Ideas and Encouragement

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It is exactly six weeks today and after an adjustment 2-3 times per week, it is finally not hurting me EVERY time I eat the softest foods! I had 19 extractions with a full upper and lower partial immediates. I was not prepared for 6 weeks because my dentist told me most people are back to work in 3 days doing fine! 4 weeks in, the truth finally came out from the surgeon that it takes 6-8 weeks to heal from just 1 extraction! I don't know about you but I do better when told what to expect up front rather than given information piece meal!

All that aside, I really love the way they look. I brought in my high school year book pictures and made them re-do the model 4 times before they were the way my original teeth looked. I had a permanent bridge put in after an accident that knocked out my 2 front teeth. (It was deteriorating and the surrounding side teeth had broken due to the stress from the temporary partial which was way too tight on the metal clamps and biting on the sides instead of the front for a year. Plus it had yellowed due to years later after an auto accident that put me in traction for 9 months and my home care aids didn't bother to brush my teeth!) One friend said my new teeth has taken 15 years off my appearance!

If you are just starting, be prepared for swollen face, sleeping propped up (get a good back rest and at least 2-3 firm pillows), eating vegetable soup, Greek yogurt, protein drinks and drinking lots of water. I get the Ice Mountain 3 liter bottles and was drinking 4 of those per week along with numerous bottles of cold sparkling water and 1/2 cup ice cream or sherbet which really soothed the soreness after eating. I was on hydrocodone for first 2 weeks and then switched to 800 mg of Ibuprofen every 6 hours to deal with the swelling which had not gone down. I also had an antibiotic for about 3 weeks as well which helped with the swelling too.

Be prepared to take a while to eat a little bit at a time. The 1st few weeks I could only do the yogurt in the morning with V8 juice (like the peach-mango), then 1/4 cup vegetable soup (like Progresso Light) with 1/4 cup macaroni salad which was barely chewable. I would put 1 macaroni in on 1 side and 1 on the other to keep the upper balanced and chew on both sides.

As the swelling goes down, the upper gets bigger. I got the super Polygrip which worked for a bit but it kept getting bigger and would loosen after few hours. Finally my dentist mentioned Sea Bond which I finally found at Walmart. That saved me! Then I developed sores in the bottom because the partial just didn't fit properly. After I got him to switch me to Aleve gelcaps which can take 1 every 12 hours, I stopped feeling so weak and sick. Then I looked real good at the partial and realized he was adjusting the left side all the time when I was stating it was the right side that was causing me lots of pain and felt like it wasn't down. I finally got up the nerve to literally point to it and ask him to open that side up and it made a world of difference!

It was hard going in for the adjustments because he is 40 minutes away and I would have to wait until after I went to take my meds because I literally couldn't drive while taking them until I finally went down to Aleve. But it was worth the effort. It is finally starting to fit properly and I am able to eat my soft foods without suffering during and afterwards. I even graduated to baked salmon and went to Olive Garden last week. I had the Zupa Tuscana soup (potatoes with bits of sausage and greens which is marvelous) and grilled scallops in Alfredo pasta. Still can only eat little bit so took home and ate that for lunch for a week. The salmon can only eat about 1 inch wide and 2 inch long piece at a time.

Also, I got the slices of pound cake that Walmart has (10 in a container) that are very soft and used that as a bread substitute to avoid diahrea which I never got thank God! I could get in half a piece along with my soup and mac salad. Oh yeah, about the 2nd week I got mac & cheese along with collard greens from a local truck stop and had that for lunch for 2 weeks. Again, just small amounts were doable.

I took short term disability from work for this which I am so glad I did. I had planned to be out 2 weeks initially, believing the 3 day tie frame the dentist told me. I have been out this entire 6 weeks and the surgeon told me another 2 weeks then he will let me know if I can return to work. I am glad I filed that paperwork in advance or this would have been a total disaster for me. I work with the public all day into the evenings and would never have managed otherwise.

