30 yo F, soon to be denture wearer...

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Hi all, newb here and I’m hoping for some advice. At 30 years old I am loosing all my teeth. 26 to be exact. They’ve been falling apart for a while now so it’s been a long time coming, and I think deep down I knew it was going to turn out this way, but regardless it’s still been emotional. I’ve been reading blogs (and boards like this), watching YouTube videos, and just doing a heap of general research to try and prepare myself as best I can for the long road ahead, and gathering as many tips and tricks as possible to aid in a successful transition like speech, eating and overall comfort. Impressions have been taken and my initial consultation with the oral surgeons is set for next Friday (April 12th). Here’s the strange part. I seem to be coming to terms with this fate, but I just can’t shake the fear of people knowing. My mom, sister, and my sweet darling boyfriend all know what’s going on, but outside of this very small circle I just can’t bring myself to talk about it. Not with friends, or my own father, or other family members. I don’t even have my e-day scheduled yet and I’m already terrified about returning to work after. I’m scared that I’ll look noticeably different and people will inquire. I’m not even saying they’ll notice they’re dentures, but I just don’t want attention on my new teeth. I don’t want to explain what I’ve been through and I’m not exactly sure I want to make up a story. I guess I just don’t want to find myself explaining over and over what’s different about my appearance. I feel like this sounds so trivial, but right now it’s the part of this whole this that is bothering me most. I know at some point it will be the new norm and I won’t even think about it anymore but until then, how do I address this incredible insecurity? What were other’s experience with returning to work? Or receiving unwanted attention on the upgraded smile?
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ohmyword30

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Posted 7 months ago

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sheila

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I found most people either didn't notice or didn't mention it, I would hope colleagues/friends etc would be respectful and not ask questions/make any comments unless you invite them to. I know I would never dream of commenting on another person's appearance in such a way and I really do think most people are decent and will behave in a respectful way.
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ohmyword30

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Thanks Sheila, I think you’re right, generally most people are polite enough to not ask questions. I don’t know why I’m so scared about this, all I know is I feel like I’m in a constant state of panic, about the whole ordeal really, but that part in particular. Part of the problem I’m sure is that I’m to scared to even look at my own mouth. I literally haven’t seen what my teeth look like in well over a year I’m guessing. I turn my eyes away from the mirror when brushing and when I have to look at myself (hair, makeup, etc.) my mouth is shut. That’s crazy right? Something has got to be wrong with me if I can’t even bring myself to look at the damage done. I keep telling myself that on the big day I’ll take a good hard look, that way I’ll know that what I end up with is infinitely better.
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sheila

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I never used to look at my teeth either - it wasn't a pleasant site, but even after a year now, I still love smiling at myself in the mirror just to see my lovely new teeth. I remember that state of panic - it is a huge life decision, but I really do believe that once it is done you will be so much more confident.
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ohmyword30

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That’s great, and definitely reassuring to hear that you love your smile now. I’m sure you’re right, confidence will return in time. As scared and emotional as I am, I am truly anxious to get this ball rolling.
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lisa j Llewellyn

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Hi, congratulations on coming to terms with all of this...it is a very physical and emotional rollercoaster ride. You will have good and bad days in both of those areas. You seem like you have a good start in this process. As for your question(s), I've found that no one has asked, questioned or commented on my situation. But as you are aware they're are always a few...I personally wound just say "I've had some extensive dental work/procedures done", and leave it at that, should they keep pushing, just politely say I'd rather not go into it.
You will figure out how to best eat (in public), and speaking just comes with time, but I will say what works for me is singing in the car (I cannot sing BTW)..lol
Best of luck and stay in touch with us here.
Lisa
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ohmyword30

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I hope I have a similar experience and people just won’t ask lol. It could be that part of my difficulty is that you just won’t know what the temporaries will look like until It’s all said and done. I wish I could test drive them first. Although I went to a very reputable dentist so I’m trying to be optimistic. Also, I want to thank you for tip. I don’t know why singing hadn’t occurred to me. I’m no good at it either but I do it anyway and if it helps with speech I’ll continue to do so once they’re in!
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Kristy

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Hi, I feel like most people with common courtesy wont say anything to you out of embarrassment for an awkward situation. Kids however, can be brutally honest! lol. I also feel the same about my family knowing. I did not want my parents knowing if it was the last thing I ever did, because it just made me feel like a disappointment and like I was letting them down in a way. But they are your parents, and unfortunately nothing gets past them! So only they know, my grandpa, my boyfriend, and a couple of friends who don't judge or make me fell awkward about it. And as for my job, I was beyond blessed because they actually offered to pay for everything as a Christmas gift, so they obviously knew what was going on and were very understanding of everything. I wish you the best of luck and keep us updated on your progress! 
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ohmyword30

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Thank you Kristy, I’m so glad I’m not the only feeling that way! Did you talk to your parents about it beforehand? My mom and sister and I are very close, and my mom had a similar issue, so that was an easy conversation, but my dad is very conservative and my step mom, as nice as she is, can be extremely judgmental. If you have any advice on how to broach the subject with him, I’d be so appreciative.
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Kristy

