• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Preparing for full extractions, implants, dentures (LONG!)

J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
So here's the in detail report -

Last night, stopped eating & drinking at midnight to 'prep' for surgery. Took my antibiotics prior to surgery as prescribed. Left at 7:00 AM to get to the office by 8:00, and they wasted no time getting me all set up in the fated room where the last of my natural teeth would bid farewell.

I had a couple questions relevant to the doc from my last visit with the dentist about how I didn't have much vestibula (back of the upper jaw bone, for the upper denture to really 'hang onto'), but he pretty much confirmed my practical approach of "Well that's what the glues are for, right?". During the pre-surgery prep with me in the chair, but not sedated yet, he also said the IV sedation would be a little different when he described the procedure.

It was going to be different in that I would be slightly "less" of it because of the surgery outline. I would be completely out for about an hour and a half for them to do the extractions and drilling into the bone for the implants, and then still groggy for about 2 hours while they made the teeth on-site and fit them (making adjustments/remaking them as necessary for fit). During which, if the bottom implants couldn't yet support the fixed temporary denture, I would have generic dentures on there too while the implants healed up strong enough to support the denture.

It wasn't long before I was likewise zonked out. I don't remember a thing about the extractions or drilling or setting the implants or anything. I was apparently "there" enough from recovery that I didn't need help getting back to the car, and was even talking relatively coherently. My mouth was not full of gauze or anything either.

I do not remember anything else about the day except for having just woken up (napping off the rest of the IV sedation), but apparently while I was awake after the procedure, I don't remember any of it. It's all a very bizarre experience for someone who's used to having a pretty good memory (especially when it comes to big events like this!).


Now that it's been a few hours since the surgery and about an hour of being conscious enough to have memory of what I do, here's about what it's like *currently*;;
The top denture, or gums I should say, are tender (of course, there's no real teeth there anymore!)
The bottom denture, or gums I should say, are tender (of course, there's no real teeth there AND rods drilled in there!).
The top gums feel a bit more swollen, especially since the top denture is not fixed in place from implants. If I gently bite, I can feel the pressure from the swollen gums on top more than the bottom.
The temporary denture itself has a smooth palate - where I rest my tongue on the roof of my mouth has this really smooth texture -- imagine chewing some gum, and then flattening it on the roof of your mouth, it's that kind of smoothness.

As of right now, I'm not in any immediate pain - what pain there is, is mostly a dull ache. I think as of writing this the novacaine & pain relief from the doc's office is wearing off, and I (while finishing off this post) just took the first 'big' pain reliever tablet.

I apparently have a dentist appointment tomorrow (... at the dentists, not the oral surgeon), but I don't remember being given it. So I'll have to give them a ring since both of them have by now closed their offices for the day (save for the emergency lines); and in a week I'll be taking a trip back to the Oral Surgeon so he can check up on how things are going and take out stitches (if there are any, I can't feel them currently).

So that's that! Within 4-6 months I'll have my final permanent dentures, and the nightmare of pain that 2014 has largely been will finally be over!
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Another same day update;
Nevermind, the novocaine & numb feeling is still there, but ever so slowly fading away. My bottom lip & chin are still pretty numb. Not bad enough that I'm spilling & slobbering any time I take a sip of water, but enough that I can't tell if I'm about to nibble on my lip o_O

Maybe he used more of it this time around than last time considering he also drilled holes in there too >.>
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Moar update;
So the dentist appointment yesterday was a quicky 'day after' checkup, they took out the top denture and used some tool that looked/sounded like a dremel to grind some part of the denture that was apparently giving me a sore spot (not that I could tell, I'm still a bit numb and on the pain pills).

They showed me how to take out & put in the denture which I caught on really quick how to do. While I was there it was getting a bit noticeably tender around the extraction sites, but not painful. They also gave me a starter kit with some of those effervescent tabs and a tray or two to hold the top denture.

So far, the tops have already seemed to die down on the swelling - I haven't had much "oozing" of the extraction sites either (a little bit of trace blood on the denture when I last took it out, but that's about it). The bottoms feel pretty swollen still though, and I'm still a bit numb down there. Not in much pain, really, again it's just mostly a dull ache.

I haven't eaten much of anything; kind of hungry yeah, but just biting down gently without food in my mouth feels awkward. I can't tell when the dentures are actually touching unless I apply a bit of pressure and can feel the top denture pushing against the gums. I'll probably force myself to swallow some eggs or something today. I'm getting used to where my "teeth" are just when taking a drink of water, I've bumped the dentures a couple times with the lip of the cup (can't wait to figure out how to shove a fork/spoonful of stuff in my mouth).

