ease than before, but for some, it’s the new smile that brings the greatest satisfaction. Enhanced confidence in social settings is a huge factor. Denture wearers report that people react to them differently than when they had bad teeth. The stigma of having crooked, missing or unsightly teeth suddenly evaporated.
Speaking with new dentures in place is another thing, however – one that requires a bit more patience and persistence. Some words and consonant combinations are suddenly difficult to form. The tongue “knows” where the old teeth used to be, and now it suddenly has to find the bottom of the front incisors to form the “th” sounds, and certain sounds that require the teeth to be clenched together, like the “sh” sounds are also difficult to master.
Chewing with Dentures
Chewing with new dentures is a learned process as well, but new denture wearers generally get used to it fairly quickly. Old habits, borne from necessity due to missing or painfully diseased teeth, have to be unlearned.
Dentures are generally easier to care for than natural teeth and are more forgiving of neglect, but chronic neglect will certainly lead to major problems. Dentures should be rinsed prior to removal, brushed with a soft-bristle brush with a non-abrasive cleaner. Dentures should be stored in an approved dish with water to prevent warping.
The mouth should likewise be taken care of, with special attention to the gum lines. Any food or adhesive residue should be cleaned on a nightly basis.