The Value of Support Groups

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All: I don't post that often, but periodically I observe something that I believe I should at least weigh in on. A couple of posts noted that some dentists essentially denied the utility of these online support groups. That is simply idiotic. If my dentist had done so, I would have found a new dentist before the sun went down.

That's not to say that some posts are either uninformed, rude or inaccurate. We all know the Internet distributes bad information along with the good. Nevertheless, the collective wisdom - not to mention the experience - of the great majority of those who post here clearly far outweighs the handful of those posts that would lead us astray. My own observation is that the ratio is at least 25 to1 in favor of the good guys, and that may be conservative.

I would also suggest, again based on my observations, that virtually everyone on here who posts on a regular basis has a pretty good BS detector that serves them well when faced with a questionable post. Furthermore, any dentist who denies the collective wisdom of any support group may be denying that fact because that they do not know everything, and I believe they may do so because of their insecurity about their own knowledge. Good dentists, and good doctors for that matter, know their limitations, and they encourage their patients to do the right kind of research.

The other thing that I would like to suggest to any dentist who is skeptical of this kind of forum is that virtually none of them have been through the experiences we have had in losing our teeth, and for that reason alone they should encourage us to talk to each other. We simply know more than they do about the physical and mental issues we encounter along the way.

There is great value in support groups for those facing breast cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, ALS and so on. So it is with dentistry and dentures. I know. I spent many years in hospital administration, and the best doctors I know unequivocally agree with me on this.

If you're struggling with some aspect of the denture experience, stay with it. Talk to people who have been there before, in person if you can or here if you can't - or both. Two friends helped me tremendously early in the process, but this forum has filled in virtually all of the blanks left by other sources. As a matter of fact, I used the topics discussed in this forum as I prepared my list of questions for my dentist the day the full denture was placed. My experience so far, while not perfect, is much better than it would have been without this resource. So thank you all. Joseph
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Joseph

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Posted 2 years ago

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Melanie Baker

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Joseph I am in complete agreement with u. If not for the support of many ppl here I would have been lost. And scared and not know what to do or expect. But I am so grateful for this site and especially a few that have really helped me a lot. When we go thru traumatic things support is always needed and helpful. And any1 who has been thru denture process knows it really can b a traumatic experience. And as u said any dentist who says not to pay attention to sites like this 1 doesn't understand and to me doesn't want to even try to understand. Thank u for ur words.
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Ellie Berkowitz

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I totally agree. This web site is so comforting to me. Josie and all of you have been so supportive of my journey with my upper denture. I have become empowered to ask the right questions and have found encouragement from all of you for which I thank you
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TJ

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Absolutely agree.  Never would have had the willpower to go through this without you guys.  Finding a group of folks who've been there and done that is invaluable, no matter where you find them.