When I take out the top denture I can see the stitches that are there, just can't feel them under the denture when it's in. Bottoms I'm sure got some stitches too (oh that's going to be fun when they take it out to take out the stitches o_O /sarcasm).

So far when talking, I have unwittingly whistled a few S's, and have some trouble with the "ch" sound from a word like "ache", because of where my tongue would normally go otherwise, the ridge of the denture is in the way. But other than that, talking is kind of exhausting - more because of how the dull ache itself is and trying not to aggravate it too much.

BUT, so far it's all worthit - I can smile without being self conscious about showing off my teeth, which in and of itself is going to take some getting used to. I used to smile a toothless, closed-mouth, wide grin, and now I can actually *smile*, even if things are a bit sore, I'm already liking it.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
So now it's almost been about 5 days since the surgery, time for update!

The pain meds are a wonderful thing, even though I'm not in excruciating pain, it helps take the edge off of the ache for most of the day and just before bed.

I'm still numb on my chin. I called them Monday about it, and I've now got an appointment tomorrow with them to see about why. I've heard of various things that can happen with implant surgery, like a burr knicking a nerve, some compression on a nerve, bruising of a nerve, or otherwise damage to a nerve. I have sensation there very rarely, a second or two or very slight tingly feeling, but that fades away rapidly. It's not really completely numb, but numb enough to be concerning & annoying. Did plenty of reading up that lasting numbness related to nerve damage can take a couple weeks to a year (!) to recover from; I suppose I'll get my answer about it tomorrow.

I had originally had a "week after" checkup set for Thursday, but since I'm seeing them tomorrow about the numb thing anyway, they canceled the Thurs. appointment. Which just means it's likely they'll be taking the stitches out in the same appointment as when they investigate why I'm still numb.

Food wise, still liquid diet, mashed potatoes, and eggs. My gums on top are still pretty tender from the extractions, so biting into anything is still out of the question. I do have a sore spot from the dentures just being there, which I go to the dentist on Friday to adjust them (also part of the dentist's "week after" checkup).


Life with dentures has so far been pretty OK. Lots of people have commented on how I seem to smile more and have a good smile -- even though they're unaware that I can feel the edges of the dentures in the corners of my mouth (and that feeling is something I have yet to get used to).
One thing I've noticed - and kind of miss - about my old teeth is I had really long canines, but these dentures it's all a pretty flat even tooth-line; I miss the look of my canines. Though I wouldn't trade the pain I endured of my natural teeth to have them back!
 
S

self pity

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
44
Glad you are doing well. I was numb for about 6 weeks then it just went away. No nerve damage. Wishing you well at your appointment.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Ok so I finally got a minute to update after the week after checkup.

The OS didn't really do much but look at my gums and make sure everything appeared to be healing fine. The stitches are (again) the kind that dissolve & fall out on their own after a while. I already can't wait to be pulling them out from under the implant-bridge. He was happy with the amount of healing so far and said everything appears to be in good condition.

He also addressed my concern over the numbness - he did a really quick test with a toothpick, poked one side of my chin (where I still have full feeling), and then asked me to compare how it feels when he poked the numb area. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being full sensation), I put it at a 5. He also said to close my eyes when he dragged the toothpick downward over the 'full sensation' area, and then tell him which way he'd drag the toothpick on the numb area -- and to be honest I couldn't tell until after he'd done it a couple times (he was dragging it upward). Who knew that being a doctor/surgeon would involve using a toothpick as a diagnostic tool :)

Then he showed me the X-Ray and explained that when the surgery was happening to put in the implants, a necessary part of it involved cutting & opening up a part of the gums - he could see the nerve and it was exposed. Apparently just it being exposed is enough to throw it off kilter and go numb-ish for a while (nerves are pretty sensitive things), and he thinks it will recover in time.

And that was about it with him. I have another appointment with him in 3 weeks for them to do another checkup.

Tomorrow I have another appointment with the dentist, presumably to adjust the upper denture for any sore spots before sending me on my way.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Yet another appointment down post-dentures, this one with the dentist.

And it was pretty much the same deal as a week ago - talk about sore spots, fix denture, done. I had developed a spot right behind where one of my canines used to be that was getting a bit sore, and they fixed it. The dentist was kind of surprised I wasn't using any adhesive/glue (given my lack of vestibule on my right side), but as far as I can tell the denture stays in well enough without it -- now that I'm pretty much "out of the woods" for risk of a dry socket, I have a tendency to suck on the denture plate enough to *really* get it stuck to the roof of my mouth.

