For many years I suffered with extremely sensitive teeth. I used to wish I could just eat without pain. So the notion of getting dentures and the freedom from pain they would offer was extremely attractive. However, it was also a last resort.
I knew for many years that I would someday have to get dentures as oral health issues run in the family and my body was not fighting.
Here's the thing though, as much as I thought I was ready for this process, I very quickly learned how truly unprepared I was. It has been emotionally and mentally devastating. I have been struggling for several days to just be able to figure out just how or what I am feeling and the best I can come up with is that I feel like I've suffered a major amputation.
Now, logic will dictate that time will resolve this feeling because everyone learns how to adapt to dentures. But, for all of the topics covered and discussed here, I have not really seen one dedicated to the emotional recovery of this experience.
I know everyone's personal experience will be different and for some, very happily embraced and celebrated. I wish I was one of those people. I thought it might be useful to have a place for others' to connect with and draw support from.
If you are suffering emotionally from this experience, you are not alone. I guess this is one of those times were "time will heal".
It's been a little over 2 weeks and I went to Church this morning and as soon as I hit the car and got out of sight I had to pull my lower dentures. out. It seems that they change everyday.
I don't think anybody has ever been emotionally ready for this. It is harder than I ever dreamed it would be. It truely is like I've had an amputation and now I have to learn to live with it. But I know that I can do this and someday it will all be ok. Nope You are not alone.
I totally agree with you. I am in my 30's and have struggled for many years with teeth issues. It runs in my moms side of the family, but for some reason I thought I could fight it. Needless to say I was very wrong.
I'm really not sure how I feel yet. I had mine done Thursday and the immediate denture put in. The pain hasn't been horrible, but I have kept pain meds in me because I don't want to feel anymore pain.
I couldn't take mine out for 24 hours and believe me I wasn't prepared for what I seen. I cried for several long minutes not from physical pain , but the emotional pain. I guess I didn't count on that part. It looked horrifying. My husband was back there with me when they pulled them so he had already seen me, but when I seen myself without them I vowed to myself that I would do everything I could for nobody else to see me without them.
I have to wear my for 2 weeks straight only taking them out to clean them which is still challenging in itself. I was told I could wear my all the time as long as I let my gums rest for at least a n hour or so a day and to make sure I keep them very clean. So for now that's my plan.
I don't know that I will ever feel completely normal or if my emotions will stop being a roller coaster, but I am going to give it my best try.
I do feel your pain though and you are not alone.
Good luck with everything. I know it's hard as I am going through the same thing.
You know, if it didn't hurt so much to cry I would have cried it out and been done with with, but geez! that gives me a head rush and hurts my gums like hell! I was too afraid of making the bleeding worse or starting it again to even go down that road. I'm such a wimp. LOL
Shirley, like you, I think I was pretty prepared for the physical part . . . at least the recovery aspects of it. The actual extractions really couldn't have gone any worse than they did since I wasn't frozen for much of it. But once that was over I could soldier on and move forward.
I'm with you when you talk about the first look in the mirror. I think it's like having a baby. You know it's going to hurt like mad, but you're still not prepared and simply have to suffer the experience.
But isn't it just a little bit cruel to have all this emotional trauma and not be able to comfort yourself with . . . . comfort food? I'd kill for a solid burger and fries right now! LOL My consolation prize is Butter Pecan Ensure. It's not bad!
I am so glad this site is here. I don't feel so alone. Good Luck and keep in touch.
