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Old 04-25-2006, 06:53 AM   #1
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knorr HB User
Dentures and surgery

I am a 24/7 denture wearer. I take my dentures out only to clean them, behind closed doors. Beside my dentist, nobody has seen me without my denture, including my husband and children.

Now my biggest fear has come true! I will be having surgery in the next few weeks, and I understand that I will have to remove my denture during surgery!

I am mortified at the thought of the doctor/nurses seeing me without my teeth...but even more horrified that they'll let my husband into the recovery room before they give me my denture!

Why exactly do they want you to remove your denture? Are they afraid that it will become loose and may obstruct your airway during surgery?

If I have no choice but to give them my denture - how do I address the issue that I would like it back before they let anyone into the recovery room???

I know it sounds vain and shallow.....but this is stressing me even more than the surgery! The only person that has seen me without my denture is my dentist, and I'm not even comfortable with that.

Any thoughts or first hand experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

 
Old 04-25-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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Re: Dentures and surgery

They make you remove your dentures in order to protect your airway. They do not want them coming loose during surgery or get damaged when they put the breathing tube into your throat.

I have heard that patients can request that their dentures be returned to them as soon as they are able to swallow and their gag reflex has returned.

A friend whom I chat with is an operating room nurse and denture wearer and she says they try to comply with the patients wishes when ever it is possible. The one concern they always have about the patient getting as far as the prep area for the operating room with their dentures in place is when they are removed, they cannot guarantee security of them. They suggest they be left in the patients room or with a family member.

As far as what the doctors and nurses will think of you without your teeth- no less than when you have them in. She tells me they are so clinically detached from things like a person without their dentures or a cancer patient without their wig- they treat all patients with dignity and respect. You will be treated the same way.

As far as how to deal with your husband and this sensitive issue, maybe it is time to have a long talk with him. Tell him your reasons for not letting him see you without your teeth and ask what his feelings would be if he saw you that way. My husband sees me without mine every night, it was something we talked about before it was a done deal and we have not changed our thoughts or love for one another. I trust him.

Have you discussed your dentures with your surgeon? It might be a good idea to mention your concerns before you are at the hospital.

Concentrate on getting well-

Sandy

 
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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Re: Dentures and surgery

Thanks for your response Sandy - it was definately helpful.

My husband is a wonderful guy.....loves me unconditionally, even on my worst days. The issue with him seeing me without my denture is my problem, not his. I just can't bring myself to let anyone see me without it. I feel like it ages me by 10+ years. I say that "I'm too young, to look this old." I've had the denture for just over 2 years, and I'm not any more comfortable looking at myself now than I was when I first got them at age 43.
I guess I should at least talk to my husband before the surgery, and let him know that it is possible that he might see me without the denture....at least then he'll be prepared. I will also talk to the nurses before the surgery and request that the denture be returned to me as soon as possible.
I know it sounds silly to be worried about such a thing - but I just can't seem to help myself!
Anyway, thanks once again for your response - I do appreciate it.

Valerie

 
Old 04-25-2006, 10:08 AM   #4
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Re: Dentures and surgery

I remember gaining consciousness after surgery and pleading for my dentures, which the nurses promptly gave me--so you are not alone, if it's any comfort. Question, though: Do you not take your dentures out at night?

 
Old 04-25-2006, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Dentures and surgery

Hypatia,
No, I don't take my denture out at night... I know there's quite a bit of controversy over taking them out to rest your gums, but I know of many others who are like me, and leave them in all the time with the exception of cleaning. I can't stand the feeling of not having them in my mouth - actually I find it uncomfortable - almost as if not having the support from my denture, pulls on my sinuses and makes it harder to breathe thru my nose.
Thanks for your response - I'm sure I'll regain consciousness and beg for my denture too!!!

Valerie

 
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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Re: Dentures and surgery

I totally understand, Valerie. My dentist always said "wearing dentures all night is like sleeping with your shoes on"--but he doesn't wear dentures. Anyway, this is a great opportunity for a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband....Patty

 
Old 04-25-2006, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: Dentures and surgery

Patty, you definitely called it right! They tell us not to sleep in them, and none of them wear them!!! I understand it's for the overall health of our gums, but I feel sooo much better when I sleep with mine in. It may all be in my mind, but I feel like I rest easier. I always try to take them out and let my mouth "rest" during the day while I'm home alone. I don't sleep with them in everynight, but I would definitely like to. My husband fusses at me when I do. He doesn't wear them either....It's just so hard for me to let him see me w/o them in. The nights that I do take them out, I wait until he's asleep...and then I put them back in before he wakes up....

Jackie

 
Old 04-25-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Dentures and surgery

I wonder if men with dentures feel the same way we do? But I don't especially want to see any guy without teeth <grin>

 
Old 04-25-2006, 07:17 PM   #9
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Re: Dentures and surgery

I'm sure they don't!! They probably wonder what all the fuss is about, don't you think...and feel like it's no big deal!! Even after being married 33 years, I still have a problem with my husband seeing me. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it...he tries to assure me that it doesn't bother him, but it does bother me!! I know if the tables were turned that it wouldn't bother him in the least for me to see him toothless...It's only been a little over 3 months, but I don't think my feelings about it will ever change...

Jackie

 
Old 04-27-2006, 12:14 AM   #10
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Re: Dentures and surgery

Man, I run around without teeth all the time. I find them a pain, and just to lazy to put them in-or it ends up being more of a hassle..! I know I don't look that great, but my hubbys tooyhless, too and I like to relax. I realy only wear them at work (so I can talk) And on the rare occasion when I think I should. HA HA.
But I WOULD wear them more if they weren't such a pain!
But I know how you feel being toothless myself! People might look at me weird-whatever-I'm comfortable!!!
I'm more worried about them staring at my tatoos, which they seem to notice a lot more! Ha Ha.
Hugs for a quick recovery-and yeah, just tell them..

 
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