We'll see how well it stays when I eat something more firm than eggs though. Chewing, hell even biting down w/o food in mouth, still feels awkward (not painful but I can feel the pressure on the implants, and it is a bit uncomfortable).

I have been taking it out at night/when I sleep for more than a few hours, and after taking it out it's like my saliva glands go into overdrive pumping out spit. Heck, even with the top denture in I feel like I've got more spit than I used to (maybe it's the near constant stimulation in my mouth, I have no idea). It's just really strange being aware of your spit production being more than it used to.

As far as recovery from the surgery goes;
I'm just about out of the super pain pills, but probably don't need them anymore. Got an almost full bottle of the 600mg Ibuprofens that I likely won't bother with - the pain isn't unbearable, and to me is more of an ache than outright pain (the only exception is when I get my heartrate//bloodpressure up, then I can feel my heart beating in my gums - not really painful there but extremely uncomfortable).

I really didn't swell up like a balloon this time around. Most of the swelling stayed to just the gums and interior mouth areas - my outward appearance didn't change so much, and if it weren't for having new teeth, no one would be any wiser that I'd had anything done.

The numbness I have is (slowly) going away, that or I'm just learning to live with it. If I had to guess on the same scale of 1-10 the OS used, with 10 being full sensation, I'm at about a 6 on the numb spot (maybe 6.5). Hopefully it keeps improving like this.

Speech-wise, I still randomly whistle some S's, and most of the sounds that I use the back of my tongue around the middle/back of the roof of my mouth (like the "G" in "Gosh" or the hard "K" sound of "ache") are a little hit or miss. And of course everything I do say without trouble still sounds a little different, and talking itself is kind of tiring on my jaw.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
So it's been about 2 weeks since the surgery (2weeks minus a day). So far so good, I don't feel as much ache throughout the day (have weened myself off of the pain pills for the most part). I do still have one slightly uncomfortable spot on my left side toward the back, but it comes and goes.

The stitches they used were the dissolve-away kind and those have slowly started to slip and slide their way out. I've gently tugged a couple of them loose, and one of them came out when I took out the top denture. I don't know if any of the bottom ones have come out on their own yet.

The whole issue with the numbness is still there, but recovering steadily (but slowly). Each day I can tell it's just a tiny bit more sensation there than the day before.

I've pretty much avoided needing to use adhesives too, so far when speaking the denture stays in place great, haven't felt it slip at all. Eating is a different matter though; I've been sticking to the soft diet pretty well. Had spaghetti a couple times and resorted to just chopping it up really well with a fork & knife and swallowing it. It isn't that I haven't tried to chew stuff, just that I tend to feel the top denture start to slide a bit AND the awkward feeling of pressure on the bottom implants. One of the first things I've tried to actually chew was a thoroughly cooked tomato, and after a few seconds of getting it in the right spot and gently trying to chew it, I just spit it out.

Things so far taste differently, but it depends on the food. I love alfredo sauces, but they don't really taste like they used to -- meanwhile spicy stuff (whether spicey hot or just a ton of pepper/garlic) seems just fine. It's like some of the subtle flavors have become muted; they're still there, they're just harder to detect.

And of course, the denture itself. Only in the last few days have I felt like I'd have a definite "gag reflex" from the back ridge of the denture on my palate. Not that I'm actually gagging on it, it's just at the very borderline. At worst it's just uncomfortable, at best I forget it's there.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Nearing in on 3 weeks since the surgery, and so far so good. I have another appointment on the 15th for the OS to check things out.
And I'll probably be making an appointment for the dentist to take a look at the denture and see if he can fiddle with a spot that's making me a bit sore. I dunno if it would qualify for a reline quite yet though.

My chin is still recovering from numbness, but I can actually feel my entire lip now. Using the same scale 1-10 for sensation, I'd say it's about a 7.5 or 8 now.

Most all of the pain/ache is gone. Unless my blood pressure//heart rate really go up, there's no discomfort at all.

Food (and eating) is still really strange; I've continued to avoid using the adhesives as much as possible, but the shrinkage of my gums is becoming apparent when I can feel the top denture wiggle a bit when eating/drinking. Still on the liquid/soft foods diet (I'll be on it until January or February at the earliest) - even chewing something like scrambled eggs is a bit awkward. Most of what I've been eating has been stuff I could just as easily swallow whole or mash against the top denture plate - though more and more I'm trying to chew more stuff.

