Dentures Lost in Polling Booth!

Election day was last week, November 7. Directly afterwards, The Portland Press Herald reported that false teeth were left behind in a polling booth during the election. A city clerk in Maine was looking for the owner of the set of dentures left in the auditorium that serves as a polling place. Once found, the dentures were placed in a plastic bag and left in the city clerk’s office in Portland City Hall, waiting for the owner to show up.  Hopefully by now someone has arrived to claim the dentures. I haven’t been able to find out.

A few things do stand out. One, the clerk should be told to never place the dentures in a plastic bag – too easy to inadvertently throw out. Two, it looks like a single denture, not a set (as stated). Third, the owner may be too embarrassed to make a claim.  I can see how someone can leave behind an upper denture (as this is) – it may have been uncomfortable and so taken out.

But the media found this story so astonishing that Rachel Maddow had a story about it on her show and technicians could be heard laughing in the background.  See the youtube video:  Sorry, but not a laughing matter. Wearing dentures is not something to make fun of. 

DONDInGWkAAarZP-250x250Denture lost in Portland, Maine

President Eisenhower (Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and President from 1953-1956) had a teeth problem! He was a bruxer – a serious grinder of his teeth. This leads to tooth breakage and loose teeth. In the President’s case, he broke his front tooth and had a crown placed. It subsequently fell out and was recemented. Here is a photo of Eisenhower with the tooth stub, missing crown. The second photo is more typical of his published photos – notice how he doesn’t show his teeth!





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I was out of the office last Friday and Saturday taking a two day course called “Incorporating Full Arch Immediate Loading into Your Practice: An Interdisciplinary Team Approach.” What a mouth full!  Translation: “Full Arch Immediate Loading” is the term dentists use to describe placement of implants for someone who has no teeth or failing teeth and attachment of a tooth bridge to the implants on the same visit. What this means is that a person may arrive in the dental surgeon’s office in the morning, have remaining failed teeth removed and leave the office several hours later with a full complement of teeth or sometimes have teeth placed the next day. This is truly amazing dentistry!

The “interdisciplinary team approach” refers to the dental team: restorative dentist, implant surgeon, and laboratory technician.  All of the players plan the procedure very carefully with models and cat scans to be sure that the patient is a candidate for this type of dentistry.   The procedure is worked out carefully beforehand so it all proceeds without a hitch.  The patient will go home with a provisional bridge – the permanent bridge is placed several months later.  We call this a “hybrid” because it is an implant bridge that is fixed for the patient but which the dentist can remove periodically to clean, repair if necessary, and to be sure that everything is solidly attached.

The course was given by a dentist and oral surgeon who came to Long Island from Westchester with their patient. We had a lecture, some hands-on exercises and a live patient demonstration. This is an excellent way to learn dental procedures. The course was given at Marotta Dental Laboratory, located in Farmingdale  – excellent dental technicians who are very experienced in doing this type of dentistry. I accompanied Dr. Edward Brant, a periodontis/implantologist from Saint James whom I work with on a regular basis. The implant system we used was from the Straumann Company which sponsored the event and donated their expertise. Straumann, a Swiss company, is the largest implant company in the world and has its American headquarters in Andover, Mass.

Truly an outstanding couple of days!

I started writing this blog in 2006 and have kept at it two or three times a month. I now have over 260 blog posts. So why do I write? I really like to write and as my friends know, I love to read. Maybe I am a frustrated writer and vent my frustrations on this blog. I write about all kinds of things, but usually connect the entry to dentistry because, after all, the blog is a dental health blog and it appears on my dental website. So I write funny stories about things that happen in the office and I write about cases I have done and I write about dental topics that I hope people want to learn more about.

People who read my blog, send me messages. It is a dialogue with my readers and patients. It is an excellent tool for me to get known and, yes, to market my dental practice. Read what Julie Roehm has to say about the art of storytelling: “its history, impact, and the importance for brand and marketers to understand and master the art.”