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Reason to Smile: Getting Dentures

Posted by Peak City Dentistry on Apr 18 2018, 07:20 AM

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! 

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 judgment – 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.

Making Molds

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 those 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 of the way home.

Next Up: Out the Old, In with the New

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Location

103 N Salem Street, Apex, NC 27502

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Phone: (919) 362-8797