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Finally lost the battle... getting a full upper denture

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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Hi All,
I'm 43... and for the last 23 years I've been in a constant battle with trying to save my teeth. At the age of 20 I got a partial denture after having 6 upper teeth removed due to decay. Fast forward 23 years, I'm down to 9 teeth on the lower jaw and 4 upper. I recently (last December) had a new upper partial denture made and 3 weeks later became distraught that my 2 upper front teeth had become very loose (the design of the new partial utilises the front teeth for support). I went to my dentist, had x-rays and discovered that the bone that should be supporting the teeth has resorbed due to the missing teeth on each side, and the infected gum behind one of the teeth has detached and is flapping around under the partial. So discussions about what to do ended up like this - the teeth need to be extracted and a full upper denture created. At first I was OK with this... it's something I've always knew would eventuate, but now the anxiety has hit me really hard... I'm depressed, anxious and scared. I also suffer from hypertension, which doesn't help matters... and thinking about what is coming gives me palpitations! Combine that with not being able to bite down due to the loose teeth which is affecting my ability to eat and the general feeling that the teeth will just fall out (I know that is highly unlikely but I have nightmares about it... like... several times a night). I haven't been sleeping properly due to all these stresses and overall I'm having a really crap time.
I'm lucky that my dentist who's doing the extractions is a surgeon, not just a general dentist... he's removed my wisdom teeth and some other troublesome teeth over the last few years and he is FANTASTIC, and fully aware of my phobia, and is supportive of my need to tranquilize myself heavily before going in for surgery... the most important thing for me is that I trust him not to butcher me.
I go in to get my impressions taken the day after tomorrow, once the denture process is complete (up to 4 weeks I'm told), they'll remove the last 4 teeth and place it in... job done!
Then I stress about what shouldn't even be thought about yet... will I talk properly, what won't I be able to eat, how much pain will I have, what if I get an infection or a dry socket... it just doesn't end!
And to top it off... I'm an active person... an avid mountain biker and kayaker... how is this going to affect my lifestyle? Do I need to start looking at getting bone grafts and do the all on four thing so my teeth don't fall out while I'm riding on a fast downhill trail on my bike? How do I pay for all this... (I did say it just doesn't end)...
So I think I need a reality check... I'm sure out of the millions of denture wearers out in the world, there are some on this site that will give me some positive feedback, maybe even some hope!

Thanks in advance...

Spanky
 
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Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Hi Spanky! Welcome to the forum, you’ve certainly come to the right place to get plenty of support from people who share in our fear of dentists.

Your story resignated with me for a couple of reasons. The first being that I’m 41 years old and had full mouth extractions back in September, and the second that I too need to be drugged sufficiently before I can get in “the chair”. I know what it feels like at our age to be told your teeth are beyond recovery and need to go, and what a shock to the system that is even though you may have sensed it coming. I know the fear and dread of the procedure and aftermath, and all the what if’s and how frightening that can be.

A huge positive for you is that you have total and complete faith in your dentist and trust them to see
You through this. Honestly that is 90% of the battle right there! I won’t get into it here, but if you’re interested in my story you can read it in the journal section of the forum. I will tell you it took me three tries in finding the right dentist who was both competent and understanding that I’m an anxious mess of a patient.

I had Valium before my surgery and IV Sedation during so I was basically unaware during my extractions. I also had extensive bone grafting because I’m preparing for all on 4 at the end of February so I had a rougher recovery than you will.
You’ll have some discomfort and swelling and will need a softer diet for a couple of weeks but it isn’t anything you won’t be able to live through, and your dentist will be having you back in to make sure all is well.

I have an upper denture right now nothing on bottom (due to more grafting on bottom) and I have to say that when an upper denture is fitted properly, it stays in your mouth very well. It’s aided by the suction in the roof of your mouth, so you should not have to worry about your teeth falling out of your mouth when being active. There is also adhesive you can use for an extra sense of security. Talking is a little challenging at first but something you can manage with practice. I read out loud and counted in my sixties to help myself learn proper tongue placement to help me get my speech in check.
Took a few days to a week. Sometimes I get an annoying whistle sound if my mouth is dry with some of my words and it’s a little embarrassing but I deal with it. No one can tell my teeth are not my own. I will be glad for the All on 4 because I don’t like taking my teeth out at the end of the day at my age, and would like better chewing ability but most people adapt well to dentures and don’t have any issues at all. It would also help if I had any teeth at all on the bottom.

