Does anyone EVER get used to wearing dentures?

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It's Day 4 post surgery: removing my remaining 12 teeth and inserting the temporary upper & lower dentures.
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.
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Susie

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  • depressed, concerned, and very unattractive!

Posted 3 years ago

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Barbara G

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Hi David
Thank you for answering.    I understand now about the partials and your decisions.

I am amazed   however at your cost.
Isn't $7,800 very expensive?   I thought people on this site were  paying much less.

Then there are those that buy mail order from RK. RK's are so inexpensive and people on this site say they are Great

So David isn't   $7.800 very high in cost??
Barbara   
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David Hahn

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Hi Barbara,

The dentures themselves were about $2600 sans tax for both upper and lower plates.  The rest includes the extractions (which weren't exactly "routine"), some additional surgery on my jaw, the temporary dentures, relines, and any adjustments throughout the process.  I needed quite a bit of work done, and a LOT of sutures.  

Sadly, I always had good dental hygiene, but crowding always meant if I did get a cavity, it would inevitably work its way to the next tooth quickly.  Once I developed dry mouth (runs in the family), the problems became exponential.  Essentially, I underwent minor oral surgery to get everything cleared up (though it certainly didn't FEEL minor). 

Most of the cost was for the "prep work", you could say, but it was a one shot deal.  The x-rays of my jawbone look good and everything has healed properly.  I won't deny I might have been able to get the work done slightly cheaper elsewhere, but I really liked the dentist.  He stood by his work, didn't "beat around the bush", and there was the convenience of being able to get everything done in one location.

As far as the cost, yes my dentures were a bit more expensive than some (though I've seen them even steeper).  Dentures really vary in price depending on the materials/process used.  What I now have are heat-cured custom dentures.  They are designed to last longer, fit better (a wax try-in is created with the teeth and an additional mold made for the best possible fit), and appear as realistic as possible.  There are minor anatomical details on the upper palate added so chewing is more natural.

Many dentures use a cold-pour process.  This makes them more porous, less stain-resistant, and slightly less durable.  However, they can be vastly cheaper as well, depending on what one gets.  It doesn't mean they aren't well-made or won't last long, but I went high-end.  To give you an idea of the variance in prices:

  • Custom heat-cured dentures ~ $1300 per plate ($2600 for both)
  • Custom cold-pour dentures ~$1100 per plate ($2200 for both)
  • Classic cold-pour dentures ~ $500 per plate ($1000 for both)
  • Basic cold-pour dentures ~ $300 per plate ($600 for both)

Though I simply couldn't afford implants, I was able to plan for dentures ahead of time.  As you mentioned, I'm quite young for dentures, so it was important to me they be as realistic, comfortable, and durable as possible.  I'd post some pictures showing the differences, but don't want to violate anyone's copyright.

That being stated, perhaps I'll take a fairly close-up shot of my new smile (more of a smirk) so others can see the level of detail, and realize there "is a light at the end of the tunnel".  I think many will be surprised at how natural they look.  Even many of the cold-pour options can look very realistic, so I'm certainly not demeaning those options whatsoever.  Once one has dentures, there are more choices available, and ordering online is an option.  For me, it was more of an all-out ordeal.

I truly hope these posts help others.  There are a lot of choices and options, and it a particularly difficult road when one first gets a full set of dentures.  I'll say this much to those who worry about their temporary dentures, your permanent set WILL be better, temporary dentures are like "training wheels".

David
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David Hahn

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Hi Rosa,

I actually live in Ohio now.  If you are noticing some "wobbling" or "wiggling" it sounds like you need a reline as you mentioned.  My location charges $150 for a soft reline, $250 for a hard reline, so it isn't unreasonable.  I'm not a big fan of chains, but Aspen Dental is pretty good for that kind of work, it is just important to check the reviews on your location: www.aspendental.com/find-an-office

Hope that helps!