I told my dentist I need them to coordinate doing the soft reline before I return to work because even with the Sea Bond, it is starting to loosen again. Some of this is because I have lost 16 lbs and the swelling has gone way down. He did a soft reline on the lower partial on the side that gave me so much trouble and that worked out well.

From some of the stories I have read, it seems that some folks haven't taken charge of their treatment and have become victims of their providers. I told him the lower partial needs to be completely remade which they will do when I have healed enough to do another impression. Between my insurance company and myself, they have been paid $2,000 for this deal and I am determined to get complete satisfaction before it is said and done. The surgeon was paid $2,800 for the extractions so I expect him to give me the attention I need and write notes to the insurance company so I continue to get my short term disability as well. They both understand that and have cooperated with me.

Regarding finances, I put $2,300 into my flex spending account at the beginning of the year not having a clue how much it would cost. Turns out Aetna DMO paid for almost everything and I only paid $812 out of my flex account! I was also able to order new eyeglasses as well and get use to them will on leave too!

I have also learned to drink my water straight down my throat instead of letting it swish around in my mouth which loosens the upper and the lower. I swish around when I want to remove them at night. I do keep them in from morning until late into the evening to help the healing of the extractions and sleep with them out.

Prayer has helped a lot as well along with my friends and Pastors who have prayed for me too! Jesus IS the healer and I knew I didn't need to keep doing so much pain killers after the 4th week when I felt lead to ask the doctor to switch me to Aleve.

The other big plus is I was lead to switch my primary dentist after not able to get an appointment for months and found a dentist with 18 years of experience with dentures! From the stories I have read on here, it sounds like some of the mishaps have occurred because of an inexperienced dentist. My dentist is also unexpectedly, encouraging and supportive. When I hit the wall of pain about the 2.5 weeks after surgery, he talked to me in a very soothing voice and assured me I am doing everything right and progressing well. He has repeatedly told me he is very proud of me and how well I am doing! That really meant a lot and helped me to keep going even though I felt like it was not going well at all.

Today, I am starting to feel like I really will reach a day when I can feel good as well as look good! I am sharing this because if I had known a lot of these details and what to eat, it would have greatly reduced my stress and initial disappointment. I hope this helps someone else endure and begin to live a whole new life!
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changed 4Him

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  • am growing in confidence and thankful!

Posted 6 years ago

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sue

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Thanks so much for taking the time to share so much! Very helpful in how to help mom deal w/ new dentures!
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changed 4Him

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You are sooo welcome Sue! Hang in there ... we can do this!
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aileen

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thank you ,, i also had 19 extractions and had immediate denture put in ,,, its day 4 and i hae gotten canker sores(ouch) not as bad as the toothaches though .. my diet consists of only food that i can swallow whole ,, hoping to lose some weight in the process.. Its great to k now that it does get better !!!!
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Nanette

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I'm finding I'm having major issues with my bottoms as well. Did those take longer for you? I've had adjustments (the drilling) and they just plain hurt. I haven't put them in for over a week, it's that terrible. Thankfully my company allows me to work from home so that's good. I can't wait for the permanent (not healing) so they actually fit right and the top doesn't hang so low. I got them done 12 days before vacation. They said I could eat normally and I cannot. I managed to find food so I didn't feel like I was starving, but I find right now it's easier to eat without the dentures in.

Thank you for sharing. It certainly helps. I'm wondering, have you been able to find the fixodent strips instead of the gel? I've tried 4 stores locally and have had no luck. When my extraction sockets are healed I'd like to try that vs. gel since my gag reflex is horrible! Any other stories you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them. It's hard to not get down when you're not progressing as fast as the dentist's office says, but the dentist himself corrects. Had I known I'd have waited 2 more weeks to get it done so I could enjoy vacation food!
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changed 4Him

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Thanks for your encouragement! Yes, I had lot of trouble with the bottom too! I actually have never tried any of products promoted by this site. My started with Polygrip and found one they have for partials that works better than the Super Polygrip.

Really try to eat with them it because it protects you from getting dry sockets and actually facilitates the healing according to my dentist. Plus it will help you to know what needs adjusting when you go back and do that as often as you need it!