I had never shown my husband or anyone in my family how bad my teeth were. Most of my decay and problems were underneath the gum line and in between my teeth and the really bad broken ones were in the back so was able to hide a lot of it. I was mortified to even bring up the word denture to my husband, but the hardest part was showing him my teeth. He couldn't understand why I needed something so extreme and thought I should get a second opinion. He knew my teeth were getting bad but he didn't know how bad. It was SOOO hard to work up the courage to show my husband and say "this is why I need dentures". It was a very emotional conversation and LOTS of tears were shed. I thought he would be less attracted to me and look at me differently, but he was great! We have been together for 16 years, so I should have known better but it was hard on the already low self esteem. He was more concerned about any pain I might have and my emotional well being than anything. Now that I have them, he finds me even more attractive! Telling my parents was also emotional and embarassing, but it wasn't quite as hard because they both have an upper denture as well, and both of my little brothers have partials. Come to think of it pretty much everyone in my family has some form of dentures. One hurtle I have yet to overcome, is seeing myself without any top teeth. To be honest I don't think that most people could be truly pepared for that. I know that I am going to have a MAJOR emotional breakdown when I see myself for the first time, and being realistic, I will probably cry for the first several times. I know he has obviously already seen me when he extracted them, but I don't even want the dentist to see me without them. Lol. Watching YouTube videos and reading forums and message boards has me helped me along the way. I have had amazing support from my family, and my husband has been the best, but unless it has happened to you, you don't truly understand how traumatic and devastating it is, and the emotional ups and downs etc... so talking to people that are, or have been in my situation is almost therapeutic and helps sooo much!!! So thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and answering questions and really just letting me share and vent.
We have just recently moved 800 miles away from all of our friends and family, so it is truly just my husband and I. We moved because he got a new job that required us to move and then they laid him off after 8 months. So timing was critical. My kids are the only ones who know that I’ve had this done because we skype regularly and we are travelling back home on Saturday to close on the sale of our house and then find a new one so we can move back. My dentist is awesome and extremely compassionate. She has called me and texted me at home to check up on me and offer support. I am really REALLY going to miss her! I’m pretty sure wanted to hug me after she was done working on me without freezing. But, at least I didn’t scream LOL
I think I will have my cry later when I feel more healed. I think it will go a long way to helping my emotional recovery. My husband has been so good! He has a very strong nurturing instinct and hates to see anyone suffer. It’s too bad that his nurturing thing to do is to feed me when I can’t eat LOL So, he rubs my head instead. Evenings are the worst because I end up taking them out about 8pm due to the chemical reaction I get. I can’t talk at all after that and I feel so ugly with them out and the first hour after removing them is quite painful as my gums begin to rest and decompress. It’s very humiliating. I dream of the day when I can just put them in in the morning and leave them till I got to bed.
I have watched a great many YouTube video’s and spent literally hours online researching and educating myself about what’s to come. My next thing to concentrate on is minimizing bone loss and what I can do to help keep it to a minimum. The idea of bone grafts and the associated pain just does my head in so I’m motivated LOL
Alicia, I love your honesty! You make me giggle a little. My dentist is not old nor is she ugly nor are her staff LOL But, you know, that crap is still in your head eh. I hear what you saying about being embarrassed. I felt ashamed that I let my fear of dentists keep me from regular visits and overall better health care. But, the piper came a’callin’ and it was time to pay.
I am now on day 6 and I am feeling pretty good! I am back to biking and in a couple of days I will start back with the power walking. I think the jarring of that is still going to be a bit much to take, but baby steps. I got in a 23Km ride and I’m feelin’ great! Oh happy day! It does get better!
I've had my dentures (full upper and lower) for not quite 2 months now. I had extractions done, then healed for 3 months without teeth before I had dentures made.
My natural teeth were in such bad shape that they were tiny little nubs. So, I actually didn't look that much different when I looked in the mirror. But, you nailed it when you compared it to an amputation. In many ways, it is. Like someone else said, you are permanently removing a natural part of your body.
Due to my bad natural teeth, I've had several extractions done over recent years. So, I was very prepared for the physical aspects. But, like many here, I was totally unprepared for the emotional aspects of dentures.
My dentist is wonderful. He warned me, but I expected too much too soon. I had lived without teeth for 3 months. I thought, now I have teeth. I'm ready to go. How wrong I was. I had no idea how hard these would be to get used to.
And, it hit me like a runaway train. I was depressed, crying and believing that i had just made the biggest mistake of my life that I would regret forever.
Please read my other posts on this board. I started a thread that documents my progression from absolute despair to confidence and optimism.
