What function do lower dentures serve?

I

imamess

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Hi,

If I have all my lower teeth extracted for full bottom dentures, will I be able to chew and eat food with them? Or are they only for cosmetic purposes? I can't imagine a bottom denture holding up through a whole meal of chewing with only some denture sealant to keep it from falling out or becoming undone. Thanks.
 
drhirst

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Hi,
Dentures are not a substitute for teeth... they are a substitute for no teeth!
It is certainly the case that full lower dentures are very unstable compared with your own teeth. However, most people adapt to them and learn to keep them in position using their tongue, lips and other oral muscles.
If you really cannot cope it may be possible to insert a couple of small metal posts into your gums (implants) which will fix the denture into position very securely.

hope this helps

Lincoln
 
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imamess

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Thank you for your time. As I mentioned below I have an upper partial that clips in right now and certainly can't eat with it in. In fact, I'm sure it would break if I tried. I guess the days of enjoying a good meal are over. Especially, amongst friends, family, and business associates.
 
biffo1963

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Thank you for your time. As I mentioned below I have an upper partial that clips in right now and certainly can't eat with it in. In fact, I'm sure it would break if I tried. I guess the days of enjoying a good meal are over. Especially, amongst friends, family, and business associates.
I'm not sure I understand why you can't eat with your upper partial - sounds to me like it doesn't fit properly. I have an upper partial - not a clip-on either - which I can eat with tolerably well. I also have a lower partial and I agree with Dr Hirst; they're not especially stable. I can still chew with it though ! Have you tried getting your dentist to adjust the upper one for you ?

I like yourself would really like to go for implants, but given that I'm 58 and have been semi-retired for three years I can't see any way I will ever be able to afford one let alone a full set - so I'm soldiering on with the dentures !

John
 
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SandySea

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I'm confused. :(
I've had a full upper denture for over 4 decades.
I recently had all my lower teeth out and now also have a full lower denture.
Is there something I've missed? Eating?

Let's see, I munch my way through pizzas, I rip into t-bone steaks, I've been known to devour a hamburger in less than a minute (lettuce and all), I love hard-centred chocolates, I have hard cracker sandwhiches for lunch almost every day ... so what is it I'm not supposed to be able to eat with dentures again?

Sorry friends, but dentures aren't the end of your eating life. You don't have to spend your life licking custard off a spoon and pretending to enjoy jelly and ice cream as your main course! If you have dentures and you can't chew properly, then either your dentures don't fit well, or you haven't learnt to chew properly with them yet.

It took me 3 weeks to get comfortable wearing my lower dentures, but once I did there was NO stopping me. I'm still having some trouble trying to retrieve food that gets stored in my cheeks, but that's only because my tongue hasn't learnt how to retrieve it yet, so the finger has to suffice - but I do it discreetly in public, lol. But as for keeping lowers in with lips, cheeks or tongue - no way! Mine fit firmly and don't move while I chew (except for toffees, that's the only no-no I've found so far) and I've never needed to use any gunk to hold them in.

As for breaking them - I had the same upper dentures for over 40 years and if I hadn't been getting lowers, I wouldn't have bothered replacing the uppers, which were still working just fine and still firmly adhering to the roof of my mouth.
:thumbsup:
 
R

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Don't be confused Sandy, I think you are very lucky in how well you got on with your dentures. I think Lincoln as a dentist would represent the experience of many, many patients not just an isolated one and not everyone gets on with them, However he did say most do....You've had a long life time experience- that is pretty rare as very few lose all their upper teeth in their teens. Me personally, I would rather have a whole mouth of individual implants ( I practically am) rather than face dentures, but that's me and there's you and no two are alike. Implants aren't for all, and not all can tolerate dentures.

rp
 
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imamess

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Don't be confused Sandy, I think you are very lucky in how well you got on with your dentures. I think Lincoln as a dentist would represent the experience of many, many patients not just an isolated one and not everyone gets on with them, However he did say most do....You've had a long life time experience- that is pretty rare as very few lose all their upper teeth in their teens. Me personally, I would rather have a whole mouth of individual implants ( I practically am) rather than face dentures, but that's me and there's you and no two are alike. Implants aren't for all, and not all can tolerate dentures.

rp
I feel the exact same way. I really want to go the route of implants, but I just won't have the money for another year when my kids get done with college. Are you done with yours? How different do they feel than your real teeth did? And do you mind if I ask how much you spent per implant?
 
R

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I haven't had mine done yet, this is from my dentist who worked with the surgeon to give me the quote. I see the surgeon in October and hoping for surgery in Novermber. I need 4 single implants. On the top, two implants will be spaced to give me a three unit bridge. I have no upper right teeth from the premolar back. My surgery will be $1850 for each implant and $575 for sedation (IV GA) then $675 for each abutment and $1450 for the crowns. I'm also getting one of the lower tooth extracted with an immediate implant and bone graft that's an extra $450 dollars.

I've been quoted implants in the range from $1300 to $1900, $495 to $675 for the abutment and $995 to $1450 for the crowns. The least expensive quote came from a general dentist I ended up firing, he was about to put an implant next to an active abscess infection an oral surgeon showed me on xray.

