Functional dentures or the lack thereof, affects all aspects of human functioning, nutritional health and general health. It concerns the rehabilitation of oral function, mastication, speech, aesthetic appearance and human dignity. In the words of Dr Burton Conrod, FDI President: “A healthy smile and the ability to speak and eat without pain or discomfort are critical to general health and well-being.”

The inability to chew causes premature aging and infirmity. Access to affordable, efficient Denture provision is thus an essential service that should be recognized as a basic Human Right. However, the Freedom Charter with Equality, Human dignity, Freedom of choice and the Right to healthcare has little meaning to a toothless-disabled who is handicapped with a barrier to obtaining dentures.

Only ±16% of the South African population subscribes to Medical Schemes. For that reason, the large majority can’t afford dental treatment. 11% of the population is edentulous, but the ratio is extremely high amongst the elderly and the poor. Those in need of dentures are caught up in a system where they are forced, either to satisfy their needs at often-unaffordable rates through a private Dentist, go without, or take the risks of unsavoury illegal avenues. Denture wearers do not have a fair choice of options! The introduction of a category of Denturist, provides the public with another option of an expert service provider and a freedom of choice!