I can tell you now that, the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves. I had 3 months of healing done before I got my dentures. So, you will be very limited for at least the first few weeks as you heal. Your mouth has been severely traumatized by the extractions. It will take time to heal. But, when you do, the sky is the limit. A saying I read somewhere that is so true in our situation: Your worst enemy is yourself and your best friend is time.
Now, I eat just about anything I want. I just got back from a 7-day cruise to Bermuda a week ago. If you've never been on a cruise ship, it's constant and very good food. I ate anything and everything I wanted. I went out to lunch with co-workers today. We went to Longhorn Steakhouse. I had a flat-iron steak and ate it with no problems at all.
The only foods that I've found that I have a REALLY hard time with are some candies. Twizzlers (licorice) and Starburst fruit chews are just too chewy and/or take too much biting force. Twizzlers would take me forever to chew and Starburst might actually break my dentures because I have to bite down so hard.
Other than that, I haven't found anything I can't eat. Some things take a little more care than others. For example, I eat burgers regularly. But sometimes, the pickle can be challenging. I just need to pay attention and I can eat pickles with no problems.
I got my dentures July 7, 2016. If I can do it, so can you! Just be determined that dentures will not hold you back. As healing allows, branch out and try new things. Try your favorite foods. Take small, careful bites (I have to concentrate on that sometimes when I eat tacos lol). After you are healed and your dentures have the best possible fit, you will be able to eat just about anything you want.
Just hang in there!
Amputee is the best description for what I'm witnessing.
I'm 51 and never had a tooth pulled. I have, however, been dealing with advanced periodontal disease for years. Finally my bottom front teeth got so loose from bone and gum loss I could have probably pulled them out with my fingers. Now that I have(good) dental insurance i got the nerve to go to the dentist. He pulled all four of my bottom front teeth. I almost didn't get it done because i was so terrified i was shaking. After he finished and i stopped crying i tried to get up, bloody mouth and sobbing, to leave and passed out in the hall outside the office. It was one of the worst things ive ever experienced, and I'm just getting over a hospital stay from 2nd snd 3rd degree chemical burns with skin grafts. I finally can look in the mirror but i think i look like a hippo now. I cant get a bridge or implants because of the bone loss, so i have to get a partial that will come out and sit in a cup at night. I'll go to the grave before i get another tooth pulled i don't care how bad they may get.
I think with the fact you're just getting over a hospital stay from 2nd and 3rd degree burns and what you went through there pretty much took the stuffings out. You just didn't have the where with all to handle having teeth pulled as frightened as you were to start with on top of what you had already been through. (I cannot imagine the pain and trauma you've had with that.) I can well understand your reluctance to ever have another tooth pulled after what you went through with this visit.
I don't know how good your dentist was but that can make a difference. Because of your reaction when he finished, he should have had you stay in the chair until you were able to get things under control. I can also understand your wanting to get up and get the heck out of there as fast as you can though - been there, done that but fortunately didn't pass out! But any dental work is scary! I went in for a root canal when I was a young 'un and was white knuckled holding onto the arm rests before the dentist (a specialist) ever walked into the room, I was so frightened. He was able to deaden the roof of my mouth without my feeling the needle and had the work done in no time. Even so, because I had a two hour drive home, he made me stay for a while after to be sure I was ok to drive.
If you should need this done again - and there are times it has to be or it can cause far more health problems - check into going to an oral surgeon. I've found that (at least the ones I've seen) are far better with patients and better at removing teeth with less trauma than most dentists.
I wish you all the luck in the world for recovering from both the burns and the teeth removal. Take care!
incredible disappointment when after all the suffering and waiting you are a few weeks into the adjustment period..and it is not happening ..I still hardly recognize myself in the mirror...and forget eating..I have also lost a great deal of weight ..they also are painful ..I cant wait to take them out ... and then getting the tooth gunk off your gums....maddening ..and discouraging ...
I dont have the answer short of ..noticing any time you feel good...it helps ..keep talking!!
Does it truly help to wear at night?? Will my permenant ones fit better?? How do I explain to my husband that I feel like the ugliest person not only on the outside but the inside???