Anyway before I write a book the long and short of it is, I’m glad you’re here and I’m looking forward to following along on your journey and clapping for your victories both big and small. You’re already braver than you think and you will most definitely soldier through this! Welcome to the start your new beginning. ?
 
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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Anxious76... thanks for the reply...I will most certainly read your journal! I would love to do the all on four but due to having the 3 teeth either side of my 2 front teeth removed (think bugs bunny lol) when i was 20, the bone loss from resorbtion is considerable... I spoke to my surgeon when I had the diagnosis last week and he wants me to get a CT scan done once things have had a chance to heal, to see if there is any bone there to work with... the OPG I had 3 years ago when I had 2 wisdom teeth out (late bloomer!) didn't look very promising. There's a chance that he could place a couple at the front where these two teeth are being removed but I'm suspecting he'll refer me to a specialist for zygomatic implants in the cheek bones. That's going to be a whole other journey if and when I can afford it later once things have healed and settled down.
Tomorrow is impressions day... tonight the teeth are feeling very loose and the front upper jawbone is very tender... as much as I hate the thought of going thru this process I'm not going to miss the pain and stress once it's completed!
Thanks again for your kind words!
 
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Anxious76

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Anxious76... thanks for the reply...I will most certainly read your journal! I would love to do the all on four but due to having the 3 teeth either side of my 2 front teeth removed (think bugs bunny lol) when i was 20, the bone loss from resorbtion is considerable... I spoke to my surgeon when I had the diagnosis last week and he wants me to get a CT scan done once things have had a chance to heal, to see if there is any bone there to work with... the OPG I had 3 years ago when I had 2 wisdom teeth out (late bloomer!) didn't look very promising. There's a chance that he could place a couple at the front where these two teeth are being removed but I'm suspecting he'll refer me to a specialist for zygomatic implants in the cheek bones. That's going to be a whole other journey if and when I can afford it later once things have healed and settled down.
Tomorrow is impressions day... tonight the teeth are feeling very loose and the front upper jawbone is very tender... as much as I hate the thought of going thru this process I'm not going to miss the pain and stress once it's completed!
Thanks again for your kind words!
Hi again,

You shouldn’t count yourself out as a candidate for All on 4 even with severe bone loss. I had severe bone loss and needed extensive bone grafting surgery when I had my extractions. It’s been five months and now the bone is built up to the point where I can have six smaller implants done on top as opposed to 4 regular sized implants. I would do implant supported dentures with two implants before I would go the zyglomatic route. That is extremely invasive and not a lot of surgeons do them. If and when the time comes if you find yourself a good prosthodontist they’ll be able to put you in the right direction. I was told I was beyond hope by a periodontist and an implant surgeon. My Prostbodontist said it will take more than one surgery and a good year to get done but if i was up for it, he was game and would be willing to work with me. Of course he’s been over 20 years doing what he does so he’s had plenty of experience to take on a complex case.

In the meantime like you said, the relief will be huge for you just to have a full smile again and better function than you have now! You’re definitely heading in the right direction toward a healthy mouth, and should be very proud of your progress. None of this is easy to deal with, and I’m happy to talk to you if you need a support. You can private message me any time. Please keep us updated!
 
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Audrey723

Guest
I'm in a similar boat and a similar age. If anything the extractions have helped me. It's hard to exercise or even live :( when you're in pain!

From my understanding uppers are pretty easy. I have met a few people that have had them since they were very young (one was an accident, not sure on the other) and they are perfectly fine, and still in the same pair.

Good luck.
 
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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Thanks Anxious76. I haven't ruled anything out yet... I've still got a long way to go before even thinking about implants, just got to take it one day at a time!

Audrey723, yes I agree about the pain factor. How far along are you with your experience?

Good news... I had the first impressions done today... expressed my fear to my dentist about the front teeth coming out in the impression tray. He examined them to see how much wobble was occurring and although he said he'd never seen the teeth come out in a tray before, he's had a few cases where he'd numbed the patient... just in case!

He then commenced to place some teflon tape around the front teeth so the impression putty didn't have anything to grab onto directly... he said as they are going to be removed it's more the ridgeline of the gum that they need as they'll just remove the teeth section of the cast to create the denture. Both he and his assistant had a chuckle when he removed the tray from my mouth and I immediately asked if the teeth were still in my head :giggle:

Back in a week time to get the second set of impressions done...
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Well done!
 
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Anxious76

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Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Thanks Anxious76. I haven't ruled anything out yet... I've still got a long way to go before even thinking about implants, just got to take it one day at a time!

Audrey723, yes I agree about the pain factor. How far along are you with your experience?