David
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Rosa

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Thank you David, I'll keep it in mind for when I return from my trip in May.  They are all out of my city but I'll explore them and if they're worth it I may manage to go for a consult.  Again, enjoy your new teeth!     :)      Rosa
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David Hahn

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Thanks Rosa!  I know how it is looking for a new dentist, hard to know who to trust.  I found mine via some personal recommendations, and checking a lot of reviews on the Internet.

David
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Tamera Deuel

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I am 5 1/2 years in and I can say my experience is that I will never get used to them, nor like them. I hate them and if I'm not in public they aren't in my mouth. And whenever I want to lose weight, I just use my teeth to eat and voila, food intake is dramatically decreased so fewer calories consumed. And even if I had the random funds lying around to pay as much as a new car I still don't think I'd get implants. I'd probably also hate those and taking those out would mean having metal posts sticking out of my gums and causing even more hassle. Had I known then what i know now I'd have kept the real teeth I had left. I can't stand having to have them in the 8 hrs I have to work every day. I hate the gastrointestinal issues due to the roof plate causing excess nasty tasting saliva that makes my tummy feel horrible. And it's really sad that the only way I can truly enjoy meals when we have the random bbq's at work or free lunches from vendors is to shut my office door, take my teeth out and actually enjoy the taste of whatever I'm eating. Forget about going to a business dinner. I've already had my teeth in too long and eating in a restaurant is usually a horrible experience as I leave 90% of my food on my plate and often (even worse when I have adhesive in) is the trips to the bathroom to get a spec of food that made it's way under my dentures and have to go into a stall and use toilet paper or my tongue to remove the particle because god forbid someone walk in while I'm rinsing my teeth and my mouth at the sink. I'm so happy for those that have no problems. My mother (rest her soul), my brother, one of my coworkers don't have the issues I have. I think it's a percentage thing. Most people find them beneficial and a handful don't.
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Barbara G

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Hi  Tamera Deuel
This is so sad  and I am so sorry to hear this
I don't know why you have settled for it?    It sounds like complete torture!!
There has to be a solution and you have written off any way to  solve it.
Why??  There are ways to make it better but you won't attempt anything

you are still working so you are young. 
What about   a horse shoe upper? 
What abut a clip on ?  

No matter what any one   says you have chosen  to settle for gloom and doom
Go to a Dental college Clinic
Go to Costa Rica
Try RK dentures
Do something more for yourself because you are worth  it

Stand up for yourself
Barbara
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Barbara G

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 Hello Tamera Deuel

I hope  I  did not sound harsh  but I want you to take care of yourself
Life is just one time around.   This is a quality of life issue for you
Money is not important.  You are important

If it were someone I was close to I would say become an expert on your problem
Go back to that original  dentist and tell him how uncomfortable you are and
see what he suggests. 
 
Go to 2 dentists in your area that advertise free consultations and see what they say

Read over this blog. 
There is a great Costa Rican blog and David Hahn on this forum can tall you the name
 of that site
.
There are people  on this site that have gotten open horse shoe uppers.  Read about that

I think  the least expensive solution that I like is the Clip on over denture/  I would go to 
Costa Rica or Mexico or to a dental school for it because price is a problem with you.
Reseach it and select a qualified implantologist with a good price

You can Solve  your problem and  you can do it
Let us know
Barbara
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David Hahn

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Hi Tamera,

Like Barbara said, this community is here to help, she is very passionate about helping others.  She comes on strong, but it is only because she cares.  We all have our stories, and many are very difficult, just like yours.

I had partials for about 3.5 years, and full dentures for 7 months now.  Without getting into all the dental issues I had prior, some of the things you are experiencing are not uncommon.  However, in your case, they do seem to be a bit more extreme.  As Barbara said, it is really worth getting a second/third opinion, it can make all the difference.

I suspect you have a low upper palate?  Your symptoms with saliva and taste would lead one to  that conclusion.  Like Barbara said, that is where implants can make a difference, and there are different types.  I do agree that for some, standard dentures are far from ideal, I was simply fortunate there.  However, a good dentist or prosthodontist can make all the difference.  Frankly, I was never happy with my partials, but I do fairly well with my dentures.

