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Old 06-18-10, 10:45 AM   #1
Digital Gee
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WAY OT: Dentures

I've come to accept that my knees are going to complain when I bend over. I'm okay with the fact that I can't get through a night's sleep without a visit to the loo. While I don't "embrace" my reading glasses, I've stopped complaining about having to wear them. I can still laugh at my short-term memory losses, most of the time.

But now, on Monday, I'm about to (in my mind) become an "official" older guy. I'm about to get a full upper denture. My dental problems began in childhood when I knocked out the two front teeth playing hockey back east. Over the years, I've had a variety of "permanent" bridges in my mouth, which did their job pretty well over the years. But at last, there is no avoiding the fact that a new solution is needed, and I had to choose between a denture and implants.

Given that implants are $3,000 for each tooth, I've elected to have the denture for now. The procedure comes in a few days. I'm dreading it - because I'm dreading the process of getting used to them, and because I hate the idea of taking out my denture and letting it soak overnight.

I read on one website that it takes about one week per decade of life to get used to the appliance. That translates into a six week process for me, if true. I'm worried about speech, the gag reflex, and losing much of my chewing ability (I read that with a denture, a person has 15-30% of their chewing "power" left). I also read that once my remaining teeth are removed, my mouth, jaw, and appearance would begin to deteriorate rapidly.

I'm quite disturbed and feeling pretty awful about the whole thing. I don't see an alternative, so I will get the procedure (they've already made the denture and I do admit it looks pretty good). Does anyone have any experience with this they're willing to share with me? What am I really in store for? How long does it take to adjust to dentures? Do they really pop out unexpectedly from time to time? Will I have a lisp for a while? Do I need to get some PolyGrip?

Oh how I hate this!
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Old 06-18-10, 11:02 AM   #2
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If you want to save a few bucks, I could send you this set I found on a ride a while back. I'd let you have them for the cost of shipping.

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Old 06-18-10, 11:17 AM   #3
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My dad had them, I can remember him agonizing over getting a bunch of teeth pulled so he could go to a full appliance. Then I remember the pleasure he got in slipping them back in his mouth and making that old man with no teeth face.



I don't mean to make light of your condition but my Dad found it was much better than dealing with bad teeth. Good luck.
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Old 06-18-10, 02:17 PM   #4
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I had the same misgivings eight years ago when I had my upper teeth removed. The procedure was nowhere near as traumatic as I had feared and the "adaptation" did indeed take several weeks (milk shakes for the first two weeks). But then the tenderness subsided and I haven't looked back. My wife promised not to laugh at the denture-in-a-glass thing and I couldn't care less if anyone else does. Oh yes, I can eat apples, corn-on-the-cob, etc., without problem, although popcorn shells and poppy seeds can pose a problem. If you are eating and feel something hard under your denture, STOP chewing and remove the offending object. If you continue chewing you'll force the object into the soft tissue under the denture and you'll be faced with a two-week period of discomfort. Good luck!
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Old 06-18-10, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have an upper plate and don't take them out at night, just when I brush them. My dental problems started in second grade when
I caught a baseball bat in the mouth, the batter let it slip out of his hands, went to an upper plate at age 25, best thing I ever did
no toothaches or problems and I can eat and chew anything.
Good Luck with yours.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:37 PM   #6
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They are absolutely one of the best things to entertain a young boy with. My old man had a partial upper and my nephew and my son from age three to six were totally awed by the whole deal.

I will never forget the Sunday at the pool when I was about six or seven and my grandfather got into a diving competition with a teenager. I had no idea he wore dentures until just before he was going to make a (successful as I remember it) attempt at double gainer from the high board (remember those at pools? remember any diving boards at pools?) he said to me "Here hold these" and popped his plate out and handed it to me. Gross and fascinating!
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Old 06-18-10, 05:08 PM   #7
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Not OT at all... in fact, I think this is (according to some) supposed to be the main type of topic discussed here.
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Old 06-18-10, 08:11 PM   #8
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I'll quit complaining about all the crowns I've accumulated over the last few years. Are crowns lighter than dentures? More or less aero?
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Old 06-18-10, 09:27 PM   #9
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Our family just seems to have "bad gums" so I finally gave in and had them pulled and went to dentures, WOW, 1000 times better and I could finally eat steak, corn on the cob, ect. for the first time in years without PAIN!! I took me 24 hrs. to get rid of the "gag" feeling and the slight sluring of words, after 2 days I was fine with them and for some reason, mine have never "hurt" me like some folks seem to do. I just WISH I could afford to have the bottom teeth all pulled out and get a bottom denture too. If you've had pain problems with your teeth, the dentures will seem like a mavelous improvement, jmho.!
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Old 06-18-10, 09:40 PM   #10
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DG - I feel for you. This probably doesn't help you any but your concerns echo fears I've had for years. Although I don't have my own experiences to share with you (yet), I know many who have gone through exactly what you're facing. To a person they've been happy with the results after the adjustment period.

