It’s an unfortunate truth that dentures can be linked to many health problems. But with new approaches to denture technology, they can also start to be part of the solution. Now dentures are being designed to deliver medications. Although the initial goal will be to prevent Candida infections, these dentures could eventually be used to deliver many different kinds of medications.
A Special Coating for Dentures
Candida is a fungus that is responsible for denture stomatitis. For most people, this causes gum irritation and redness. For people with poor health or compromised immune systems, Candida infections can become worse, potentially even fatal.
Dentures are a common source of Candida infections. Although good oral hygiene can help prevent these types of infections, people who are most vulnerable to serious infections may also have a hard time keeping their dentures clean.
In the past, people have tried to put antifungal medications in dentures, but these were infused into the plastic when the denture was created. Once the medication was released, the denture became inert and wouldn’t help with infection.
But this new approach involves the use of a special coating that could be applied–in theory–to almost any denture including FOY ® Dentures or implant dentures. The coating material is made of a water-soluble polymer known as PNVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone) This coating can be infused with an antifungal medication. The medication will be effective for about 30 days. Then the medication can be reapplied. A different medication could even be used, which would help avoid drug resistance among the Candida population. And if the infection clears early, the dentures can be immersed in a solution that neutralizes the drug.
And although antifungal medication is currently being tested, the coating could, in theory, be used to deliver many types of medications with a slow-release dose over 30 days.
Veterans Will Benefit First
These dentures are still in the early testing stages, so they’re not ready for market yet. However, it’s likely that veterans will be the first to benefit from this new technology. Vets are being targeted for this treatment in part because they’re more likely to wear dentures than the civilian population. This is related to a combination of orofacial injuries, post-combat disabilities, and homelessness that makes it harder for them to care for their oral health either before or after they get dentures.
It’s also because the research has been funded in part by a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the next few years, researchers plan to begin manufacturing the dentures and preparing for clinical trials. They hope for FDA approval soon after.
In the meantime, quality, properly fitting dentures are a great way to help reduce your risk of stomatitis and other denture-related problems like angular cheilitis. To learn more about the benefits of quality dentures in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.