I will say this much, when I'm not out and about, or eating, I often take my dentures out, nothing wrong with that.  I have always had a bad habit of clenching, and with dentures, I can make my gums sore when I'm stressed.  However, when I have them in, I'm able to eat without issue, and my sense of taste is only minimally impacted (upper plate tends to cause that).  If you have a low upper palate, that certainly could be a culprit.

As far as food getting stuck, I have the occasional issue with that, but usually taking a drink after I eat will dislodge it.  Like Barbara stated, it is worth getting looked at, as it doesn't sound like you have the right fit for you.  Horse shoe uppers are certainly an option if your upper palate is an issue.  There are always options, but finding the right expert is the key.

Believe me when I say I know all about depression and anger of dealing with dentures.   I learned to direct that anger to drive me to "get it right", I wasn't about to end up with something that didn't work for me while some smarmy dentist made off with my money.  All in all, I'm pleased after a long road, and I take mine out too when I'm in private.

Does it bother me some days?  Yes, I won't lie, I get self-conscious and think "45 with no teeth, geez".  Heck, my dad is 87 and he still has most of his, so that doesn't help either.  Regardless, most days I'm just happy I'm pain-free and can eat again, and no one can tell I'm wearing them, doesn't mean I like it though.

The point is, yes it is a struggle sometimes, but don't give up because we are here to help you however we can.  You'll find a lot of recommendations here, and a lot of stories of both struggle and success!  You are not alone.

David
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Kathy P

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It makes me feel sad to read the posts on here from people who aren't happy with their dentures, and especially those in the US because all things dental there are just so expensive. (I am a Brit living in France where dental work is more expensive than it is in the UK but much cheaper than the US and a lot easier to budget for).  I can't imagine anything more disheartening than spending a fortune, going through a lot of hassle and aggravation, and still being unhappy with the results.

I am nearly four weeks into wearing dentures. I had extractions in July, no immediates,  and my first impression eight weeks later.  My upper denture felt like my own teeth right from the start and ,my lower denture is getting there.  I had some pain and discomfort and had to do a bit of light sanding to remove some areas that were causing sore spots, and I also had to use Medijel to help numb the gum to make it easier to put the lower denture back in. (Someone on here recommended Medijel and I am very grateful to them because it really has helped).  I can now just about eat with both upper and lower in but if I am on my own, I take the lower one out so that I can enjoy my food properly. Only four weeks in, I think I have been lucky compared to some of the stories I have read on this forum.  

My dentist told me I could go back at any time if I wasn't happy, but I haven't needed to visit him once since I had my dentures. I wish it was the same for everyone. I would tell anyone who is unhappy with what they've spent their money and time on to keep going back until they get the results they deserve,  We pay good money to the experts, the trained professionals, and that should ensure that we get a professional result for our money.

Incidentally, I do a lot of online university-based courses and am currently doing one called Discovering Dentistry. I was a dental nurse in the UK for six years but even so I have learned a lot from this course.  One of the modules was all about making dentures and we were shown exactly how they are made from start to finish, which I found fascinating. The technicians that make them do a wonderful job and they work hard, but they can only produce their results based on the impressions that the dentist gives them so, although having impressions is unpleasant, if you feel the impression move in your mouth as it sets, tell your dentist so that he can take it again. When it comes to the try-ins, they can be uncomfortable and painful when they are in the mouth, but those are the stages when you should be as fussy as possible to ensure the best result. Don't say to yourself 'well, it feels sort of OK so the final denture should be OK'.  You want better that 'should be OK' when you spend your hard-earned money.