Talking I've gotten pretty used to - to me it still sounds like I've got a wad of paper in my mouth, and the occasional whistled S happens, but for the most part I'm back to normal speech. My jaw isn't getting tired as quickly as it was in the first week after the surgery.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
Sorry it's been so long since I posted an update. Things recently have gotten a lot more hectic (new job, new hours, long shifts, etc.). Unless something truly horrible happens I probably won't be posting a lot new here anyway until I get the permanent dentures.

My old numbness has pretty well diminished to being unnoticeable - still not really 100%, but really close like 95%-ish. My chin still has that numbness ever so slightly.

I've also taken to using the glues regularly (as long as I'm going to work or plan on eating something that needs the stability). If I'm just sitting around the house all day I don't bother. When I use the adhesives it obviously doesn't move around as much which - when I don't use them - causes a bit of irritation at the edge of the denture plate and my palate (almost a sense of nausea at times, other times just a bit sore after a long day).

I haven't noticed too many other sore spots though, except for when a bit of food gets under the top denture and I feel a very uncomfortable poke (the worst is freshly cracked black pepper which can be like a sharp pain depending on how the chunk is stuck in there).


Food-wise, I'm still on the soft food diet (and will be regardless until the doc says otherwise).
Of late I'm eating a lot of pasta, some of which has some thoroughly cooked chicken that pretty much falls apart with the slightest bit of pressure.
And I've always had a thing for scrambled eggs, so lots of that too.
It feels good again to be chewing things - even though chewing itself is a bit of a different task all together (and knowing when you're done chewing and can swallow is something I'm still getting used to).

For the first few weeks after having the partials, everything tasted pretty muted - and some things still do (to some degree - soft/subtle flavors are still difficult to tell). Beyond that though most of my sense of flavor has returned to normal, at least in the kinds of foods I've been eating.

The most difficult thing I've (successfully) eaten thus far has been potato salad. Mostly because the chunks of potato are still cooked/softened, but still tough enough to need moderate pressure to chew. I couldn't quite deal with the chunks of celery though, too tough. Also, big thick cuts of ham/bacon at a restaraunt (a fantastic carbonara pasta dish I've gotten there regularly for years) are pretty much out of the question.

And lately I had my first couple of trips to Taco Bell - the smothered burrito's are fork & knife territory regardless, and there's nothing tough to chew on them really. The Meximelt's I've had are *VERY* awkward when trying to bite into and take a piece to chew - the whole aspect of biting into something is entirely different feeling when using the front teeth to try and cut off a piece (it's also quite a bit different than when using the back parts of the dentures to really chew something -- different pressure in different places).
About the worst part about that so far has been feeling a cut of tortilla getting stuck to the top denture, pretty much no different than if it got stuck to the roof of your mouth, except you can only feel it with your tongue.


The bottom denture is, so far, doing just fine near as I can tell. I haven't had too much stuff get stuck under there that was intensely uncomfortable - it's more of a sudden awareness that something is under there and generally comes out easily enough swishing some water through there.

And I got a waterpik//water flosser just to keep things clean under there. Trying to shove a strand of regular floss through just wasn't working, at least with the waterpick it isn't anywhere near as uncomfortable. I just got a pretty standard/cheap $40 one but I'm thinking of getting a better quality one sometime after thanksgiving -- or at least one that can hold more water//do it's thing for more than 30-60 seconds at a time.
 
J

Jackalwi

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
31
I had another checkup today at the surgeon's office - it was "regularly scheduled", but I had a major concern.

The last few days I would experience a clicking feeling/sound infrequently, it was the lower denture on the implants nudging around a tiny bit. Not enough to be noticeable, but enough for me to hear the sound of it hitting the abutment.

After reading around online, and finding that if the implant were failing, it would be *painful*, and this was not, I was reassured. The surgeon too found this to be the case, so he tightened the screws, a bit of pressure was there, but it is no longer clicking.

Beyond that, the doc said stuff seems to be healing just fine - but I'm still on the soft foods diet. Basically with the temporary denture (and it's lack of the reinforcing stuff), I can't over-stress the appliance or I risk it breaking or worse causing bodily harm/damage.

Diet-wise, I'm pretty tired of scrambled eggs, pasta with various sauces, and so on, especially with thanksgiving right around the corner (probably won't even do traditional turkey dinner, but make my mom's fancy spaghetti sauce instead), along with Christmas. It's kind of it's own form of torture to still be on the restricted diet around this time of year >.>
 

Similar threads

A
Replies
4
Views
557
letsconnect
letsconnect
T
Replies
2
Views
634
toothlessinseattle
T
L
Replies
28
Views
2K
Jodie Nelson
J
Top