At Durham, we believe it is our mission to deliver Beyond Exceptional Dentistry to all our patients. But for many years, we were unable to do that for one group of our patients: denture patients.
The traditional denture process didn’t lend itself to achieving quality results. It was unscientific, learned mostly by trial and error. Most dentists accepted that they wouldn’t be able to deliver quality results. In fact, they had a glib answer: “A person who lost their legs doesn’t expect to run a marathon. Don’t expect dentures to perform like natural teeth.” These days, of course, we know that people without legs can run marathons. People with dentures, it seemed to us, should also be able to enjoy full function from them.
When we invited Dr. Rod Strickland to join the practice, we gave him this challenge: develop dentures that we will be proud to give to our patients. Dentures that look as good and function as well as any cosmetic dentistry we offer.
Two Years in Development
Dr. Strickland took the challenge to heart and developed what would become the Denture Fountain of Youth®, or FOY® Dentures for short, from 2007 to 2009. He knew his denture process had to be different from the dominant trend in dentistry.
While traditional dentures were built on the assumption that dentures would never function as well as natural teeth, modern trends in dentistry logically concluded that if dentures couldn’t be made better, they must be made cheaper. New waves of cheaper dentures came out, and these fit, functioned, and looked even worse than traditional dentures.
Clearly, to develop dentures worthy of being called Beyond Exceptional Dentistry meant bucking this trend. To do that, he drew on the two pillars of his training after dental school: cosmetic dentistry and neuromuscular dentistry.
Utilizing Innovations in Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry had made tremendous strides in recent decades. Dentists could deliver more attractive, natural, and durable results than ever. But the new developments were rarely applied to dentures.
Dr. Strickland decided to use these developments to help make dentures that don’t look like dentures. He used the best denture teeth available, which are made with materials commonly used for dental veneers. He also utilized new techniques available for making the denture base look more attractive and natural. Finally, he incorporated aspects of smile design that he used for other patients so that denture wearers could also have their own unique smiles, rather than having the same size, shape, and style of denture teeth as everyone else.
Improving Fit with Neuromuscular Dentistry
Dr. Strickland was also an expert in neuromuscular dentistry. This insight showed that dentures couldn’t just sit on the gums and be expected to fit and function the way natural teeth did. The neuromuscular system was too complex and dynamic for that. To help dentures fit better in the system, Dr. Strickland used a more complex system of fitting, which included working in all three dimensions, something few dentists did, and stimulating the muscles during fitting to achieve dynamic border molding. This helped ensure that dentures wouldn’t be dislodged by the muscles as they moved. In fact, with this fit, the muscles actually helped hold FOY® Dentures in.
Making dentures that truly replaced the lost teeth had another effect beyond comfortable fit and good function. It restored the face to its youthful height. Because the teeth and jaw provide the underlying structure for the lower third of the face, tooth loss and inadequate replacement could accelerate facial aging.
But with FOY® Dentures, the full presence of teeth was restored, leading to a more youthful and attractive appearance with fewer wrinkles, less pronounced jowls, and a reduced turkey neck. It was like a facelift, but better because it didn’t require surgery and all the risks that entails.
Get FOY® Dentures from the Inventor
Since developing the procedure, Dr. Strickland has taught hundreds of dentists to offer FOY® Dentures, and he continues to offer them himself from Durham in Savannah, GA. To schedule a consultation with a denture dentist, please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment.