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Reason to Smile: Getting Dentures (Part 2)

Posted by Peak City Dentistry on May 22 2018, 07:11 AM

This is the second post from our patient, Pat, that wanted to share her experience getting dentures. What an honor!

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 to drive you to this appointment. My friend Kathy was great support and by the time she dropped me at home, I was definitely a little fuzzy.

Pulling Teeth

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 the 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 a 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 earplugs 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. 

BEFORE PICTURE


All that changed when those dentures slid into my mouth.

AFTER PICTURE


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.

Hard-Lined

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.

Life-Changing

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?

Yes!

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.

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