I've been browsing the board for awhile. I'll try and make a VERY long story short. My name is Michelle and I'm a 29 year old wife mother of two who has had terrible teeth since childhood (like BOTH my parents - my bio dad lost all his teeth at 21). I've done all I can to save my lower teeth an spent countless money trying but, after 3 failed root canals (that resulted in the pulling of the teeth - 2 being molars) on the lower and 2 molars on top, I was forwarded to an oral surgeon who came up with a $10K solution (implant assisted denture piece for lower since my upper teeth, for now, are fine). Well, that's just not possible financially for us. So, because I am sick of the pain (have 2 molars whose root canals are beginning to fail) and can't eat much (lost a ton of weight due to all this - 57 lbs), I've decided to have all lower teeth removed and to have a "regular" denture until I can save up for the implants and bone grafts for the "snap in" denture. I'd have to wait 6 months for that to take place anyway so my husband and I are going to save like crazy for those implants. Insurance covers 90% of the bone grafting but none of the implant cost. The oral surgen wants at least 4 implants but suggests 5. I'm not sure if there's any difference?
Needless to say, I'm nervous as heck about it. I'm "going under" for the procedure and already did the casts to have my denture (which should arrive to my dentist on July 1st). My teeth look horrible and my dentist assures me that the denture will look 100 times better than my "God given teeth." I sure hope so. From what I've read and learned from my dentist and oral surgeon, however, lower dentures are the hardest to get accustomed to. I'm really worried about that. I KNOW this is what I have to do (I've been constantly sick and my dentist and oral surgeon are convinced it's because my teeth and the constant abcesses are "poisoning" my body) but I am so depressed about it. There is NO way I'd be able to afford tooth implants for all my lower teeth. But....They LOOK horrible! I've always been embarassed about their appearance, rarely smile and feel like everyone notices my teeth. There a few cosmetic issues on top but I can take care of those - they are just cosmetic and crows can fix those teeth. My front upper teeth are in very good shape. It's just the bottom, really. At any rate, I'm going through with the surgery on July 3rd. I guess I'm nervous about what to expect after. How emotionally hard is it to handle the loss? I have been freaking out about how I'm going to look after and already told everyone I will REFUSE to take them out and look in a mirror. My husband, GOD BLESS HIM, just wants me to feel better and doesn't give a hoot that I'll have no lower teeth. He has already accepted this. I just am having a VERY hard time with it. Also, how hard IS it to get accustomed to a lower denture? Am I going to talk funny FOREVER? Will people KNOW by looking at me or talking to me? Only my closest friends, family and coworkers know. Otherwise, nobody has a clue! Will they be able to figure it out? How much does it HURT after? For how long? Friday July 3rd is a Holiday for me (I work for the Federal Government) and I took off Monday the 6th but, otherwise, expect to be back to work on the 7th. My oral surgeon thinks that is plenty of time. IS IT REALLY?
I don't know....I'm just freaking out as the "big day" is drawing nearer and nearer. Any advice for after (whether healing emotionally or physically) from someone young like me who has BTDT? I've talked to my therapist but, as much as she wants to help, she herself said she just doesn't KNOW so it's hard to provide what I need to hear. I've read a lot of good info here so I thought I'd introduce myself and see if anyone has any words of wisdom for me.
had same childhood as you, both parents also--it is in the genes. At about 29 I had all my uppers pulled--I had 7 left--it was horrible. I went home with a mouth full of blood and these fake teeth stuffed in place. I didn't open my mouth for days and I felt funny, talked funny, and thought it would never go away. I swore I would never take them out but during the healing I had to at times. That was ten years ago. I will tell you it ain't easy. Only a few days to feel better and get used to them. But I am so glad I did it. It takes some getting used to but in the end it was so worth not having tooth pain and ugly teeth. Now people have no idea they are not real. One thing they tell you is to take them out at night and put back in the morning, I never did that. When you do that it's like getting used to them all over again. I take them out in the morning and brush, clean them and put them right back in and always have. You may experience some sores at first while they adjust but salt water does the trick and that goes away after a few visits to adjust them. Now they are just part of me and one other thing--I never had to use that denture stuff to make them stick in good. If they do their adjustments good you shouldn't have to. I had my full top denture done at one of the newer places like aspen dental and it cost $800 for everything. Alot of money but not that much. totally worth it. Had a 5 year warranty and they are still going strong. good luck and let me know how you do.
Michelle, take a deep breath. The hardest part is probably making the very difficult decision. Not to say that having the extractions won't be difficult but just think in a couple of weeks you will be able to eat again and smile without feeling embarrassed. I am 46 years old and I also have terrible teeth and very few left on the bottom. I go to the dentist every 6 months but I have terrible teeth. I have spent a fortune on my mouth on failed root canals and crowns. Both my parents had dentures. My father had every tooth pulled when he was 21 years old before he went to Korea in the war. He is now 79 and I have NEVER seen him without his teeth in. He has had 1 adjustment in the past 58 years and they look great! I no doubt will be looking at dentures in my future and I know it will also be a very difficult decision. I can't remember a time when I could comfortably chew on both sides of my mouth. I get so envious of people with pretty smiles and teeth. Best wishes to you. Sending you a hug, Wanda
You might want to try finding your local dental school about the implants. Typically only 2 implants are needed on the lower to get a decent snap on effect. Schools also have much lower prices, so it might be more affordable. The implants are done by lisenced dentists, not students. Just another option to look into. Good luck.
Lower dentures, by nature, have less retention that upper dentures. This is because the lower dentures do not get the suction effect that the upper dentures get from the palate. So, your lower denture may move around some, and you may need to use an adhesive. But, you are young and you probably have some good bone to work with, so you may be surprised at their fit. Something to remember is that when you choose to have a denture placed the same day the teeth are taken out, you are basically making the lab guess what your tissue will look like without those teeth. You will need some adjustments and your tissue will continue to change as it heals, requiring more adjustments. Just make sure that you don't feel bad about seeing your dentist when you get a sore spot. My advice is to wear them as often as you can during the day, even if it's hard to talk or eat. The more you wear them, the more used to them you will become. As far as implants go, I'm with Stribe on this one. Usually 2 implants can give you sufficient retention, but the more implants you have to hold onto, the more secure the fit. I've seen many many people be overjoyed of the secure fit of their denture with just the 2 implants. Reducing the number of implants should reduce the cost, but only you and your oral surgeon can decide what's right for you. Good luck.