Yes, I think the hardest part for me was realizing it was not going to be 3 days and back to work! I was fuming about that for awhile until the dentist admitted last week that he mistakenly thought I was younger than him! He obviously never read my date of birth on the forms I filled out and was just looking at me instead! I am actually 16 years older than him! So that dramatically changed the healing time he was telling me. Both he and the surgeon are now saying 6-8 weeks and I am really pacing at 8 weeks.

I made a mistake on my original post, that was really 4 weeks and that's because the meds had my head in a muddle. I am just entering 6 weeks now and I can tell you there has been a vast improvement from the 4 week mark! I had moments last week when it felt very normal, like I forgot I was wearing dentures! Those moments are getting longer.

But as the weather is changing, getting colder or it rains, I feel it alot. So I have finally resigned myself to being patient and pretending I am on vacation except without the great eating that usually goes with vacationing!

Good news, I did have some tiny bits of very tender filet mignon yesterday and boxed the rest to take home and nibble on for the rest of the week. Really can't do much beyond pasta and seafood yet. But I also eat 4-5 tiny little meals which has helped with my energy level.

Week 4 I went to Target and splurged on some nice earrings that were 10% off which was fun and helped my feeling down. I also have continued to loose which has been a great side benefit! I went from squeezing into size 18 pants to easily slipping into a 14 this week!

I have had to make a conscious effort to fight the sadness and the down feelings. The dentist said think of this like multiple amputations and that resonated because I watched my Mom deal with having her leg amputated below the knee. The shrinking comes with the healing and she needed numerous fittings. But one day it all stablized and she did great! This is the same thing! Plus you are suffering loss and it is natural to have these feelings. Be patient and kind to yourself during this healing process and realize it is a process that gets better as time goes by!

I also got myself some great smelling shea butter products and anti-bacterial hand soap at Bath and Body that perks me up. I discovered the TV show Monk which is hilarious and gets me laughing. I had to curtail watching too many things on the dark side. You have to really work at creating an environment with scents, music, what you read and watch to sustain a good mental outlook when you aren't feeling well.

Yeah I agree, these dentists and surgeons for the most part don't wear dentures so they really don't set good expectations to help us get through this traumatic experience! But we can adjust and overcome despite all that and get to the good outcome at the end of the tunnel!

Let me know how you are doing and I wish you the best!
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Nanette

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That is awesome! I'm just over 30 days now and feeling better. I got the soft realign on both top and bottom last week and they made my appointment 3 weeks out. They are already loose so I'll be calling to reschedule that very soon.I can eat better when they fit right, but it's still a learning process.

I haven't tried any adhesive yet because the office said don't let them get in the extraction sites. They are healed over but the molars (where I really need it) are still shaped like bowls. Do you have any tips on how to put it in around those sites? Also, how do they feel when you take them out after the adhesive? That is what I'm most concerned about. When I got the first soft realign on the top only they did not want to come out and I panicked! I thought they weren't hardened enough when I left and that night they finally hardened. When I calmed down they came out, but I hadn't expected that. LOL!!!

Thanks again for your kind words and sharing! It's very helpful!
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changed 4Him

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Hi Sorry taking so long to respond. I was heading back to full time work when you wrote...My dentist said it was fine to use the adhesive on top and with my lower partial. He said the material the adhesive is made of would not hinder the healing process and it didn't. I still use adhesive on the lower partial and I rinse again after I remove the denture. Sometimes if I go for an adjustment and the adhesive hasn't been in there that long, it will leave a blob and I take a cue tip to gently remove it off the gum. But generally, it seems to disappear as you wear the denture through the day and it is harmless to your system as far as I can tell.

However, he eventually recommended it and I started using Sea Bond on top because I was getting alot of rubbing as they got bigger due to weight loss which works great! No rubbing and comes out easily. I have found with either the adhesive or the Sea Bond, its easier to remove the dentures if you swish around with warm water 1st.

Yes, I have had 2 soft relines now and when I had the 1st, I think my gums were swollen because it got real tight. But by the next day, it had loosened up to a comfortable place.

