• Dental Phobia Support

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dentures needed...sheer terror is setting in!

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fearful

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5
I am so glad I found this board...I was feeling like I was the only one in the world to have a mouthful of bad teeth.  After reading many of the posts here, I already feel a bit better about what is to come, and its also comforting to know I'm not the only 30-something with bad teeth about to get dentures :)  So thank you to all for sharing your stories and advice.


Anyway, I have been trying to work up the courage to go to the dentist, and I found out today that I have to go on a business trip the beginning of June.  Now I'm finally motivated to get the dentures so that I can smile and speak without having to try and hide my horrible teeth.   Although I now know there are others with bad teeth out there, I still feel that I probably have the worst set that any dentist will ever see, so not only am I struggling with the fear of going, but also the embarassment and shame as well.  Now I'm just praying the dentist will be able to do what needs to be done in only a month.  I had fully intended on being knocked out to have all my top teeth extracted, but now that time is of the essence, I'm talking myself into just getting the usual freezing, so that hopefully this whole thing can be accomplished before I have to go on my trip.

I realize it would be impossible for anyone to say definitively either way, as it would depend on the dentist's schedule, etc...but is it possible to have 11 teeth extracted and dentures made in under a month?

The other major concern I have is that my teeth are so bad that they are basically crumbling.  I have a few "half-teeth", as well as one that is so far gone it is completely level with the gum line (had been root canalled years ago, but not crowned).  I'm afraid that one or more will break when the dentist does the impressions, and also when he does the extractions.   I'm also wondering how he will extract the one tooth that is level with the gum line.  Thinking about this terrifies me....I just cannot imagine how that can be done without being extremely painful!!

Sorry for the long post!  Thanks for this board, and thanks to all for sharing your wisdom and stories.  At least I don't feel so alone anymore :)
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,669
Hi there :welcome:,

that's a hell of a lot of questions, lol! Great to hear that you want to get things sorted and get your smile back :thumbsup:.

As you said, how quickly it could be done would be very much dependent on the dentist's schedule. Moreover, the first step would be to actually find out what a dentist would recommend - it sounds like you're working on the basis of "self-diagnosis" at the moment. From your description, you are expecting you will need full upper dentures (you didn't mention the lower teeth) - is this correct?

In theory, it would be possible to get dentures in a month. In practice, I don't know if this would leave enough time for the most important bit - choosing the right dentist for the job. Also, bear in mind that your dentures will most likely need to be adjusted a few times at the start, so it might be a good idea to give yourself a window of maybe two weeks for that (at a wild guess).

Finding the right dentist can vary a bit from country to country (are you in Canada? the term "freezing" is most often used by Canadians). I'm not exactly an expert on dentistry in Canada :) - but there are some regional peculiarities which one might want to take into account.

As an alternative to "just freezing", there are several sedation methods available which can be used in addition to freezing - for example, nitrous oxide (which wears off within minutes), IV sedation, and oral sedation (benzodiazepines). The latter two do require you to have an escort and to spend the rest of the day recuperating, until the effects of the drug wear off. The general idea behind sedation is to put you into a state of deep relaxation. They also seem to enhance the efficiency of freezing in people who have otherwise trouble with getting numb, although the exact mechanism by which this works is not really known.

We've had the question about teeth that are broken down at the gum line lots of times - oftentimes, these are the easiest to remove (dentists don't actually "yank out" teeth, but exert careful pressure on the roots).

Hopefully, someone with first-hand experience of dentures will also spot your post and add their wisdom!
 
F

fearful

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5
LOL, wow, you are so perceptive....I am from Canada! I had no idea that "freezing" wasn't normally a term used by others, but now that I think about it, it makes sense...we use that word a lot with our cold winters :D

I wish I was self-diagnosing, because the thought of dentures is really bothering me, way more than my fear of dentists ever has. I did see a dentist shortly after Christmas as I had developed an abcess. I took the penicillin and haven't been back since, big chicken that I am! But while I was there he did tell me that all the top ones would have to come out. I believe the bottom ones are saveable at this point, but I could be wrong. I've heard that getting a bottom denture is usually more problematic than a top, so I really am hoping to hang on to those.

I won't be going back to him however. Both him and his assistant made me feel extremely ashamed and uncomfortable. It was my first time seeing him; he had taken over for the last dentist I had been to (whom I just loved), so I do need to find someone new. I have had the nitrous sedation years back (they had also given me a lorazapam to take a half hour beforehand as well), and I would definitely like to go that route again. Cost is always an issue for me, but the nitrous is worth every penny.

I find that so surprising about teeth broken at the gum line being easy to remove; that makes me feel way less apprehensive. I had started imagining that he/she may have to cut open my gums or something! And I really appreciate your explanation of how an extraction is actually performed...careful pressure exerted on the roots creates a much nicer mental image than pulling or yanking, so thanks for that!

