What to Expect When You Are Getting Dentures: From Start to Finish
Thinking About Getting Dentures
If you are thinking about getting dentures and want to know what to expect, then you have landed in the right place. I decided to write this article because a member of my family is getting ready to get dentures and is all freaked out. That gave me an idea to write about this topic, since I've been through it myself.
Please note: I do try to be a little funny in this article to lighten things up—because although the horrible and nightmarish things I say are true, it will all be worth it in the end. Smile pretty!
For any of you out there who are honestly worried about getting dentures, read this little story (with a little added humor). This will enlighten you on what to expect and how to handle the different issues that may come up. On a serious note: dentures are not only a cosmetic issue for most people, but also a health issue. You must remember that if your mouth is full of infection, it can enter your bloodstream and cause very serious problems. Getting dentures could be necessary to maintain your overall health.
Will I Have to Go Without Teeth for a While After They Pull Mine?
I think this is the very first thing we worry about when we begin thinking about getting dentures. I don't recall ever worrying about whether it was going to hurt; I was more concerned about waiting for my dentures to be made after I had my teeth pulled. I thought I would actually start off the story with this information.
Going without any teeth for a period of time (even if it was for a day), and letting my face flap around and look like a skeleton was my biggest fear about getting dentures. Fortunately, most dentists nowadays have what they call a "temporary set" of dentures immediately. If you really are concerned about this, first ask your dentist whether they give you a temporary set immediately after the last pulling of your teeth.
Dental Impressions of Your Mouth: What to Expect
After you have decided you want to get dentures, your very first visit (or two) will be the impressions. If you have a gag reflex, like I do, the nurse told me a trick and it worked! Not kidding. When they do an impression, they fill your mouth with this expandable gunk (sorry, don't know the technical name). It hardens in your mouth as you are biting down. Now, before they put it in your mouth, straighten your legs out and POINT your feet towards your head. It prevents and stops the gagging. It was a miracle trick for me. If you want to use that technique for other reasons which I won't say, then go ahead.
Waiting for Your Dentures to be Made
Now you have to wait a couple weeks or so for your teeth to be made by the lab or dentist. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks, or a couple days, depending upon how the dentist works. When they set up the next appointment, it will be to start pulling what teeth you have left out.
Getting All Your Teeth Pulled so You Can Get Your Dentures
Well, this is not pleasant, and I am not going to lie and say it is. They usually pull five to eight on each side at once and then you go back again the following week and get five to eight more pulled on the other side, then wait a week, go back and get five to eight pulled on the other side top/bottom, and then so on. However, if you don't have that many teeth to begin with, then you are already a step ahead. The whole pulling of the teeth process is about a month (if you have most of yours). Keep in mind, every dentist does it differently. Some may pull them all out at once if you don't have a whole mouth full of teeth. This is just how my teeth pulling went.
Get Ready for Your Dentures
Now, this is where I want you to read the most because I don't want you to be surprised in any way. After they pull the last of your teeth and they give you the temporary dentures (immediately) after the pull, you will probably be crying. You won't be crying because of pain (because you will be numbed up still). You will be crying because you don't know why you just went through all this. Your mouth will be so swollen, and you will be sore. You will have blood dripping down your face and your teeth will be falling on your tongue. You will look like something from Planet of the Apes until the swelling goes down. Not giving you a great scenario I know that, but I'm just being honest. But if you continue reading, after you just went and threw up after reading this, then it will be worth finishing.
Learning to Talk Again
Get out a book and start reading to learn how to talk with dentures. I got out a book and read aloud. This really helped me to learn how to talk with a mouthful of plastic. It isn't hard, it is just something to get used to. I was so irritated that I got the dentures, and I was just plain pissed off. But after a couple weeks, I realized I could talk right, I could get used to them, and most of all, I could finally smile without being embarrassed. Like I said, it is a little frustrating at first, but keep at it and you will be a pro. If you want to practice a little before you get your dentures and teeth pulled, stuff a sock in your mouth and try to talk.
Eating With Dentures
Eating with dentures is very tricky. It will never be the same because you can't eat things you used to in the way you used to. Most food will be fine to eat, but trying to eat a raw carrot or celery is out of the question. However, I do know some other people with dentures who eat these items with just smaller bites. It really depends on how good your new dentures are. Eat smaller bites and chew up your food very well. I did choke on food a few times so please cut up the food in small bites until you get used to your teeth!
Chewing Gum With Dentures
Attention all gum chewers: If you don't get Freedent gum or sugarless gum, you will be left in a mess. Myself, I can't even chew sugarless. It really depends on what type of denture you have. The best thing to do is try chewing gum at home first to see what gum you can chew. If you don't, and you go out in public and didn't choose the right gum, you will have gum literally sticking to the roof of your mouth (denture), and it will be everywhere when you try to pull it off. You may actually even pull your denture out as you pull the gum off the teeth. Or, you may have to pull your denture out and scrape the gum off. These are all just things you really need to know that no one bothered to tell me.
