HELSI Bites: Talking Dentures
Presented by Professor Barry Gibson, School of Clinical Dentistry
More and more people are living longer and are retaining more of their teeth as they age. This has led to a transition in population oral health where older people have very successfully retained their teeth, albeit with very complex dental work present in their mouths. As a result, there are increasing proportions of people living with removable partial dentures. Yet we know very little about what life is like to live with partial dentures. Our work at the university of Sheffield is uncovering how life with removable partial dentures can be disabling but the impacts of which remain largely hidden. Dentures are often seen as an object that attracts comedy and therefore people who wear them keep them hidden from others. It can be very challenging looking after dentures in public spaces because of the lack of privacy in washrooms etc. Consequently, some participants have reported creating ‘safe’ places that they can go to alongside places to avoid, this has led to adaptations that can contribute to social isolation. We are also working with dental practitioners and patients in South Yorkshire to uncover the key factors that result in successful adaptation to a new denture and examining how we can better prepare people for life with their dentures.
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