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Getting used to dentures

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Former Member

I have visited a dentist as a result of a story I read here. Thanks!

I tend to get shaky when I sit in the chair, but after the embarassement I get from my current teeth, I am resigned and actually looking forward to getting treatment! 1994 was the last time I visited...Perhaps this is a reverse fear?

Anyway, I am resigned to getting upper partial dentures (all 4 front and a few bits) and appears bottoms (mainly rear I believe). I realise they are uncomfortable, but I do fear more than the pain of removal, the return to work. Will I sound like Daffy Duck? Are they horribly uncomfortable? I don't want em, I know I need them, but I am concerned! (I will get them though cause I have to have em!)

Sorry to load my problems!


Hi Alan,

You will be surprised by how well you get on with the dentures. Millions of people have them and cope very well. Some useful tips and advice are as follows:

1) It can take about one week for every decade old you are to get used to new dentures. It is important not to panic if they feel loose when you first get them- they should tighten up when they settle. Also your mouth learns to control them but this takes time.

2) Often they will rub the gums a bit at first, meaning that they need to be adjusted by the dentist - so if you get an ulcer, this does not mean that you cannot or will not be able to wear them- just call the dentist!

3) When you first get them talk to the plants/pets etc as much as possible to get used to talking with them in.

4) Practice counting from 65 up to 70 as these sounds can be the hardest to get used to. Remember that your tongue and cheeks etc. are suddenly being asked to move in a different way- give them a chance to learn!!

5) You should usually take them out at night- but keep them in for the first 1 or 2, as this will let your mouth get used to them being there. (You might find them in the sheets in the morning though!). Keeping them in for the first 24 hours also helps if you have had teeth taken out as it ensures that the gums heal in the best way.

6) It is common for people to salivate more (which can effect speech) when they first get a denture- basically because the mouth thinks that the plates are big gob-stoppers!!! It's not very often that a dentist will advise you to have sweets but it helps to have something like boiled sweets or mints (try to get SUGAR-FREE!!) for the first few hours of wearing your new plates. When you finish the sweet the salivation should naturally decrease and the mouth will not think that your dentures are food also!

7) It sounds like you are getting immediate dentures (ie teeth extracted and the plates fitted on the same day). You will probably need the dentures relined, or new ones made in about 3 months. This is because the dentures are made as a 'guess' of what the gums will be like after the teeth come out. So if you do feel that you are struggling a bit, things WILL be improved upon in 3 months.

I hope some of this helps. Very soon your dentures will feel like a part of you rather than foreign objects!

All the best,
Eek! Had moulds of top and bottoms taken today to make the partials. All good, but I was afraid they would take a tooth or three when they pulled the mould away! Needless to say, all intact. Very comfortable and totally painless. Then they asked me to choose a tooth colour. Me being a smoker (but not after my new teeth!!), they all looked great! Sooooo very looking forward to having my new teeth. I have had MAD pain in one wisdom and feel it is conditioning me for what to expect. I am in a strange way enjoying the pain, as I am looking at is as 'conditioning'. Have decided to go under full anasthetic (sic?). 6 top front going and a few others (5 left) and 3 bottoms going (plus all wisdoms....) but I am SOOOOO looking forward to smiling again, rather than smirking! I thank soooo much the makers of this website and the great reply I received to my question. I still have a hard time looking at my teeth, they are so bad. I know partials aren’t the ultimate answer. I still need work on the remaining teeth after the partials but just the thought of visiting a dentist 6 months ago was so scary. Now I feel so at ease. The last time I visited was around 1994. How things change! No judgment, just a desire to help. I still have that claustrauphobia (sic) and the feeling that I am going to choke, but I got thru the fitting, pain is something, from this site, I know is once in a lifetime, and I am ready! I can’t wait to smile again!!! Bring it on!!!!
Hi all,

Happy to say all wisdoms gone, 6 front and odds and ends..

Happy?? Hmm, maybe not but it had to be done. Went under quick, woke up with all work done. That's MY kind of teeth extraction!