Getting Your Dentures Adjusted
When you have to keep getting your dentures adjusted, It is kind of a pain in the you know what, but it has to be done. You will be going back every once in a while; depending on how they are fitting. I went back every week for a couple of months to get little adjustments done. You may get little sores in your mouth from part of the denture (they will just file that part down some) but that goes along with the territory. After your mouth has healed enough and you come out of your room from hiding, you will need to learn how to say words again (Not all, but quite a few). You will try to speak, and you will sound like someone with a mouthful of food. After all, you have a mouthful of plastic in your mouth.
How to Take Care of Your Dentures
If you have a dog in the house, this is great advice. Do not set your dentures down on the table or anywhere where they can get to them. Dentures smell like food, and your dog will want to chew on them! Some people take their teeth out every night and let them soak in Polident or Efferdent or whichever cleaner you choose. I only take mine out and let them soak every few days at night when I'm sleeping so the family doesn't see me running around looking like a skeleton. I said that earlier, but it's the truth. Your face caves in and you look a little funny, but it's better than being in pain from having your bad teeth!
Clean Your Dentures Well
Every day, I make sure and clean my dentures. I have a denture toothbrush, with is a harder bristle and has a very small end on it to get in the rim of the denture. I use toothpaste when I'm not soaking them. Do not use bleach to whiten your dentures!
Hold on to your dentures with your whole palm when you are cleaning them. Your hands get wet and you don't want to drop your dentures because it could break or crack them.
You Will Get Used to Your Dentures
It kills me to go somewhere and see people without their teeth. These are people I know and they have dentures, they just refuse to wear them because they gave up on them. Well I'm telling you, don't! Are you really not going to continue to try and get used to them because you feel like you can't do it? You got the dentures either because your teeth looked horrible, and you felt embarrassed to smile, or they were so bad with infection, you had to. Either way, it doesn't matter. Everyone is beautiful and everyone deserves to show off the smile God gave them. I promise, you will get used to them and yes, they still are a pain in the ass. The bottoms will "float." That means, they just kinda come up in the middle of talking or eating. However, that is why they made Poli-grip and all those other adhesives, so you don't have a floating denture.
A Beautiful Smile Is Worth the Trouble
Getting that beautiful smile is worth the trouble, and being healthy is more worth it. In a couple months, you will be smiling so big at everyone you meet. You will still of course be getting used to them, but you will be happier. You will get used to them and you will get to know what you can and cannot do. Careful so they don't go flying out of your mouth when you crack up at someone if you don't have them glued in! But, if they fit right, you won't have to worry about too much glue. Some people have such a perfect fit, they don't even wear any. I'm not that fortunate, but at least I have teeth. Heck, you will look like Smiling Bob over here to the right you will be so happy.
Using Denture Adhesive
There are a lot of different adhesives to use. You will have to experiment with probably each one on the market for a while to see which one holds your teeth in the best. I went through every one of them two or three times until I figured out which works best for me. Tip: Do not put too much denture glue (such as Poli-grip) on your teeth! You will swallow the glue because it will ooze out the back of your denture down your throat. I will supply you with a video that will show you the proper way to put glue on your teeth. I always have a tube in my purse because I use it on my bottom teeth about four times a day. But, I needed teeth, and by golly I'm doing what I can to wear them.
I hope I didn't scare you away from getting dentures. I just wanted someone to tell me what to expect when I was making this decision, and I was lied to so I would get them. So, I was shocked and ticked at the same time. If you know what to expect, then it will go a little easier. It's not that bad, the worst part was getting the teeth pulled. Getting used to them was a different ball game, yes. At least I know I can smile at someone now and most of all—no more pain!
Still Debating Getting Dentures? Think About These Facts
One thing you do need to know is how your teeth can affect your health. If you are still debating whether to go through all this trouble, consider these things:
You are in pain every day because you have bad teeth
You probably can't speak to anyone without making them back up ten feet from bad breath
You can't laugh with your mouth open because people see the teeth that are gone
You can stick a cigarette in between the front bottom two teeth and smoke
You don't have to buy fake teeth on Halloween and you go as a jack-o-lantern
Eat an ear of corn, look at the trail you are leaving on the cob-Train Tracks?
After Reading This, Would You Still Consider Getting Dentures?
Video Inserting Wax Impressions
Comments welcome below.
Please feel free to comment if you liked this article and if I helped you make a decision about whether or not to get dentures.