Look at the bright side - when you want to say a few grams on your Roubaix you can just pop 'em out!

Seriously, best wishes and best of luck.....
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Old 06-23-10, 05:07 PM   #11
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Okay, I had the procedure done on Monday. The actual procedure itself was a living hell - 2.5 hours of extractions, many of which split, cracked, and/or were fused to the bone and made it very, very difficult. I felt like I'd been kicked in the head by a horse.

On the plus side, the new denture fit almost perfectly. A little adjustment here and there and it fit very well indeed.

That night, a couple of vicodin helped immensely, plus some ibuprofin. Couldn't eat very much. It was a night I don't hope to repeat any time soon!

The next morning, the pain had subsided from a 10 to a 2. Back for a checkup, another small adjustment, and back on the street. I learned how to take the denture out and put it back in. It stays very well.

I'm not able to eat anything that requires much chewing - it's too painful. That means lots of soup, some mashed potatoes, beverages, and the like. I've had some headaches but the ibuprofin is taking care of them.

I can report that my speech is 95% normal. The teeth look terrific. My bite is still painful and spongy, and the dentist said it might take up to six weeks for the gums and bones to completely heal.

I now believe I'll get used to it, and that I've done the right thing. The worst is clearly behind me (I sure hope!). I'm impatient about the healing process, but trying to take it easy. I'll probably lose some weight with this almost liquid diet!

So far, no one who didn't know I was doing this has even noticed, but then again, I've had times when I shaved off my goatee and almost no one noticed.

I elected to go with CF instead of steel or TI, and I'm happy with my choice. Aluminum might have been cheaper, but I felt it was worth it to step up a little.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:15 PM   #12
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Man, I'm going to floss right now.
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Old 06-24-10, 03:36 AM   #13
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I went with implants and so wanted to install a manual transmission in the rod with the money I spent on teeth. I guess I would rather chew food than shift gears.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:29 AM   #14
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And for fancy occasions DG, you should get yourself a grill!

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Old 06-24-10, 09:47 AM   #15
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And for fancy occasions DG, you should get yourself a grill!

Do they come in 18k tri-gold and regular 18k gold?
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Old 06-25-10, 02:12 PM   #16
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Do they come in 18k tri-gold and regular 18k gold?

Whatever you can afford.
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Old 06-25-10, 02:23 PM   #17
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I elected to go with CF instead of steel or TI, and I'm happy with my choice. Aluminum might have been cheaper, but I felt it was worth it to step up a little.
Should have gotten the lugged steel. Seriously though, glad it's working out for you.

I have partials, upper and lower. The best thing I ever did for my mouth. I have very thin enamel on all my teeth and most did not survive the near constant filling, refilling. root canal, crown, crown failure cycle. At present (age 54) I am 50-50 store-bought vs organic.
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Old 06-26-10, 10:50 PM   #18
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I went with implants and so wanted to install a manual transmission in the rod with the money I spent on teeth. I guess I would rather chew food than shift gears.
My dad went with implants too...all it did was delay the inevitable it seems, at least for him. He went to full dentures after about 10 years.
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Old 06-27-10, 01:47 AM   #19
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Well, after five days I still can barely chew. I'm on the oatmeal, rice, smoothies, pudding, tuna salad, soup, juicing, ice cream, spaghetti, and cottage cheese diet these days. And my dentist says that this denture may be the last thing I ever get, or, if I win a lottery somewhere, I can have implants at $3,000 per tooth (give or take) and eliminate the denture. Gums still tender, one or two cold sores, but mostly it feels okay. Just hate not being able to chew yet. I had five sutures put in as part of the procedure, and they will likely come out on Monday. I will say a denture is a whole lot easier to clean than natural teeth!
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Old 06-27-10, 09:23 PM   #20
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Post a picture, so we can be sure your stunning good looks haven't been compromised!
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Old 06-27-10, 10:59 PM   #21
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Post a picture, so we can be sure your stunning good looks haven't been compromised!
If you insist...
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Old 06-28-10, 11:06 AM   #22
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I have a full implant on my lower. Lowers are worse then uppers because of the tongue, best money I ever spent. $12,000.00. The price of a used car.
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