Sorry about all of the questions, but thanks so much for all of your answers...I'm starting to feel better already, although I'm sure I'll take two steps back once I have an appointment set! :scared:

Thanks again for your expertise!
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,669
I hope your winter is over by now (hmm, actually, you might be able to save some money on the freezing if it isn't :D)...
Sorry to hear you had such a crappy experience with that last dentist you saw! I wouldn't have gone back, either.

I've put up a page with find-a-dentist tips here:


This is fairly general though, and when it comes to dentures, there are some other things that you might like to consider. For example, in Canada, there are lots of well-qualified denturists, who specialize in making dentures. There are some links on the dentures page, I think:


Of course, there are also many dentists who are good at dentures, but sadly, not all of them are. So if you know anyone who has dentures, it would be worth finding out if they're happy with their dentist *and* their dentures.

I hope some of those links might prove useful :).
 
R

rodeo_blues

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
1
Just read your post and felt I must respond as I could have written it word for word last month. Was in terrible condition but afraid to go after all these years - fear plus embarrasement.. My horse kind of solved the problem for me as knocked out the front two on the the top and made things even worse so off i went. On April 18 I had the remaining 17 out with oral concious sedation and it was ok. Now I have none in there and still look awful but nothing hurts. Having uppers and lowers done now and have been four times and should be done next Friday. Have no idea what to expect at that point re eating and talking but it is hard to speak with none there anyway. Could not take the impressions before extractions as ones left in there would not have withstood it and that is why I have none now. Had to go the long route. My own fault for sure.
Keep your chin up and be brave as I sure we will be happier at the end of all this.
 
K

kimberlee

Junior member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8
Fearful, your not alone, by any means. This board has been very helpful to me as well because these people know what they are talking about!

Do not be ashamed. I was the same way. I didn't want to open my mouth at all. But after looking at pictures of previous patients I felt sooo much better about my smile. My teeth look wonderful compared to others. But I must admit the work he did was beautiful. I'm not sure what "freezing is". I am doing the sedation denistry. I will take the pill before I get there and then others will be administered as needed. I will also have the novocaine and happy gas. I told him I wanted it all and would settle for nothing less.

Your teeth sound alot like mine. Mine crumble as well and I too have some half teeth. They called mine "root tips" because that is all that is left. I was concerned of how they would be removed as well. He told me he would remove them just like the others and would only cut the gum if that didn't work. I have one that is nothing but root left and it will have to be cut out because there isn't anything to hold onto to pull it. As far as having impressions made, I was mortified he would pull teeth out when he pulled the plate out. I have a filling in between my 2 front teeth that is actually loose and I just knew it would come out into the wax but it didn't. Nothing broke off or anything when he made my impressions. Having the impressions made was a cake walk actually. I was scared about it but it was nothing.

My journey started on April 3rd. That is when I went in for my initial consult. I will have the work done (extractions and immediate placed) on May 15th. I had my impressions made on April 24th. I could have had the work done sooner than the 15th but I had to stall a week or so in between my consult and having the impressions made to get my finanaces in order. I will be having 14 extractions done on the upper and the one lower one done (provided the abcess is gone) in one sitting. I do have to go back on the 16th (day after) for them to remove the denture, check my gums, rinse my mouth for me etc. Then I will have 2 more visits after that for adjustments if needed. He said generally the first adjustment is done a 2 weeks post extraction once the swelling has diminished and then the 2nd one if needed is more or less up to me and my mouth. He also told me adjustments depended on if I lost alot of weight during my recovery. The slightest weight loss causes the gums to shrink which would call for more adjustments. I can't eat anything right now because of the abcess and I haven't eaten in 2 days so I can only imagine how long I will go without food after having all that work done. So, in my long winded sort of way...haha...yes it is possible to have all the work done within a month if you have a game plan. Just know that adjustments will need to be factored in down the road. I guess my best advice would be to find a good dentist, have your finances in order (before you even go in for your consult) and hopefully his schedule will accomodate yours. Let him know up front what your schedule is and your time frame and hopefully he can accomodate your needs. My biggest fear is the healing time. I get sick very easily and have some other health issues that will play a role in this but I know it has got to be done. I know a lady who had every tooth in her head pulled and immediates placed at 10am and she was back to work at 3pm the same day!!! I don't see that happening for me!!!

You stated you had heard the lower is more problamatic than the upper. I have heard the opposite. I've been told that the upper is harder to get adjusted to. I guess it would depend on the individual person though? My Mother said she had no problems with her lower plate at all, but her upper gave her a hard time.

If cost is an issue for you, like it was me I know what a hassle that can be. But I did find a way to finally get the work done. I don't know about where your located but here in Tennesee I found a company called "Care Credit" and it is basically like a credit card that you make monthly payments on. You can set the payments up over a few months or even a few years. I went for the 2 years to have a small monthly payment because I am a single parent on a very tight budget but I do hope to have it paid off long before then. The interest rate on it is alot lower than a creidt card though. My rate is only 3.9%. You might want to speak with your dentist once you find one about something like this. If it weren't for this company, I would not be having the work done.

