False teeth, like all personal items, can be lost or misplaced. Denture replacement after losing a denture is never a pleasant experience. A person whose denture is lost or misplaced may have difficulty chewing, eating, and speaking, and may be embarrassed by their looks.
Often, a missing denture is linked to being hospitalized or entering a nursing home. Personal items such as dentures or eyeglasses can be misplaced because of an accident, sudden illness, or admission to a hospital. Also, it is not difficult for a nursing home resident or staff member to misplace a denture.
Nursing homes, similar to hospitals, are busy places. Residents often are recovering from serious illness, have recently been discharged from a hospital, are undergoing rehabilitation, or have cognitive and mental health problems such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. If lost or misplaced prosthodontics are found and they are not labeled with something that identifies its owner, it is very unlikely that it will be returned.
- How a denture can be misplaced in a hospital or nursing home:
- Wrapped in a napkin and left on a food tray
- Placed in pocket of clothing
- Removed during a nap and left in bed sheets
- Other patients take denture
- Staff places denture with another patient's belongings
False teeth can be labeled with an identification label at any time. They can be labeled when they are initially constructed, or the label can be added at a later date. A dentist or prosthodontist inserts the labels in an area of the denture that does not interfere with its function or looks. A dentist or dental technician should be responsible for labeling your prosthodontics. Do not label them yourself with home items such as a felt tip pen or marker. Denture identification can be any combination of a first name, last name, initials, or the first initial of the last name with the last four numbers of your Social Security number.
Loss of false teeth causes inconveniences and problems for the sick, the old, the mentally impaired, and family caregivers. Replacing prosthodontics also requires getting used to the new fit and appearance. Denture replacement also involves cost, arranging for a dental visit, time, and transportation. To eliminate the inconveniences of a lost or misplaced denture, consider the benefits of denture identification.
by Denise J. Fedele, D.M.D., M.S.
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