My question is: Does anyone EVER get used to this?
The feeling that my mouth is so full of plastic; I feel like I want to gag all the time.
I'm feeling really depressed when, prior to surgery, I thought I'd be so happy to be able to smile again.
I know it's very early days for me but it feels like I'll never feel 'normal' again.
I've just found this forum, and I'm hoping that someone whose been through this can reassure me that these foreign objects will eventually feel, if not a part of me, then at least a minimal hindrance.
Thanks to anyone in advance who takes the time to respond to this post.
Sorry still having a very hard time after 8 months of upper only although it does get a little better with time. According to my dentist they are not real teeth and will never feel like real teeth but I do have to say that they look great. On a positive note, I am eating better than at the beginning. Good luck....
I am 14 months in. I have a full upper and a partial lower.. It is easy to forget about the partial lower. However, the full upper continues to consume every waking moment. It's bulky, it's plastic, it tastes bad and I'm allergic to it. There is not a single moment that I forget that I have a full denture.
The difference really is size. A full upper takes up so much space in your mouth. It's really difficult to forget it's there. But, you are also early in the process.
Also, if you feel like gagging, go back to your dentist and ask him/her to trim the back portion of your denture. This is a common issue where the palate portion of the denture hits the gag reflex zone of your mouth.
Consider also that losing your teeth is a devastating event. It has significant impacts on your emotional and mental well being. It's like an amputation and most people will grieve the loss without really understating why they feel the way they do.
You are only now 6 days in. Give it time. You have to find a new normal. It will happen. Just be patient.
But over time it becomes YOUR NORMAL. You will get used to it, I look in the mirror and don’t see myself looking back still to this day, but to everyone else I look normal.
All the best
Though that was a VERY big adjustment, the most difficult was when I transitioned to full dentures six months ago at age 44. My prior dentist warned me it would likely be the eventual outcome, but nothing can truly prepare one for such a change. As others have said, it is very emotionally traumatic, and a very big adjustment. Keep in mind, when you get your temporary set, they are just that, temporary. Personally, I always thought my temporary set looked "obviously fake", though others could not tell.
While I was healing, I had to learn to eat and speak again, and there was the obvious initial discomfort. I had a lot of mixed emotions, and was very self-conscious about how I looked without my dentures in. Though I've never been vain, I still have my pride. Nonetheless, I never gave up, and adapted to the point I could eat and speak with no problem. One thing I learned is to leave the self-consciousness behind. There have been occasions where I have was out shopping without my dentures and someone stared at me. I simply gave them a harsh look and said, "Haven't you ever seen someone without teeth before? Perhaps you'd like to take a picture, it will last longer!" It was they who felt shame in the end, not me.
I only recently received my permanent dentures yesterday after healing for six months. Once again, I am having to learn how to eat and speak again, as they are slightly different. However, they are VERY realistic and even I cannot tell they are prosthetic, even close-up. I highly recommend a heat-cured set of custom dentures if one can afford it, they are worth every penny. They fit better, look better, and last longer (mine come with a 7 year warranty).
Are they are good as real teeth? No, but they are close enough and look better than my original teeth did! Most importantly, they are functional and allow me to eat without the agony I once endured having dental problems. Yes, it is a BIG adjustment, but it does get better in time. The key is communicating with your dental team, being patient, and accepting you have a long road ahead of you. If your dentist is rude or not compassionate, take control and remind them YOU are the customer, most offices have a money-back assurance. My dental group was very helpful and accommodating.
All that being stated, I am VERY happy with my permanent dentures and don't regret my choice. I chose a very good dentist that was honest, caring, and worked to make sure I got what I wanted in the end. My goal was to be able to not only have a functional set of dentures that allowed me to eat, but a set that looked natural and would not attract attention. I have that now, and though I'm still learning how to speak with my new dentures, it won't take as long to adapt since I've done it before.
Think in terms of months, not days or weeks as far as adaptation. In fact, from start to end, figure on a whole year. After a year, you should be used to dentures to the point they no longer feel quite as foreign. See your dental professional for sore spots, or situations where one has dentures that fit poorly. In addition, don't be afraid to take them out for a while if your mouth gets sore. I still have a subconscious habit of clenching my teeth (dentures), and that makes my gums sore. Every now and then I'll leave them out for a day and simply eat soup, cottage cheese, and ice cream for dessert. It gives my mouth a much needed rest.
I truly hope my story and suggestions help others, as I know how traumatic and depressing it can be adapting to dentures. I cannot stress the importance of patience and dedication to the adjustment process. Keep in mind, dentures are a prosthetic, like an artificial limb, it is not akin to getting glasses. Skills one used to take for granted have to be learned again, it takes time and effort.
Great that you're so happy with them. Keep enjoying them! :o)
Hello David Hahn
It certainly sound like a long journey to get used to dentures especially at such a young
You have the right attitude and I am sure you will do well
There is something that I do not understand You say:
"implants were not a logical or cost-effective option, so I went with partial dentures."
Could you tell me what you mean by "partial dentures" ???
Do you have partial dentures on the top and bottom???
I don't consider partial dentures as any where near as difficult to get used to as full dentures so I would like to understand what you have??
You also say implants are not "cost effective or logical?"
I have all implants and Yes they are extremely expensive but I do think they are cost effective and logical. There is almost no upkeep expense connected to them and they last for years with no additional expense. Mine are over 10 years old.
My implants are exactly like my regular teeth only better looking and Implants are not like a prosthetic,and implants are not like an artificial limb When you have implants you do not have to relearn any skills.
On the other hand I do think partial dentures must be much easier then complete dentures to get used to and would be most interested in your input on the Partials
Good luck on your journey
As far as implants, they are an ideal alternative to dentures for many, but not for my personal situation. I was looking at around $40,000 for full upper and lower implants, in addition to some additional surgery I already needed on my jaw. In my case, it would have not been a logical investment, as it would have resulted in debt I would have been mired in for years. My financial situation at the time was precarious at best due to my divorce (that was several years ago).
Currently, I have full upper and lower plates (full dentures). Prior to six months ago, I only had partial dentures, 14 teeth were remaining (some upper, some lower), so I had a partial upper and partial lower plate at that time. With partials, one has various options like flexible materials, or metal hooks that anchor the partial into place, or go behind one's remaining teeth.
What options are available with partials depends on what teeth are remaining. In my case, I originally had a metal/acrylic hybrid. I would say that partials feel less "bulky" than full dentures, and are easier to adapt to. That is particularly true of the lower palate, as with a full lower denture, adhesive is usually necessary, whereas with a partial it may not be (depends on the teeth remaining and their location).
Six months ago is when I made the choice to get full dentures. My dental visit revealed that my remaining teeth were showing signs of the same decay the others had, and it was spreading from tooth to tooth. I did have several options, including implants, but dentures were the best option for me, as it would have minimal financial impact (comparatively speaking). My entire treatment, including extractions, removing some remaining decay embedded my jaw, temporary dentures, and permanent dentures, was around $7800.
Personally, if implants had been viable for me financially, I would have considered them. However, I am on a fixed budget, particularly now that I care for my elderly father, who is now 87. Still, I don't regret my choice to get dentures. I was able to deal with my dental issues while ensuring I would remain on track for eliminating my remaining debt without impacting my long-term budget or retirement plans.