Good news... I had the first impressions done today... expressed my fear to my dentist about the front teeth coming out in the impression tray. He examined them to see how much wobble was occurring and although he said he'd never seen the teeth come out in a tray before, he's had a few cases where he'd numbed the patient... just in case!

He then commenced to place some teflon tape around the front teeth so the impression putty didn't have anything to grab onto directly... he said as they are going to be removed it's more the ridgeline of the gum that they need as they'll just remove the teeth section of the cast to create the denture. Both he and his assistant had a chuckle when he removed the tray from my mouth and I immediately asked if the teeth were still in my head :giggle:

Back in a week time to get the second set of impressions done...
Good job! I’m glad that all stayed in for you, I had that same exact fear when they did my impressions since I had a couple that were barely hanging on at that point. Glad for your update, and yes one day at a time is the best outlook to adopt right now.
 
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elizv

Guest
I heard uppers are "easy". I would try to look at it as winning the battle. You'll finally be done with tooth pain.

I know that probably seems very obnoxious, but from what I've read on some forums, getting dentures was the best thing they've done.

I do feel your pain though. It's hard.
 
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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
I heard uppers are "easy". I would try to look at it as winning the battle. You'll finally be done with tooth pain.

I know that probably seems very obnoxious, but from what I've read on some forums, getting dentures was the best thing they've done.

I do feel your pain though. It's hard.
elizv, yes I can see where I will be the winner overall, but it's more the thought of the extraction experience and the denture fears that is affecting me... Which I still don't get as I've had a partial for a couple of decades and overall there's only a few teeth left to come out... 2 of which seem to be getting excited to leave home as they seem to be getting looser each day (that may be an over exaggeration, but one of them has definitely moved forward).

I'm now wanting it to just be done! Unfortunately the pain around the front teeth is also more noticeable with each day... I just wish I could hurry up the process of making the denture and get it all over and done with now!
 
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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Had my second set of impressions done today... with the custom tray they created from the first impression last week. It wasn't the nicest experience. The tray had to be adjusted and altered to fit correctly... then I again voiced my concerns about the front teeth being loose, and the dentist had already prepared three layers of teflon tape cut to size ready to go (he really is awesome)... and then he tells me that the stuff he's using to take these impressions is a much firmer material and if I feel any discomfort he will numb my gum :scared:

So in it goes for the 3 mins it takes to cure... at about the half way mark, I tried as best as I could to tell him that the impression goo was going down my throat... at which point I started to gag... all I can say is I'm glad that I hadn't eaten anything this morning... so as I'm trying my hardest to stay still, he's got forceps down my throat removing chunks of material... after that it was all good and I was able to relax for the last 30 seconds... then he went to remove the impression tray... well I thought the teeth were going to come out or break... the angle that he had to use to remove it forced the teeth backwards and the pain was only for about 5 seconds but I had tears streaming out my eyes from it... then the dental assistant said... it's all good... your teeth are still there :D

Wax bite register was done today as well... as was tooth color choice... so hopefully next week I'll get a wax try in... then to prepare for "the main event"... which I'm now calling it, but really not looking forward to.

After I left the appointment... I went to the chemist and bought myself denture related things in preparation for "the main event"... denture cleaning brush, and denture bath and cleansing tablets. I figure having them around for a bit and looking at them will get me used to the idea for the future!!
 
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Anxious76

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Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Austin, Texas
Hi Spanky,

Congrats on surviving your impressions! My top teeth were on their last leg when I had mine done and I swore they were going to come out in the tray, so I know how nervous you were first hand. Holy cow on the impression goop going down the back of your throat!!! Those trays are awful and so is that stuff I can’t imagine what that must have been like. You’re a trooper! :)

I’m so glad you’re feeling better about your upcoming extractions if for no other reason but to get it over with. I got to that point too. You come to a point of surrender or being at the end of yourself where the pain of living as you are is worse than anything scary you imagine in the chair. I’m slowly coming to that point myself and there are days I wish I could have my next surgery done and over already. Other days I want to never see my dentist again or just stay the way I am. Haha aren’t humans silly creatures?

Anyway if you would like any tips on best adhesives or anything like that just ask. One thing I’ve noticed about those cleansing tabs...if your dentist relines your denture to help it fit better, those tablets tend to wear it away faster. They have three minute tabs as opposed to overnight ones I have found work very well too. Just a suggestion.
My tops have been pretty stable and yours should be too. This will be behind you soon enough. Thanks for the update, keep in touch!
 