Pain was ok. Is more an ache than a sharp pain, and nothing Panadene Forte couldn't fix. The first 3-4 days were a bit of a blur!

Anyways, my last request for help if that is ok?? :S

(1) When I woke up, the nurse handed me the partial denture (upper 6 front) and said it was too loose and they couldn't fit it... I finally tried yesterday (10 days after...) and can feel the clips are indeed fitting over my 'good' (in comparison!) teeth but not grabbing.

Unfortunately, I have now found my predisposition to gagging is back with a vengeance! I feel like I am going to swallow them! Is this normal? Has anyone ever been known to swallow them?? Are there any hints/tricks to get over this (other than willpower and positive thinking which I assume is what it will probably take)

(2) Have my gums changed too much in the 10 days? Have I thrown away $700?

(3) I bought some denture adhesive (Steradent Ultra3) but not game to use. If I gag, can I rip em out quick or will they be stuck?

Sorry, but I am not dealing with the whole concept of a denture too well :(

Thanks all for the previous help. I went thru with it and it is in no small part due to this website :)

You need to go to the dentist who made the partial denture and get it checked. Was there no follow up appointment made for this?

The clips can be adjusted to make it tighter but this isn't a DIY job.

As for the gagging. Again, the dentist who made them needs to see you to help with this. If the denture is rattling about in your mouth this can stimulate the gagging a bit. It's also possible that the denture can be shortened a little bit on the palate which may help

Gagging can be controlled by some practice, there are exercises which can help but it would be better to have the denture reviewed and adjusted first.
Hi! Thanks Gordon. I was told towait 3 weeks before visiting the dentist (he sent the moulds away to be made apparently) to test fit, rubbing etc. I am kind of happy to say i have tried them several times today with the dental cement and when I feel like gagging, I am clenching my teeth. At least I can be sure I won't swallow them!!!! I go back to work monday so I will keep trying all day tomorrow! Oh fun, but hell, they look 10000 times better than my prev (genuine) teeth!!!

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wow 3 weeks sound very rare to me. My dentist when he did the extractions i waited 3 months get denture but he told me if i need him i could phone him and make a appointment. But i didnt and went back to him on next week anyway for check up and check on my payments. My dentist told me if i feel like gagging try shut your mouth and breath in and out thru nose then it will feel better. If i was you get a appointment this week and tell them fix it.
Tips for new bottom denture wearers

What are some helpful tips for someone with a full bottom denture?
Dental adhesive can help, but if the fit is good, it's best to practice with them without adhesive, at home, when you're feeling safe and comfortable.

They don't get the suction that top dentures get to keep them stable, so they do seem to move around. Remember that every feeling in your mouth is amplified greatly. One tooth suddenly being higher than another after a filling is enough to make your whole mouth feel off-kilter. Tiny little cavities feel like gaping caverns to a sensitive organ like the tongue, which has loads of nerve endings. A bottom denture is going to feel like a huge alien chunk of plastic that you can't control - at first. Like all things, it needs steady practice, and your brain will adjust.

Wear it while you watch TV. Talk often, to the pets, plants, the TV, thin-air. Singing is especially good for training your mouth and tongue. You might feel hopeless. You might want to cry. It's a process! Once you're healed, don't shy away from trying to eat! You might look at a hamburger and think "I can't do this", but try anyway. Eat slowly and carefully. Your tongue will start to figure out what's going on and what it needs to do, and it will start to do it without you needing to consciously control it. :)
Oh no your post scares me!
It shouldn't scare you! It is meant to prepare you! Many people who get new bottom/top/even partial dentures get really upset in the first couple of days, because having a brand new denture feels really strange. But I promise, if you stick with it, it goes away *so fast*. For people who don't stick with it at all, the people who take their denture out after an hour, it continues to feel weird. But it all comes down to practice.

Our mouths and tongues are amazing at adjusting. I've had full dentures for 3 years now. I don't even notice them any more. Never. I don't think about them, except when I clean them. I just live my life. My speech is fine. Bottom dentures don't affect speech anyway. No one knows.

You'll be fine. I just want to prepare you for the initial shock, because it catches people by surprise.
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