I wish everyone who is struggling with dentures the best of luck but would urge you not to put up with pain and discomfort. Keep bothering your dentist until he gets it right. You deserve it.
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Barbara G

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Kathy P

HI Kathy
It sounds like you are doing perfectly with your uppers but your lowers
should be better  You should talk to someone that gave that course for some  suggestion on how to improve the lowers

YOu should also go back and speak to your dentist about  improving the lower denture 
 
I think you should explore retro fitting   the lowers so they
 snap on to 2 or more implants so they do not rest directly on your gums
A Clip on denture
Thanks for sharing
Good Luck
Barbara
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Kathy P

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Thanks for your kind words, Barbara. As it turns out, just this last two weeks I have found that both uppers and lowers  now feel like they belong to me. Needless to say, I am thrilled. It's almost exactly three months since they were 'installed'. I can eat with them (although I have yet to try ripping into a steak, but I can live without that for a while longer!), I don't need any fixative, and I am back to talking normally. One of th4 things that really helped me get used to the lowers while they were 'bedding in' was Bonjela. I tried Medijel which was pretty good but the Bonjela really worked exceptionally well. I used it every time I cleaned my teeth and last thing at night, just leaving it on. It soothed the gums and I am pretty sure that it helped to harden them off.  

I am more than happy now but am prepared to seek other options should I have any problems in the future. For now, being able to smile and eat with confidence is fantastic and well worth the extractions and so on.
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Jess

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Probably not..I lost all my teeth at 19 from taken the medication Dilantin for my seizures and all that did was make me have more seizures which I almost died from and make me lose my teeth. I went up until 10 months ago without teeth so about 9 1/2 years without teeth. I got so use to eating and talking without teeth that now when I try to put in the dentures they hurt my jaw because it feels like the teeth are too long and the bottom one's hurt to keep in. The top one's make me gag I've went back many times to have them adjusted to the point I just gave up with them all together. I am 28 now and well I don't really care anymore that I don't have teeth none of my friends judge me for it some of them even are jealous that I don't have to deal with cavities or any of that tooth pain. My jaw just got stronger over the years so I can eat steak,ribs though I can not eat corn on the cob or fruits that are whole that's why they make canned ones. Sure for years my confidence was lowered by not having teeth but now I'm at a point in my life that I am very confident even without them teeth are just there to look pretty for the most part. They help you eat but if you go as long as I have without them you'll find your way. 
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jackie Howard

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I have a full upper denture which i have had nearly a year ago,  still feels uncomfortable and gets me down most days .i take it out on night then its been out ten minutes I want to put back in .This is the worst thing ever to wear,It feels like i have a chuck of bubble gum stuck in my mouth.i think you have tolerate itI dont think I`ll ever get use to it. 
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Barbara G

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jackie Howard
You  should return to your dentist for another adjustment
Perhaps they are too long or too thick?

You deserve to be more comfortable
It is a quality of life issue
Good luck
Barbara
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Barbara G

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Jess and Jackie
If there is anyway you can afford yur upper denture  being secured by implants that would be a way for you to feel comfortable
If you had an over denture which is also known as a clip on denture then you would probably feel comfortable
It is possible that they could use your current denture
and retr fit it for the implants??

With an over denture you would not have the plastic  pallet that gags you

I would go  back to my dentist and discuss it with him or her

I would go to a few dentists that  advertise free consultations and ask them about it also

I would read all  about implants on some of these blogs and on the internet
Read  everything  about implants.   
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jane labrash

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I have had my upper dentures in one month while happy with the results I had teeth out before my dentures giving time to heal , I can eat but will never be the same how can it with a lump of plastic in your head implants too invasive and way too expensive for me end of story the journey continues I’m still alive taking steps to try and save secure my bottom teeth as heard they are even worse to get used to
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Kathy P

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You need to allow more time for your mouth to get used to the upper dentures. I was in exactly the same position as you last year and it took around three months for the uppers to feel like they really belonged to me and to stop feeling like a lump of plastic. You are right about the lowers - mine fit perfectly without adhesive but, if I need to eat on my own, I take them out, and if I have to eat in company I stick them in to keep them secure and eat carefully!

I would be really interested to see how you get on. At the one month stage, my uppers felt like a lump of plastic in my head but by two months, that feeling had eased considerably and, as I say, by the end of the third month, I had forgotten that they weren't my natural teeth!  It's surprising just how much the mouth adjusts.    Good luck.
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Barbara G

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Hi  jane labrash
Hope it gets better
Yes keep us in  the loop so we know how you are doing
Yes bottoms are more of a problem
Read this entire page and see if anything fits for you
Good Luck
Barbara