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Dentures

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by Linda, Aug 4, 2001.

  1. Linda

    Linda Guest

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    Just a quick question. Can you dive if you wear dentures.
     
  2. John Reinertson

    John Reinertson Barracuda

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    Yes people can and do dive with dentures. The amount of bite force needed is actually small except in the most extreme current conditions. If you are concerned about retention of the mouthpiece, there are custom-fit mouthpieces widely available, but most of the people I know of with dentures don't feel they are essential.

    Most beginners clamp down way too hard and get jaw fatigue, but that's mostly a result of anxiety and you soon learn to take it easy.

    Dive safe and often,
    John Reinertson
     
  3. joewr

    joewr ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Location: Northern California
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    John,

    Between dives one day I just happened to look at my better half's mouth piece and I was shocked! It was only about 6 months old and was almost chewed in half! In contrast, mine is not over 2 years old and looks brand new.

    Turned out that Barbara had had her mouthpiece kicked out by another diver once and she did not want that to happen again! So she clamped down! At any rate, what I think I have learned is that if you are confident that you can recover a kicked-out mouthpiece, you do not bite so hard. So, my feeling is that novice training should include many repetitions of recovering a "lost" mouthpiece.

    Of course, the irony in all this is that if you bite so hard regularly and do not montitor your mouthpiece, you may lose it buy biting through it!

    Joewr
     
  4. scubadoc

    scubadoc Medical Moderator

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    The big problem is that the dentures can dislodge and be aspirated resulting in asphyxia and drowning.

    Some diving dental experts feel that one should avoid wearing full or partial dental prostheses while diving as they can be dislodged and aspirated easily, especially partial dentures. To completely eliminate the possibility of dislodgment, a custom mouthpiece must be made, using a silicon rubber mouthpiece ("Comfo-Bite" from U.S.Divers) for the impression. Full arch impressions are taken with the patient holding the putty in the roof of the mouth until it is set, then mounted in a hinge articulator and sent to the lab with the silicon putty impression. This custom made edentulous mouthpiece will allow the diver to participate with no chance of aspiration of a dental prosthesis.

    Other denture wearers do have difficulty in holding the regulator in the mouth properly, end up clamping down too hard and develop TMJ pain.
     

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