Getting dentures can be a daunting prospect, and the last thing patients want is a generic, or ‘horsey’ smile, says internationally renowned clinical dental technician, Richard Greenlees of Christchurch practice, Lovebite.
“People get new or replacement dentures for many reasons, but one thing is true for every patient; they want to love the new smile reflected back to them in the mirror and feel confident when they go out into the world.” Richard creates expertly crafted bespoke dentures, which are unique to every patient. “Teeth are as different as fingerprints and vary greatly depending on a person’s age, sex and race. I work one-on-one with patients to create a smile that allows them to feel like themselves again. My dentures also provide the correct support and structure to give them a more youthful appearance.”
As a reference while he works, Richard often uses his patients’ own photographs showing their natural smile. His dentures are like artworks, with each tooth individually crafted with colouring and small nuances to match his patients’ individuality and character.
Not only do Lovebite teeth look real, the whole structure and shape of a patient’s face is transformed with Richard’s top-of-the-line dentures – which feature his signature ‘denture lift’. “With appropriate facial support, the facial tissues are brought back into the correct position, lips are reformed and beauty is restored,” he says.
It is the interior architecture of a Lovebite denture that helps to create a more youthful appearance by recovering the face and skeletal shape that can be lost after years of wearing old dentures. To achieve these results, Richard has created world-leading techniques, which are now internationally recognised. He is regularly asked to lecture worldwide, and in April was the keynote speaker at the international DTG Symposium in Frankfurt, where he demonstrated his unique methods on a Christchurch patient, flown to Germany by the event organisers.
His vast experience includes 15 years running his own clinic in the prestigious Harley Street, London, where he treated people from all walks of life, from barrow boys to the rich and famous, politicians, actors and musicians. In addition to dentures, Richard also carries out crown and bridge, veneer and implant work, in conjunction with like-minded dental surgeons who complement his creative and aesthetic work.
There is nothing more satisfying for Richard than to see his patients leave the Lovebite studio with a beautiful new smile, and their self-confidence and identity restored.
Senior clinician Thomas Gu now leads the team at Merivale Denture Clinic with his highly specialised expertise and down-to earth personality.
He is already providing his patients with the finest quality handmade dentures that are comfortable, functional and aesthetically pleasing and those patients are very happy with his work.
Tom studied and worked at the University of Otago’s Faculty of Dentistry in Dunedin for more than 10 years. He led various departments in removable prosthetics, including partial dentures, full dentures, implant supported prosthetics and orthodontic appliances. His additional few years working at a private clinic in Christchurch prior to joining the Merivale team, support his extensive and wide array of experiences from complex and highly specialised hospital cases, to conventional dentures and prosthetics.
“For me, spending a good amount of time with each patient before starting the treatment is crucial. This allows me to make a thorough and comprehensive diagnosis to identify the needs and requirements necessary to produce the highest quality dentures. Dentures aren’t something you can pick off the shelves and away you go. They are oral prosthetics. They should be designed to the specific conditions of each patient’s mouth to adequately restore essential functions such as speech, and the abilities to eat and smile, which a lot of us take for granted.”
To book a complimentary, obligation-free consultation, phone 03 355 4704.
For more than 40 years, the team at Merivale Denture Clinic has been transforming the smiles of thousands of denture wearers. Situated on the corner of Papanui Road and Mansfield Avenue, and with a branch in Nelson, patients come from far and wide based on the clinic’s reputation for making superior dentures.
Whether you are a first time or experienced denture wearer upgrading, have teeth and gum failure in your twenties, or are middle aged with missing teeth, the team at Merivale Denture Clinic can explain your options, the creation and fitting process, and put you at ease.
Practice Manager Ottilia says new full or partial dentures transform the look of your face: people often don’t realise the effect of aging or worn dentures, or missing teeth. A 20-year-old set of dentures might fit like favourite old slippers, but they won’t necessarily look great and could cause problems, which can take longer to correct if left untreated.
These days there is so much importance placed on having nice teeth and there is no need to put up with a gappy smile with so many budget-friendly solutions available. Modern technology and techniques mean that adjusting to new dentures is easier than in the past. The team makes sure your new dentures look natural, enhance your smile and facial structure, and have optimum function. Ottilia says it’s very rewarding to see the improvement in every patient.
Phone for a complimentary consultation on 03-355 4704 and visit the website
People may not be aware of any problems associated with their dentures. When issues develop slowly over time, they adapt and think it is normal.
“Common issues we see with denture wearers are sore or irritated gums, difficulty eating properly, loss of lip or facial support, more wrinkles around the mouth, sore jaw, increased headaches, loose or slipping dentures, and sores at the corners of the lips,” says Ryan Carlton of Dentures Plus.
He says pressure and or rubbing can be quite painful, usually a result of chewing, but also clenching of teeth or bruxism (grinding the teeth). Other concerns may be hard foods, like small seeds getting underneath dentures, or denture teeth that need adjusting, relining or replacement.
Worn or ill-fitting dentures can make it hard to chew and eat properly. As the teeth flatten off over time, it’s harder to chew food effectively. Worn teeth also lose their height and bring the lower jaw up further, compressing the lips and giving the face a sunken-in look, more wrinkles and mouth sores. “Dentures need to be replaced to resolve this. Worn teeth can also lead to a sore jaw and headaches, as it puts more pressure on the joint and surrounding muscles.
“Many patients worry new dentures will make them look ‘horsey’ or ‘all teeth’, but although they may show a little more teeth, they should look natural – like they belong to the face. At Dentures Plus we make sure each patient is very happy with the final result, including their look and smile.”
Do you have one or several missing teeth? Have you had dentures for years but want something solid and natural looking to chew and smile with? Dental implants may be the solution for you.
Dental implants are small, pure titanium screws that are surgically placed in your jaw and have proven themselves to be a reliable addition to the treatment options currently available in high quality dental practice.
Implants are placed and then left to heal for three or more months, during which time ‘osseointegration’ occurs – the bone heals around the implant fixtures, locking them into place permanently. False teeth, crowns, or other appliances can then be attached, either with screws or cement.
If only one tooth is to be replaced, generally a porcelain crown will be attached to a single implant fixture. If a few teeth are missing, more than one fixture may be required – a three or four teeth bridge can often be attached to two implants. Or if a full arch (all the upper or lower teeth) is to be restored, several fixtures can be placed, with the denture either screwed to or clipped onto the fixtures.
Dental implant treatment can initially be more costly than conventional treatment options. However, as it provides a very long term solution, the cost is often comparable over time.
Doctor David Walsh has more than 25 years of experience with providing implant based solutions for people of all ages and backgrounds. For more information contact Dentistry on Merivale, upstairs inside Merivale Mall, on 03-355 8297 or at