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Old 12-17-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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marvelous3 HB User
First time with a partial (flipper)

So glad to have found this board as I don't feel comfortable talking to ANYONE about this. I feel so...... embarrassed and depressed. Those seem to be the only words that come to mind. Even just lurking I am glad to see those of you who have been through exactly what I am experiencing. That doesn't mean I am thrilled to be going through it, but it helps.

So about me...trying to keep it short.

Poor oral care as a kid, bad teeth, and sub-par dental work have me with lots of root canals, crowns, and not very many teeth left. After my general dentist wanted to do a 5 unit bridge on the lower left, I sought out the services of an excellent prosthodontist who did a whole mouth work up. I think that was the best thing I did for long term oral care.

First procedure: Pulled three front upper teeth and have a partial in place. Also had bone grafting for a 2 cm hole in my maxilla just above my left canine from a mass removed several months earlier. From research I guess I'm looking at at least 6 months healing time on that? He wants to eventually do a bridge seated on the two canines.

Adjusting to the partial.....refuse to look at myself....I take it out and brush my teeth in the dark. I want to cry, but haven't yet. Hoping I can stop talking with such a noticeable lisp by the time school starts back up.

And thus begins my journey....

 
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slenderella (12-18-2011)
Old 12-18-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
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Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

Hi,
Oh, can I relate to you! I had to have my four top teeth pulled after trying to dance though a plate glass door (which didn't work, by the way!) while playing with my dog. When they were extracted I had implants placed and used a partial while they integrated (about 8 months).

I felt the same as you. I would only take the partial out with the bathroom door closed and securely locked. I wanted to cry every time I looked at myself. It was depressing and painful and having no front teeth was a nightmare come true.

Once the partial became more comfortable I started to see how nice the teeth were and I finally was able to eat better. The partial started to not bother me as much and became more comfortable. I had nice white even teeth. It became easier to deal with and live with once I established my brushing and cleaning it routine.

I understand about the lisp, too. I spent some time practicing by speaking the numbers 60 through 70. It takes some time but it will get better and is far more noticeable to you than others. I have my implants now and I think the lisp is worse with them, esp when I tire. You'll get used to it and the lisp will fade. Do practice. It really helps.

Partial wearing requires many adjustments. One of them being psychological, but rest assured, no one would know you had one and my bet is they are really nice looking.

Do smile. You'll be glad you did and the adjustment is just that. It will all get better.

GOOD LUCK and let us know how you do.
My very best to you,
Gellia

 
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slenderella (12-18-2011)
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

Gellia, your posts are the primary reason I even registered on this site. Thank you for being brave enough and completely open to sharing your story. You have already helped more than you know.

You are right....adjusting physically and mentally will take some time. I'm guessing mentally will be the hardest. It is hard enough to lose your front teeth, but for me, I also feel a certain amount of guilt for having to spending so much money on something like this rather than putting it in college funds for my kids. That bothers me A LOT.

I am trying to focus on the positive. The partial is really nice...its the best my teeth have ever looked....but I haven't gotten to the point of smiling a whole lot. I will get there eventually, just a little too soon right now.

This is only the first step in a long process of reconstructing pretty much my entire mouth. I'm up for implants and bridges on both the lower left and right (the middle bottom teeth are in good shape and are staying put) and a single implant somewhere on the upper right. *sigh*

Thanks for replying so quickly and being so encouraging. I will keep up dating my progress to help others that might eventually go down this path.

~marvelous3

 
Old 12-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

Hi again,
Listen,...IMO (and I AM opinionated!) you shouldn't feel guilty about your kids. YOU are just as important. If you don't treat yourself with importance, you don't teach them they can be important, too. You're giving them the permission you are taking to show them that it's OK to love oneself. It's very important in today's world. You are showing them how to take responsibility for themselves, too, because you are. You're not showing fear, even if you feel it, but taking the responsibility to go ahead and take care of a problem that affects you in many ways. Again, IMO, that's not something to feel guilt over, but cherish the fact that you care enough about yourself to improve your overall health. Isn't THAT as important as an education that, working hard, can be obtained by oneself? They can get scholarships. Your smile is worth it. Self esteem is worth it. You are WORTH it!

Do focus on the end result. The dental rehab process can be long and arduous, but the end result is going to make you smile.

GOOD LUCK and let us know how you do.
Best to you,
Gellia

 
Old 12-19-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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marvelous3 HB User
Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

In my head, I know you are right, but I just haven't quite owned that point of view yet. DH is being very patient with me and is trying to encourage me in the same way. I know myself, it will just take time (and hearing the same message over and over and over again.) I'll get there....eventually.

Thanks again, it is still very helpful to 'hear' you say it.

 
Old 12-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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tmfuller HB User
Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

Marv, you ladies are not alone with the fears and worries. I am a tad over three weeks post op. I am chewing just about whatever I want. Veggies have to be steamed almost too soft for my taste but oh well. I really did question my choice. I hated just about all parts of the process. Looking back I think more of that was the pain of healing. All too often we judge ourselves far beyond what others will see.

I have had a ton of people looking at my teeth(like boob jobs I paid for them they are mine). At first I was super self conscious. I had a lady tell me I had a great smile after taking a long look, and I realized she simply said what the others were likely thinking. The lisp is definitively more noticeable to you than those around you.

Good luck to ya.

P.S. You might be surprised to find Mr. Right has a partial or even dentures! Maybe you two can find his and hers dental baths.

 
Old 12-21-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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marvelous3 HB User
Re: First time with a partial (flipper)

Thanks for your reply tmfuller. I am getting use to it and emotionally getting over it. I hope to be where you are in the next few weeks.

The boob analogy is interesting....I have a friend who had hers done and it kind of puts a different spin on things!

 
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