So glad I was able to be of some encouragement to you. I found that really makes a big difference in coping with this whole experience! I am in week 10 now and it is getting even better! I have lost 27 lbs and probably will get a 3rd soft reline next week! (-:
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Carol

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Good luck - sounds like you have had a really rough time. I have worn full dentures for 15 years and have never, ever used pastes or powders. My dentist told me that if I needed those, the dentures didn't fit right! I had my first set about 5 years before having them relined and then about 5 years later I got a new set. I still have very good suction and bone structure so I'm one of the lucky ones. If I can help anybody with encouragement or suggestions, I'm happy to do so!
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Nanette

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That's great Carol! I think the main reason I need the adhesive is because I'm still in the healing dentures. What is driving me batty is I still haven't mastered biting (like a sandwich or pizza). I feel one of the top front teeth aren't serrated and maybe that has something to do with it? Any tips on learning to bite again? I really want a nice juicy burger!!!
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Carol

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It is really a different skill than biting with natural teeth. They have to be firmly seated on your gums. Start with something simple to bite like a single piece of bread. Then add melted cheese. Then a top slice of bread... Add meat and lettuce as the last things (hardest to bite). Use chopped onions and dice up your pickles for easier biting. Remember that the key is the dentures being firmly in your mouth! Don't try eating a burger in public until you have mastered it at home!!! :-)
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Carol

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It is really a different skill than biting with natural teeth. They have to be firmly seated on your gums. Start with something simple to bite like a single piece of bread. Then add melted cheese. Then a top slice of bread... Add meat and lettuce as the last things (hardest to bite). Use chopped onions and dice up your pickles for easier biting. Remember that the key is the dentures being firmly in your mouth! Don't try eating a burger in public until you have mastered it at home!!! :-)
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Nanette

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Those are great ideas. Thank you! I can do the one slice of bread, but hadn't tried the other ideas. I'll definitely practice because I want a burger real bad LOL. Thanks again!
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Carol

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When you have the melted cheese on the toast, practice biting it off cheese side up AND cheese side down! :-)
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K Stokes

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I just happened to find this site today and so wish I had had all of your comments 2 yrs ago when I had 18 teeth extracted w/immediate full upper and lower partial. I've had nothing but trouble. I wish I had been able to go to another dentist, but I had already spent so much money that I was stuck. The healing went fine, but the fit did not, even after several liners, the upper never stayed in place. All the while the bottom partial never fit so I finally gave up wearing that 1 yr ago.
I do have a question for anyone: Do you ever experience a build up on your lips, or get really chapped lips, especially in the corners of the mouth?
Thank you for your comments.
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Carol

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I keep a tube of Blistex nearby all the rime because my lips get dryer with my denture. But I don't let them get chapped. Sorry your dentures don't fit right. I would highly recommend finding an independent dentist in your area (not a chain!) and have them fit dentures for you ASAP! Life is too short to deal with a bad fit!
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K Stokes

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Thank you!
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changed 4Him

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Hi K! See my last entry and definitely stay away from a chain (that's whupping I had to get the IN Dental Assoc involved). Also drink lots of water to keep the denture supple. Sparkling water is great when real cold to help with irritation and Ricolla mint sugar free cough drops too. I like the Nivea lip balm with Shea butter to keep your lips from drying out. Careful they will crack if you don't hydrate and use lip balm which is painful!
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K Stokes

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Thank you so much for the suggestions. It sure helps to learn of things that have really helped others. I will definitely try these.
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Marty Shafer

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Wow you have absolutely helped me I too had to change dentist, buy another upper denture to the tune of 1300.00. These are too big due to I have less bone on the upper left which whenever I drink or eat they loosen up...I have lost 20 plus pounds..All I want to do is eat, gain weight, and feel confident in me....Thank you for sharing your story it makes me feel I am not all alone....
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changed 4Him