I felt alot more comfortable after seeing pictures of past patients he had worked on. The before and afters are amazing. You couldn't even tell these people had dentures. They offered me names and phone numbers of patients whom I could call for testimonials. His assistant sat down with me and we looked over a "color swatch" and she held each one up to my face, comparing the colors to my skin tone and even eye color so that I would have the perfect color of teeth. My 2 front teeth have always had a minor overlap but it has never been very noticable and they even said there "creator" could add the overlap into the denture. But I of course opted for perfectly straight because I have never had that.

Find a dentist, have your finances in order, make a list of any questions you may have, no matter how stupid you may think the question is, ask it. There are no stupid questions. Ask to see before and afters. Ask where the denture will be made, who will make it and for credentials. Make sure the denture won't be made in a prison ( I thought they only made license plates until I saw a show on 20/20 about women in prison who made dentures!) I found this made me feel alot more comfortable.

I'm sorry for the very long winded reply (the hydrocodones make me hyper instead of knocking me out, I'm nursing an abcess right now) but I hope I have helped somewhat. I don't have alot of the expertise some of these wonderful people have but I am in the same boat as you in alot of ways and I thought my story might help. If you have anymore questions you might want answered, ask away and I will try to answer them.

Good luck and I wish you the best! Just think you will have a beautiful new smile before long and if your like me you will be excitied to actually show it off! I can't wait to smile again without my hand over my mouth. :D
 
F

fearful

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5
Thank you so much Kimberlee and Rodeo Blues for sharing your stories....it helps sooo much to know I'm not alone :) And thank you again Lets Connect for the links to those great resources.

Fortunately for the first time ever, finances are not part of the problem, though I thank you just the same for providing the information. I always kid myself for years telling myself that I couldn't afford the work, and although that was true, it was not why I wasn't going to the dentist. My financial situation has changed in the past year, but still I hide behind my hand in front of my mouth.

I know I will be so much happier once it's done, although dentures do scare me, I'm sure I will get used to them. Just reading your stories and the stories of others here, even has me ALMOST psyched to get this done.

Freezing is apparently a quirky Canadian term for novocaine :) I really hate that part of the dentist visit, mostly cuz of the needles I guess. I hoping to find a dentist tomorrow that uses the happy gas as well, so hopefully that will make the rest of it more manageable.

I too am nervous about the impressions, thinking that after he pulls the impression plate out, he's gonna get chunks of teeth in there as well, so I'm very relieved to hear that yours went well!

Congratulations to you both, Kimberleee and Rodeo Blues for overcoming your fears and going through with getting the work done! I hope very shortly I can be as brave as you both. Enjoy those new smiles of yours' that you'll both soon have....you've earned it :D And thanks again for sharing your stories....you've helped me in such a big way! I wish you both speedy healing and beautiful pain-free smiles!
 
L

Luba1

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2005
Messages
76
Hi Fearful!

I'm a fellow Canuck, who has perplexed a few folks with the terminology of "freezing", or in, my case, the "freezing" not working properly.

I have a nightmare set of teeth too. Just had another molar "yanked" last month. I'm 33, and full of failing root canals, crowns, and gaps. Irony is: my wisdom teeth are still in, and fine.

Anyways, one thing I've observed as that we Canucks have the option of getting general anaesthetic at an oral surgeon's, whereas some other countries do not. I've had both general anaesthetic and IV sedation, and both worked very well.

Good luck!!
 
F

fearful

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5
Hello Luba, my fellow canuck :)

Freezing not working properly???? Aaahhhhhhhhh!!! How awful! I am happy to say I have never experienced that. Man, that must be horrible to go through. Geez, why can't we be like sharks and just grow new teeth as needed!

I have always thought I'd get general anaesthetic to get a bunch of teeth yanked, but now I'm kind of in a hurry (serves me right for procrastinating on this!), and I'm almost thinkin I might be brave enough to go ahead and get it done with nitrous.

I wonder if there are dentists around here that offer IV sedation. That sounds like it would do me just fine as well!

Thanks for writing and sharing your wisdom :)
 
F

freakout

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Messages
1,714
Hi Fearful :) Just want to wish you all the best & tell you my story. About 1 1/2 years ago, I had an accident while on vacation (my teeth were already fragile, due to avoiding the dentist for 10 years), and broke all of my top teeth. When I returned from my trip, my sister sent me to a dentist she used to work for. He said all of the top teeth & some on the bottom, needed to come out. He took impressions for an upper denture and scheduled my appointment for the extractions/denture for 2 weeks. My dentist did not offer IV or general sedation, but did offer me nitrous, to help me relax plus numbed me up. I did really well 18 teeth out with only nitrous & local. After the teeth were out, the upper denture was put in. I have never been without teeth :D

Hope my story helps
 
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