I am bringing this matter up to warn all of those about to step into the denture process. I've been following along on this message board since just before my extractions a little more than a month ago and had never seen a post about this particular subject. Honestly just the mental acceptance of having to get dentures was hard enough, never mind the fear of extractions, appearance with new "teeth", pain etc..... I mean logically speaking I should have anticipated "the collapsed" look of my appearance but with so many other things racing through my mind before the extractions and post op, I was totally unprepared for this. My self esteem was crushed! Yup....my plastic smile looked better than my original teeth but without them in I looked like hell. I also wasn't prepared for having to speak to the dentist and assistants without teeth as they made adjustments, or trying to answer the phone when my teeth were soaking. Forming words without teeth is extremely difficult and frustrating!
As I have said its been over a month for me now. Due to a problem with the original immediates I was given I had to stop wearing them while new ones are being made. I was forced to see my toothless face on a regular basis, answer the phone and speak to people regularly without teeth. The muscles around your mouth get stronger daily and words become easier. The muscles also seem to strengthen up and the collapsed look isn't as bad.... Things do get better! My warning though, especially to the much younger folks......be prepared for this .....your teeth support your lips and face.....
Thank you so much for this report! I am sure there are a lot of people who weren't expecting what they saw 'afterward'.
Personally, I didn't have the 'collapsed face' but, that could be because I still have 10 teeth on the bottom in the back (5 on each side). However, I have to say, when I took my dentures out the first time here at home I couldn't stop laughing! OMG! I was making faces at myself in the mirror and talking to myself and watching all the contortions my face was going through! LOL
I am SO not a vain person. Perhaps because I was a nurse for 22 years and I have seen more things than the law allows, I wasn't as 'offended' by my appearance as some people might be? I know that when my dentures are in, I look so much better and different than before.
Being without teeth from time to time is something that I am going to experience so, it is something I have to learn to deal with and except. I'm not afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to have other people see me without my teeth. If they liked me before with my old and ugly teeth, and they like me now with my new teeth, they damned well better accept me when I give them the occasional gummy grin I might flash! LOL
I've said in other posts, 'Positive attitude brings positive results', and I truly believe that. So, instead of focusing on what you look like to others without your teeth, focus on what you look like (and FEEL) to yourself with your new smile! Learn to accept yourself and others will accept you in like.
I'm not afraid to go without make-up; I'm not afraid to be seen with hairy legs. I'm not afraid to be seen with my hair twisted up in a knot or a ponytail; and I am not afraid to be seen with my teeth. I am still the same person now as I was before.... and I like me!
I walked out of my dentist office without dentures. I sat in my car using various mirrors just looking how great I look without teeth; tears of joy were present. Now with almost 5 years in this situation, I readily leave my dentures behind. I've been told by numerous people that my normal look without dentures is not significant to alter anyone's viewpoint. I enjoy the feeling of having nothing in my mouth but realize specific times they must be present (eating & business) but never find my image in the mirror offensive. My naked smile is good for me!
There you go!
It's just a matter of how one person reacts opposed to another.
I know a girl who called off work on a Monday because she didn't have time to 'wash the grey' out of her hair over the weekend! Did she really believe no one noticed her miniscule grey hair on Friday?
What happens when situations arise that might affect your otherwise 'normal' appearance that you have no control over ... like, getting a wrinkle or a zit? At least you can put your dentures in and show yourself to the world.
Yea, it was surprising when I saw myself in the mirror; It was a drastic change to what I looked like before. The only tears I shed were due to laughter! But I guess I have too many more prominent worries on my plate than to worry over how other people perceive me.
So, here I am for all the world to see... Before, After, and In Between! I hope this makes you laugh!
Don't be afraid. I was so worried about my appearance with new teeth that I really hadnt thought about what I would look like with no teeth. I was worried sick ...would they be white enough ? Would they be the right size and shape? etc..... I overthought that aspect of the situation and hadn't given any thought to what my appearance would be WITH OUT teeth at all. I wrote this post so others wouldn't be caught totally off guard as I was. I'm sure you read the wonderful posts by the others.....everyone's reaction to their new naked mouth is different. Some were quite humorous! I can tell you with no reservation that I would not want my old teeth back and that my mouth feels healthier and cleaner than ever. I'm about a month and a half in to this process and I am still adjusting to my new appearance. It takes times. Please stay on the boards, the amount of support here is incredible.
To be honest, I have not even told anyone I got dentures.
My face looked no different without teeth than it does with them. Nothing was sunken, or misshapen. Just me. Gums looked like gums. There was nothing terrifying about it so if you're about to try it , don't let it freak you out. It can be a little sore going back in on raw tissue but it was mild for me. Good luck.
People tell me I will get used to my dentures and not even think about them...They will become a natural part of me......6 months have passed and I still have my dentures on my mind 24/7....I am not kidding...thinking about them all of my waking hours....Will it ever get better.....
What exactly is it that's causing you an issue? The looks, the fit, comfort level? Just having them? It's been months and I have never once looked at the inside of my mouth. Not one glance, so I know how hard it is to accept.
Thanks for replying Stephanie...My main issue is my mouth feels so full and I gulp for air, and then there is the gagging....There seems to be so much build-up on the front of the denture..and I have to stretch my upper lip over it...then I look like a blowfish..then the back of the denture on both sides is irritating....Feels so uncomfortable all the time....never have a minute that I am not thinking about my mouth...that just isn't right....My dentist said I am going to be one of the people that cannot wear dentures....and implants are out of the question financially... .There is something called a snap-on denture that might help...but again it is rather expensive.....The only good thing is being unable to eat much... I have lost 20 lbs...but I would gladly add the 20 lbs back on if it would make me quit thinking about my mouth 24/7....Have a great day and thanks again....
We are so sorry to hear about all of the issues you have had with your new dentures, Edwina. How frustrating! Stephanie has been giving you some great tips and advice. We wanted to just add a on to her replies, if you both don't mind.
Many new denture wearers get that "full-mouth" feeling they are too big or that your lips are being pushed forward. This is common and will decrease as you get used to wearing your dentures. Ensure that you wear your dentures as much as possible to help your muscles adjust to holding them in place.
As Stephanie mentioned, since the problems have gone on so long it may be time for a free consultation to give you peace of mind, if you can find one. If you can't find that for free, the best opportunity to receive low cost dentures may be to seek care from
a dental school in your area, as they sometimes have clinics that provide
low-cost and discounted services at the care of dental students. If there isn't
a school in your area, you can try contacting your local dental society to ask
whether they have any programs for low cost services.
Wishing you a pain free weekend! ~Rosie