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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderators: blast, WaltTrombone) Brass players with dentures?
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Adam_B_Hanna

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« on: Nov 24, 2005, 04:52AM »

I was just curious, is that possible?
My father loved baritone, and unofortunately had to lose his teeth. Is there any way he can get back into playing shape maybe?

  -Adam-
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denny seifried

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« Reply #1 on: Nov 24, 2005, 05:52AM »

Adam,

Many years ago, I had the pleasure and HONOR to set in a trombone section, down in Covington KY, with a real giant in the trombone world, and his name is Bill Rank. Bill had to have been in his late 70's when I worked with him and Bill used dentures. I am sorry that I can not remember if it was a full set of upper and low dentures or just a partial set. It surely didn't seem to bother his playing, in the least.

I have included a short bio. of Bill, which appears on Rene Laanen's Trombone Page of the World (www.trombone-usa.com):

Quote from: "Scott Yanow"
Rank, Bill  
Trombonist, Rank, Bill is most famous for having participated on some classic recordings with Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer in the 1920's. He began his professional career in 1921, playing with Collins' Jazz Band in Florida and then in Indianapolis as part of Tade Dolan's Singing Orchestra. Rank joined Jean Goldkette's Orchestra in 1923 and was with Goldkette through the summer of 1927 including the Beiderbecke era. He was with Adrian Rollini's legendary (if short-lived) orchestra, recorded with Sam Lanin, Roger Wolfe Kahn and Nat Shilkret and then was with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra from Dec. 1927 up until 1938, appearing on many recordings. After four years playing in the Hollywood studios, Rank moved to Cincinnati where he led his own bands by night while working in the insurance industry by day. In the late 1960's he became more active in music, visiting Europe a few times and appearing at numerous classic jazz festivals in the 70's where he was treated as a legend. Bill Rank led his lone record date in 1973, a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke for Fat Cat's Jazz.  - Scott Yanow -
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Denny Seifried
Bass Trombone
Dayton Jazz Orchestra & Springfield (OH) Symphony
BBb Tuba Ohio Valley British Brass Band (OVBBB) & Western Ohio Tuba Quartet
Adjunct Trombone-Wittenberg Univ. Dept. of Music
Stewbones43

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 24, 2005, 07:12AM »

The answer to your question is a definite YES but there are some problems which can occur.

The main problems are with the upper denture-I'm assuming we are talking about full upper and lower dentures.

The front of the upper denture usually has a flange which goes up to cover the upper gum and in order to make the denture stay in place this has to be air/water tight otherwise the suction is lost. The rim of a trombone/baritone mouthpiece is just the wrong size and causes the denture to rock and lose its suction-usually accompanied by the unrequired sound of castanets :shuffle:

Also when working the muscles which control the embouchure there are times when ligaments at the side of the mouth-you can feel these if you put your tongue up towards your cheek-bones between your upper molars and your cheek- force your denture down-cue castanets again Embarrassed!

The solution is to use a denture fixative powder or paste which will work well.

If there is not a total loss of teeth then a partial denture can be made to work using clasps or other attatchments.

However the most satisfactory method is to fix the denture using implants. These are very expensive but very good. Good!

You will probably have guessed that I am speaking from experience and spent 10 years visiting a local University Dental Department trying to get things sorted. They tried allsorts of different ideas including special magnets, incredibly accurately fitting dentures, 2 sets of dentures- one for eating and one for playing. Eventually, they tried implants and, after much intensive work, they were fitted. It was a Friday afternoon and next day I was doing Bass Trombone in Verdi Requiem. Imagine my relief when I got home to try them. They worked Clever  and the concert went very well, much to the amazement of the other brass players :-P  They are still working 7 years later. No problems.

Good luck to your father. Tell him not to give up-I'm only 62 and still going strong on alto, tenor or bass.

Cheers
Stewbones
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