When clients see Rob Stack around town they give him the biggest and brightest smiles. For the dental prosthetist from Bathurst Denture Care Centre, those simple smiles are a very welcome sign of a job well done.
Dental prosthetists work their magic to assess patients for, and then provide, removable full or partial dentures.
As well as helping patients to better tuck into their breakfast, lunch and dinners, dentures play an important role in maintaining a person’s self-confidence.
“In essence a denture is a tool to help you eat. But what I try to do is give them a tool which allows people to eat and which is also aesthetic,” Mr Stack said.
“And interestingly, the major concern people have when they don’t have teeth isn’t the fact that they can’t eat, because they actually can. They may have to change their choice of food, but surprisingly they can eat without dentures.
“So a large part of the provision is supplying something which makes the patients feel comfortable.”
Being able to chat with friends, have a laugh or smile when the fancy takes you is taken for granted by most people, but for those who do not have a full complement of pearly whites these moments can be full of angst, apprehension and self-consciousness.
And unfortunately, compounding this problem is the stigma attached to someone who is missing a tooth, especially front teeth. Providing a set of dentures for a client can lead to a monumental shift in how they live their lives.
If you can make them a denture which is cosmetically an improvement and is stable when they talk and eat then it does affect their confidence. It impacts their ability to function in society.Rob Stack
“You can change somebody’s life,” Mr Stack said. “People who have ill fitting or non existent dentures are constantly aware of the fact that their dentures [or lack of them] are, in their mind, obvious.
“If you can make them a denture which is cosmetically an improvement and is stable when they talk and eat then it does affect their confidence. It impacts their ability to function in society.”
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- Bathurst Denture Care Centre
Mr Stack has been helping people to smile proudly for more than four decades and loves the results of his work.
“I enjoy seeing patients walk out with a denture which makes them happy and fulfills their need,” he said. “Knowing they will be able to successfully use those dentures. And seeing patients down the street and they happily say ‘hi’ – that means a job well done.”
Mr Stack explains that people should not be concerned about the process of getting a full or partial denture.
“There is no pain involved with this procedure and there is no reason for fear,” he said. “All we are doing is taking an impression and making you a denture.
“It is not invasive, other than taking the impression. It is not painful and it is not disturbing. I try really hard to relax patients and ensure that they are not stressed.”
Mr Stack acknowledges that the rapport he builds with customers is crucial to producing a successful denture – and the time spent in his chair will be peppered with, of all things, dad jokes!
“Yes, I tell them dad jokes,” he admitted. “What’s brown and sticky? A stick. What do you call a three-legged donkey? A wonkey.”
Fortunately for patients at Bathurst Denture Care Centre, the number of appointments needed to organise a set of dentures is small.
“Normally, full dentures are five appointments and partials are usually less,” Mr Stack said.