This is the second post from our patient, Pat, that wanted to share her experience getting dentures. What an honor!
Reason to Smile: Getting Dentures (Part 2)
Once my preliminary work was done, the hard part begins: extractions. This is the appointment where the teeth are going to be removed. In my case, 10 of them.
I was getting same day dentures – which means I will leave this appointment with dentures in my mouth. I won’t have to be without teeth, which is great.
I highly recommend you ask someone drive you to this appointment. My friend Kathy was a great support and by the time she dropped me at home, I was definitely a little fuzzy.
I got myself pretty worked up before my appointment, and my blood pressure skyrocketed. Dr. Viau won’t perform the surgery unless it’s safe and my BP was just too high to proceed.
I didn’t feel upset, but clearly my body didn’t get the memo. I spent about a half hour taking deep breaths until my pressure got back to normal. Finally, I was ready.
I received a local anesthetic (think Novocain) and within a few minutes my mouth went numb. Dr. Viau and her staff are fast and efficient, a pinch here or there is all I felt
Once your lips are as numb and floppy as boneless chicken breasts, one of them will start asking you questions. What is up with that? Must be a dentist thing…
The majority of my teeth were easily extracted. I didn’t feel any pain at any time. Near the end, I was aware of pressure on a couple of teeth that didn’t come out easily. I needed to take a break one time, so we did.
The whole thing took about an hour and half, I think. Dr. Viau put a stitch in to close a gap or two – nothing really significant. There are a few unsettling noises – use ear plugs if it makes you uncomfortable.
For all my pre-appointment drama – overall, this was kind of a non-event.
Open Mouth, Insert Dentures
It feels strange to have no teeth in your mouth; that’s what makes Same Day dentures so awesome. My teeth had been so awful for so long – my smile was a mess.
All that changed when those dentures slid into my mouth.
When Dr. Viau designed my new dentures (I got to choose the new color), she looked at the symmetry of my face and made adjustments. She moved the mid-line over a bit to be more appropriately centered with my features. She also extended the length of my teeth on the top – making the front teeth more visible below the lip line.
These adjustments didn’t affect the fit or bite, but boy did they affect the way I looked. These dentures belonged in my face better than my original teeth.
I didn’t really have any problems. I stayed ahead of the pain without using narcotics and came back the following day for Dr. Viau to check my mouth. All good!
Healing and Adjusting
Dr. Viau will tell you that having dentures is not the same as having your natural teeth. That’s true. I had to learn to eat differently – smaller bites, no corn on the cob. But ice cream is a soft food group…
Initially, dentures have what’s called a soft lining. It’s designed to help them stay in place. Just a heads up – the top denture stays in place better than the bottom.
About every six weeks, I would come in to have the lining replaced. By then, the fit would have gotten a little loose, even the top denture would be moving around a bit. Not all dental practices do multiple relines to help with that initial healing period – so I’m grateful that Dr. Viau does.
I was allowed to start using a bit of Fixodent around my third adjustment. That definitely helped with the bottom, but eating was still a problem. There just wasn’t enough bone left to help hold it in place.
Roughly six months in the process, it was time to make the lining permanent. The soft liner would be replaced with a permanent liner by an outside lab.
You have to come and drop off the dentures and come back for them the next day. For roughly 24-hours, you have no teeth. I work from a home office, so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. But you should plan accordingly.
Dr. Viau decided to length the bottom denture to help it stay in place better. Before my dentures left for the lab, she increased the dimensions to give it more grip.
OMG – the hard-lined dentures had so much more suction – both top and bottom. I may sometimes use a little Fixodent on the bottom, but the top is secure all on its own. It’s amazing!
I had to come back in one time after because the dentures were rubbing a bit – a little edge sanded off – they’re perfect. Fit great, look great. It’s amazing the impact this has on my life.
I’m socializing more, networking more. I’m traveling to meet with new clients. I take better care of myself – exercise, grooming, mental and spiritual well-being. I’m making better choices about what people to be around. All because of teeth?
When you don’t want to smile, when you wonder what people are thinking if you do – it’s not about teeth. It’s about self-esteem.
I got my dentures through acts of kindness and generosity. I’m not going to name names, but here’s what I’d say: When you help someone fix their teeth – you motivate positive change in their life.
I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity to change mine.
We recently had a patient that wanted to share her experience at our office. Her testimony is one that we will never forget. Read about her experience below!
Reason to Smile: Getting Dentures
My name is Pat. I’m a patient at Peak City Family Dentistry who just got a new set of dentures. This is my experience.
I hadn’t been to the dentist in quite a while before I came to Peak City Family Dentistry. The reasons were mostly financial – the recession cost me my business and home – but there was also embarrassment about the state of my teeth.
My mouth hadn’t been healthy for a while. I had gone for a cleaning once while living in Tennessee and gotten a lecture about regular dental care. I left with a lot less tartar and a whole new sense of shame.
So, I came to Dr. Viau with a bit of trepidation. My teeth were much worse now than then…
I’m happy to report my fears were totally unfounded. The dental care I desperately needed came with a warm welcome and more than a few laughs. (And I never even got any gas…)
No shaming, no judgement – if that’s keeping you from the dentist, this is the place to go. This is compassionate care, minimizing physical and emotional discomfort.