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Of course! I tried avoiding them for a long time (they live 3 hours away) I had to go for my brothers birthday and they noticed how bad it was. My dad and I have that kinda “don’t ask don’t tell” kind of relationships so he didn’t say anything to me about it. It was my mom. She said pretty much all the women on my side had to get dentures at a young age (I’m 28). And that she was sad that I didn’t go to her sooner. But since then, I have been a little more open and honest with her on what’s going on when she asks. It still feels a little strange to me though, not gonna lie. I’m just scared of my moms side of the family because they are beyonddddd judgemental! So I can completely relate! I made a new friend recently and I was open and honest with her the second time we hung out. I just put myself out there saying I’m sure you have noticed I am having some dental work done currently and in the process of getting new dentures. And I guess it didn’t scare her off because we hung out several times after that lol. I know it’s scary. But honesty is the best policy and the true people will stick with you through thick and thin. I wish you the best of luck and keep us updated on your progress!
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ohmyword30

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Thank you so much for this, it really helps immensely! It’s good to know that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling. And I’m so glad I stumbled across this group. I’ve been reading other posts and the support I’ve seen here is truly remarkable. I’ll post an update next week after my consultation with the oral surgeons. I’m sure I’ll be needing more advice at that point. Thanks again!
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Kristy

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Of course! You are definatley not alone. And this group has really helped me as well. Take care and keep us posted :) 
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Positivity

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Hi, only my husband and two children know about my denture plate.  I did tell my best friend, and to be honest I don't know why, because the first thing she said, is that you couldn't even tell I had my top done, because it looks that good.  Other than that, absolutely no one else knows that I have a denture, because my dentist made mine to look as natural as possible. ie the colour, the actual shape of the teeth (not perfectly straight).  People won't be focusing on your teeth, just your lovely smile.  Best of luck for your upcoming journey, you'll be fine with your positive attitude.
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ohmyword30

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Thank you so much, this is very reassuring! I’m so nervous that my temporaries won’t look natural or that they’ll be too big. Trying to stay as optimistic as I can on that front.
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Lynn Heilmann

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Everyone that I know that knows I have dentures, even the immediate ones, say they look fabulous.  I can smile without worrying about it.  
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ohmyword30

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That’s so great to hear, thank you!
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Lauren

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Oh my goodness...it's like I was reading exactly what I am going to post!  I've scoured the internet, watched videos, read all the tricks and tips.  I would love to know how everything works out for you.  Best of luck as you start this process!
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ohmyword30

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Thanks Lauren! It’s been a rocky road so far (emotionally) but today I feel really REALLY good. Optimistic even. I had my consultation with the oral surgeon this afternoon and I was super anxious about it all day. But honestly, I feel 1000 time better about this whole ordeal than I have since the beginning. First and foremost the surgeon I met with was warm and welcoming, totally non judgmental and really easy to talk to. I walked in armed with a thousand and one questions and he answered all of them in great detail. He was enthusiastic and made me feel like all my questions were not only valid, but worthy of a thorough answer. I was there for about I an hour and a half. About 15min of that consisted of a panoramic X-ray and him examining my mouth. The rest was open conversation. His assistant even commented that I was one of the “best prepared” patients they’ve seen and was impressed with the amount of research I’d already done. She even joked to the surgeon that they should hire me lol. I walked away from that visit feeling really well informed, but more importantly that he was going to take really good care of me and I was in excellent hands. Anyway, my dentist office and the oral surgeon are both private practices, and both very reputable. They work together all the time so I have no doubt that I’m receiving top notch care. I will say, I am still quite nervous about what my new teeth will look like but otherwise I am so far having an incredibly positive experience. I don’t have an extraction date scheduled yet. They are crunching the numbers on a few of the options first, then we’ll finalize a game plan and set a date. I should have an estimate by Monday or Tuesday. I’m just so relieved, and that’s a pretty great feeling considering I’ve been an anxious, sad, angry, fragile mess for the better part of 4 months trying to navigate this. I’ll keep posting updates as they come. Best of luck to you too Lauren, where ever you are in your process.
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Lauren

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I'm so glad you had such a good consultation!!  It's been rough for me emotionally so far too but the closer I get the more reality just starts setting in.  I did the million questions with my prosthodontist once the "for sure" denture process started.  I was nervous about what mine will look like but I was able to see the wax molds and I was pleased.  I hope you like yours!  Some relief set in for me once I made the decision, signed the contract with my dentist, and met with the surgeon.  It's like it was set in stone and my mind was able to grip on to that.  I've had wait a little longer for the surgery due to work schedules and dental office schedules but Wednesday is it for me. 
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ohmyword30

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Oh wow you’re so close! Congratulations! It’s great that you’ve been able to find some sense of relief in all this. I’m getting there myself and honestly really anxious to just be done with it. Maybe even a little excited (as much as one can be in this particular situation anyway). I know it’ll take time to adjust, and there will likely be hiccups along the way, but I think I will be worth it in the end. And thank goodness for this forum! I’d be lost if not for all the great info I’ve read from this site alone. Good luck on Wednesday. When you’re rested up and if you’re feeling up to it, I’d be very interested in hearing how it went for you. Deep breath, chin up. You’ve got this!
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Lauren

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I’m ready to just be done and able to move on and start the healing process and this new chapter of my life. I think it will be worth it in the end. I’m looking forward to not being afraid to eat certain things or smile at people!
I’m so grateful for this site. I’ve been grateful to read everyone’s good and bad experiences as well as tips and tricks.
I’ll definitely keep you updated!
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ohmyword30

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I totally understand that feeling. I’m anxious to get it over with too. In part because I’m tired of feeling anxious about the pain, healing process and what my teeth will look like, but also because like you I just want to eat and smile without fear or feeling self conscious. But today was your day!!! It’s done! I hope it went well for you and it’s a smooth transition. Here’s to a speedy recovery and your new smile!
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Lauren

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I posted my day 1 experience!