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Spanky

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Anxious76... thanks for the positive thoughts! The gagging episode was kinda hilarious when I think back to it... but I wouldn't want to experience it again... the pain that I had from the front teeth as he removed the tray was too much for me, had a micro panic attack... but it's over and done with now. Just taking everything as it comes from now on. I think that's all once can do hey!

I think I'm right for everything post surgery now... I already have some adhesive... I used Polident with my previous partial when it was loose... the new partial I've not needed it... hoping that the full upper will be ok but I have some in case I need it. I did buy the 3 minute tablets... but it's good to know about how the cleaners affect the reline material... thanks for the heads up!

As for the upcoming extractions... I'm not sure I feel better about them, but I'm trying to get my mindset into "this needs to be done". I think if I was in your shoes I'd be excited to be getting the surgery and implants... you're lucky that you can get them so quickly... and after everything you've been thru so far, once this last part of your journey is complete you should be able to live as if you still had real teeth... perfect teeth, no pain, great smile... eat everything you used to be able to! I'm really happy for you... it gives me something to strive for once I get all this going on in my mouth out of the way! What's the date for your surgery?
 
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Anxious76

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Messages
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Austin, Texas
Anxious76... thanks for the positive thoughts! The gagging episode was kinda hilarious when I think back to it... but I wouldn't want to experience it again... the pain that I had from the front teeth as he removed the tray was too much for me, had a micro panic attack... but it's over and done with now. Just taking everything as it comes from now on. I think that's all once can do hey!

I think I'm right for everything post surgery now... I already have some adhesive... I used Polident with my previous partial when it was loose... the new partial I've not needed it... hoping that the full upper will be ok but I have some in case I need it. I did buy the 3 minute tablets... but it's good to know about how the cleaners affect the reline material... thanks for the heads up!

As for the upcoming extractions... I'm not sure I feel better about them, but I'm trying to get my mindset into "this needs to be done". I think if I was in your shoes I'd be excited to be getting the surgery and implants... you're lucky that you can get them so quickly... and after everything you've been thru so far, once this last part of your journey is complete you should be able to live as if you still had real teeth... perfect teeth, no pain, great smile... eat everything you used to be able to! I'm really happy for you... it gives me something to strive for once I get all this going on in my mouth out of the way! What's the date for your surgery?
Hi Spanky,

It’s awesome you can find humor in your appointment mishaps after the fact. I often find I’m able to look upon my mess with a tongue in cheek perspective at times which is quite helpful. If only those pesky nerves of mine could stay out of the chair with me! ;)

Yup, Polident I’ve found is the best along with Fixodent. I too started with a partial which kind of got me accustomed to the idea of wearing a denture, though I had hoped it wouldn’t come to that. I’ve got good news in that you will have better function with the full denture on top than the partial, though you will need some adjustments especially over the first couple of months. It will be okay and you won’t have a ton of pain and won’t be sore for long. Luckily you have your natural bottom teeth and that will help you a lot when it comes to chewing. I’ve known people with the upper only and they have done well.

As for me I am a bit excited to be getting the implants for better function and the fact that I won’t havd to ever remove them, it’s just the interim is difficult as well as the chance that the implants will fail. It’s unlikely of course but it happens. I will be very relieved when I no longer have to focus on my teeth every day of my life.

You’ve been very kind and a great support for me, and I thank you! You’re going to do just fine with your extractions. My surgery date is The 28th. When is yours again? I need to scroll back and look....
 
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Spanky

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Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
34
Location
Queensland Australia
Anxious76... we have to be here for eachother!! That's what this site is all about!

So I went and had my try in with the wax model today... the wax model looked nice... I had them move a couple teeth down a little bit and it's ready to go. My extractions are booked in for March 8th... not looking forward to the experience but am looking forward to no more pain after the healing is done!!

Spanky
 
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Spanky

Member
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Messages
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Queensland Australia
T minus 5 hours and counting... today is the day! I'm kind of looking forward to this being over, not feeling too stressed (but that's probably last nights dose of valium still in my system)... and to be honest I was having a lovely sleep last night until the cat decided it was hungry at 4.50am and forcefully woke me up just now...

Going out for breakfast with my friend and then she'll take me in for the appointment at 10am... wish me luck!
 
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LittleLynnie

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Nov 22, 2016
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All the best. I'm sure that it will all go well!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Let us know how it went Spanky and take good care after!
 
Aurora10

Aurora10

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335
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Hi Spanky! That is for sharing your journey with us, looking forward to hearing how it all went :)
 
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