The State of My Teeth
I already had two partials in my mouth that were about three or four years old. On top, I’d lost two teeth next to it and on the bottom, one smack dab in the middle of my smile.
It was humiliating. I was uncomfortable meeting new people, especially for work. The teeth were dingy, the gums had receded. There were periodic infections and bleeding.
MY MOUTH THEN:
As you can see, there was very little to smile about. But that was all about to change. (Spoiler alert!)
MY MOUTH NOW:
That First Day
My first appointment was just after Thanksgiving in November 2017. Just to help you understand, this process takes roughly 6 months – with appointments about once every 6 weeks to adjust the fit of the dentures. (Well worth every visit!)
I got signed in – it’s all electronic which is nice – no trying to write small enough to fit info in those impossibly small areas. I was taken back to the exam room right away. This first appointment will feel familiar– lots of x-rays and plenty of poking around.
Dentists use a mobility scale – even if your teeth don’t feel loose, they may not be stable in your mouth. Dentists always want to help you keep as many of your teeth as possible.
But when Dr. Viau went over my mouth – one tooth at a time – none of them were keepers. I was looking at a full set of dentures. Can’t say I wasn’t expecting it – I had lost so much bone on the bottom that my teeth were barely in place.
When you need dentures, the dentist needs an impression of your mouth. It’s done by filling a tray with a goopy compound that solidifies into the consistency of rubber. It takes around 30 to 60 seconds from the time it’s put in. (Separately for top and bottom.)
When you’re getting permanent replacements for teeth (such as crowns or implants), digital impressions can be used instead of the molds. That’s not an option for denture impressions.
I won’t pretend that it’s comfortable. But honestly – do you expect everything that happens in your dentist (or doctor’s) office to be enjoyable?
In my case, Dr. Viau and her staff moved quickly and efficiently, letting me rinse and have some water in between trays. For me the best way to approach it was to accept it as a step in the process. Not fun but necessary to get the outcome I desperately wanted – a reason to smile.
Made me cry
I considered my dingy teeth a liability – to getting my career back on track, my overall health and my self-esteem. We can all pretend that bad teeth won’t affect our perception of someone, but it does.
The only time I cried after leaving Peak City Family Dentistry had nothing to do with pain.
I asked if my dentures would have to replicate the size and shape of my current teeth. Dr. Viau shook her head – and then proceeded to tell me she was going to lengthen the front teeth in the top denture because she thought it would make my smile prettier.
Prettier? I was speechless.
Pretty wasn’t even on my radar screen. I tried not to smile and tended to cover my mouth when meeting new people. I didn’t network for business or do much socializing with people I didn’t know.
That someone would even take that into consideration blew me away. I cried most the way home.
Next Up: Out the Old, In with the New
March 16, 2018
We held a free clinic for children ages 3-12 in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month this past Saturday. We saw around 30 kids and we were able to provide close to $5000 in free dental care. It was such a great day! Each child came in and had a free cleaning and exam and left with big smiles!
Dr Viau had the privilege to be a part of Night to Shine on February 9, 2018. Hope Community and Northwest Community Churches joined together and hosted the event at Hope Community Church in Apex,NC. Around 400 guests and their families enjoyed food, dancing, karaoke, hair/makeup and shoe shines, limo rides, red carpet walks, and more! This event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and is an unforgettable prom night for those with special needs. This year 537 churches all over the world hosted Night to Shine. What an amazing experience and what an honor to serve with the community! Check out this quick video about the event and see Dr. Viau on the news!
January 22, 2018-It’s Been a While
Wow we have been busy these last couple years! We are hoping to keep you more up to date through our blog and keep everyone posted on our fun events. 2017 was a big year for us, but we are thrilled to see what 2018 brings!!
December 4, 2015- Christmas on Salem St
It was SOOO much fun seeing everyone and their families at Christmas on Salem Street this year! We had such a fun-filled night hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, devouring Dr. Viau’s delicious barbecue, and crying tears of joy over Jackie’s engagement! This practice would not be the place we love and look forward to coming to every day without our awesome patients! Thank you to everyone who battled the crowds to spend your evening with us. We wish you all a very merry Christmas!
October 24, 2015- Trick-or-Treat on Salem Street
Dr. Viau and our team had such a wonderful time at Trick-or-Treat on Salem Street. We handed out OVER 800 toothbrushes, fun fangs, and Xylitol tooth shaped lollipops! All of the costumes were awesome and it was great to see so many of our patients having fun in our community!
June 1, 2015- Dentistry From the Heart
Dr. Viau volunteered at the 4th annual Dentistry From the Heart on Saturday, April 18, in Cary. This amazing event helps so many in our community by providing needed dental care at no cost to those in need. In one day, Dr Viau and other dental professionals in the Triangle, were able to see over 170 patients and give back over $60,000! Our staff at Peak City Family Dentistry is so proud of Dr. Viau and her commitment to helping others.
August 26, 2014- At a loss with floss? Read our latest blog by Hannah! Floss blog
March 29th, 2014- Click here to read our Spring Newsletter
3/18/2014- February was Children’s Dental Health Month and PCFD was in full swing educating children in the community! We visited 11 classrooms in the area, gave out over 250 homecare kits, and educated children and teachers about dental health. We may have inspired a few to enter the profession in the future along the way. 🙂
2/14/2014- Click here to find out….Five reasons you hate going to the dentist but will LOVE our office