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You are sooo welcome! Sorry, somehow didn't see your comment until today. This site really saved me from falling into a pit of despair too! When I joined so many had stories far worse than mine, that made me feel better right away. Plus just being able to share with folks going through the same thing made a tremendous difference for me. I hope all is going well for you and thanks for the encouragement! (-:
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changed 4Him

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I am into my 6 the month now and will get my hard reline on the upper next week. I have lost 45 lbs now and feel great! Had a snafoo with the lower partial though not fitting properly and now the right resin hook has broken from the constant popping up. Finally got the my local Indiana Dental association to intervene as well as my insurance company (Aetna DMO) on my behalf with the dental corporation. They refunded my out of pocket to me and the part paid by the insurance company which means that it got erased off the insurance books allowing for a new claim to be submitted when I get it remade!!! I am really happy with the upper and the dentist I had but he has since moved out of state. The dental association has a website where I was able to find another good one that also accepts my insurance. I have become a consultant and continued the same plan under COBRA for only $30 per month without keeping the expensive medical too! Once I get the lower partial remade I know I will finally be free of all the rubbing and irritation that has caused. Be persistent and don't settle!
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changed 4Him

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I did get the hard reline and it is just about perfect! That happened exactly 6 mos from date of my surgery. This whole thing would not have been such an ordeal, had I been prepared for 6 mos and not 3-10 days.

The other good news is I used this time to re-vamp my eating habits, nutrition and exercise regimen. I have lost 51 lbs, my blood pressure has dropped dramatically back to normal by cutting out a lot of processed foods and eating out so much and a size 12 is almost too big!

Focusing on looking better and feeling better has helped me to cope with the transition of practically no real teeth left. It was a bit of a trauma but now that I am on the other side of it, I feel way better. My digestion was even getting messed up because I could not chew properly due to broken or missing molars. Also, finally understanding that I needed to learn to chew all over again and put small amounts on my fork helped. Now that I have my hard reline, the upper barely moves if I chew on one side!

The lower partial clasp was also repaired and it is tolerable. I have focused lately on re-training my tongue to stop flicking under the sides of the lower partial by making it lie still. Sometimes sucking on a cough drop, piece if chocolate or drinking water helped to distract it from doing that constantly. It only took about 2 weeks for that change to happen. This is something I discovered and wish my dentist or surgeon had told me. It's obvious, once again, they don't where dentures,so they don't know!

Anyway, I hope my experiences are helping others avoid unnecessary pain and frustration. I do visit back here from time to time, so feel free to comment or ask questions.
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Cassandra

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Thanks for sharing your denture experience - that's just what we want to hear!
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LittleMama

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Hi there! I cannot thank all of you enough, especially 'changed 4Him' on sharing your experience with immediate dentures.
Two days ago I had 20 teeth extracted and immediate full upper and partial lowes put in. I am in my late 30s and to say this has been traumatic is an understatement.
Reading your stories and your great advice has given me new hope that two days is no time at all and it will take a long while for the healing to be complete. This helps with my expectations and just gives me hope and feeling that I can and will get through this.
I'm a mum to two young boys and they like calling me chipmunk too :-)
Thank you again to all of you for your encouragement and advice. Best of luck to you all!
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changed 4Him

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Thanks Cassandra! Also thanks to the owners of this web site for providing a forum where we are able to support one another! It has made a world of difference for me!
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Ann Cauthen

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thanks for all the support ,just had surgery4 days ago and miserable drinking protein shakes applesauce ,babyfood fruits my teeth look like they are sitting sideways my bite is off dentist says its just the swelling teeth were made 2yr ago then due to heart issues i just now had surgery.you have been very helpful thanks ,one thing dentist told me you may find helpful  get Benzodent its thick spread in the horseshoe will numb the sites and help teeth stay in ,really helps.
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Sabrina

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Just had 11 teeth extracted yesterday and although I'm having very little pain my bite is way off too. I hope its the swelling. These are just the temporary ones but they're going to have to fit better than this. Lol. Oh well... it is what it is. They literally feel like they're sticking out of my mouth but it does seem better than it did yesterday so hopefully each day will get better. Good luck to you. I'm sure things will get better.