The practice of dentistry is truly a learning experience. There is the learning dentists receive from dental school, residency, practical experience, peers, and from dental journals. There is also another great source of learning that dentists see everyday -- their patients.
A nice example of this is in the use of denture adhesive, like Fixadent®. Denture adhesives are useful in helping to keep full and partial dentures stable, but are also handy in keeping permanent or temporary dental crowns and dental bridges in place.
Denture adhesives used to get a bad rap from the dental community because they were viewed as a sort of crutch for a poorly fitting denture.
In an ideal world, dentures would stay firmly in place without any adhesive. While this is often the case with upper dentures, in the real world, lower dentures often need denture adhesive to help keep them stable. Over time, dentists have learned that many patients use denture adhesives to improve the comfort and fit of their dentures.
I see nothing wrong with patients using a modest amount of denture adhesive, but draw the line when that use becomes excessive. A patient using too much denture adhesive may have ill-fitting dentures, need an adjustment, or should consider having their denture re-lined or re-made. Denture adhesives can also be used to cement permanent or temporary crowns and bridges for a short amount of time.
This is an application of denture adhesive that I learned from a patient. A new patient came in with a crown that had come off and they had secured it with denture adhesive. I asked how long it had been cemented this way, and was surprised to learn that the denture adhesive had held the crown in place for several weeks.
Loose crowns and bridges can present a problem and should be re-cemented by the dentist as soon as possible. If it is not possible to see a dentist right away, a denture adhesive can be used to effectively keep permanent or temporary crowns and bridges secure for a short period of time.
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