I'm doing mine near the end of the year so what little insurance does cover can be spread over two clanedar years. In the traditional approach, there is a healing period in between the implant placement- where I will have a healing cap at the gumline for three to six months while the implant intergrates into the jawbone and then the abutment and crown is done when you are all healed. . there is such a thing as teeth in a day, mini implants, all on 4 -lots of options. Best bet is to find a surgeon or periodontist you are comfortable with who will go over the best technique and a treatment plan for you, any bone grafts needed etc....
rp
 
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SandySea

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Don't be confused Sandy, I think you are very lucky in how well you got on with your dentures. I think Lincoln as a dentist would represent the experience of many, many patients not just an isolated one and not everyone gets on with them, However he did say most do....You've had a long life time experience- that is pretty rare as very few lose all their upper teeth in their teens. Me personally, I would rather have a whole mouth of individual implants ( I practically am) rather than face dentures, but that's me and there's you and no two are alike. Implants aren't for all, and not all can tolerate dentures.

rp
Sorry, but I really have to disagree. Of course everyone would rather have implants - everyone would rather have their OWN teeth! But sometimes, it's just not possible. And I think we do a dis-service to those coming in here preparing to - or considering - getting their teeth extracted and needing dentures. I know if I'd read that many people have difficulty adjusting to dentures, I'd have been inclined to cancel my surgery and kept my broken teeth - better than none!

I recently talked to my dentist about the difficulty I was having adjusting to my lowers, and he told me that about 1 in 3 people never wear their lowers. But he also added (and this is a man who has been in the business for over 4 decades!) that 30 or 40 years ago everyone he made lower dentures for adjusted to them, but not these days. He wasn't sure why, but I think it might be because many people don't try hard enough - if it doesn't feel good the first few times, then it's too difficult. I suspect we've become a world of instant gratification - try it once and throw it away if it's too hard.

RP, I am not "lucky" in the way I adjusted to dentures. The first weekend I had my lowers, I put them in and took them out 52 times, most times for no more than 30 seconds until I gagged, then I went to bed on the Sunday night with sore gums and a headache and felt very frustrated. It would have been SO easy to just toss them away and say "either I save up for implants, or I go toothless!" But I persisted, trying different techniques to get used to them, returning to the dentist to adjust a bit here and there, using seabond wafers for a few days until I got a soft reline, and eventually I reached the point where now I rarely even remember they're in my mouth. And it's only been ONE MONTH since that frustrating weekend! I can now eat everything with ease - although I've had to learn to eat in a slightly different way, biting with front teeth doesn't work well so I bite on the side, then chew with the back teeth.

But my point is, everyone CAN adjust to dentures, but for some it takes time, patience, perserverance. If I can do it, then I assure you, ANYONE can do it - I'm the greatest gagger (and by that I don't mean joker) in the world. I can gag just looking at an dental impression as it comes towards me. I gag if I gargle (so I don't!). In fact, I gag just THINKING out gagging! (oops, excuse me, I just gagged typing about it!!!!)

So to anyone who expects to get dentures in the future, please don't be put off by this thread. Billions of people around the world live a perfectly happy and normal life with dentures, and they didn't all just pop them in first time and munch their way through a steak or hamburger. But they DID perservere, they DID take time to adjust to them. Some of them probably DID get close to pulling their hair out and believing they were "one of those people who just couldn't wear dentures", but like me, they can, and they are.

Take heart, future denture wearers, the human body is an amazing creation, it can learn to live with just about anything, and there are plenty of worse things that can happen to us than learning to adjust to dentures! ;)
 
R

RP

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I recently talked to my dentist about the difficulty I was having adjusting to my lowers, and he told me that about 1 in 3 people never wear their lowers. But he also added (and this is a man who has been in the business for over 4 decades!) that 30 or 40 years ago everyone he made lower dentures for adjusted to them, but not these days. And I think we do a dis-service to those coming in here preparing to - or considering - getting their teeth extracted and needing dentures. I know if I'd read that many people have difficulty adjusting to dentures, I'd have been inclined to cancel my surgery and kept my broken teeth - better than none!
;)
1 in 3 is worse than I thought, but that is reality and expecting that everyone can get used to dentures is not. My Father has had his uppers for forty years, they have and always will spend the majority of time in his shirt pocket. Sandy you are an exceptional woman and setting an expectation that everyone can be like you may be very disheartening and depressing for some of our readers. There is hope, dental technology offers all sorts of options for the 2 out of 3 that can't do it. .

One other thing I learned on this forum, people respect and appreciate honesty, if we sugar coat everything (fact- many people have trouble getting used to dentures- our role is to offer tips, advice and support to those with dental fear/phobia) but if we lie or set unrealisitc expectations our credibility will plummet and there goes our members. There are plenty of success stories to draw from in all aspects of treatment and dentures.
 
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imamess

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Best bet is to find a surgeon or periodontist you are comfortable with who will go over the best technique and a treatment plan for you, any bone grafts needed etc....
rp
Thank you RP. It sounds like we're at similar junctures. The problem is, I really have no referrals and don't know how to go about finding a competent dentist/surgeon that I feel comfortable with.

I have heard about this place that does everything in one shot. They have surgeons, dentists all under one roof and claim it is a one day procedure. But how can that be, because like you said, I've also heard that you sometimes need months for the implant(s) to take?

I'm very curious how real and close to actual teeth implants will be. I've also heard you can go with something called mini implants. The whole idea for me, is to not have to deal with anything that I take out, can break, or I can lose (yes, it wouldn't be beyond me to actually lose dentures! -lol).

It's also a matter of embarrassment for me. I am single and would hate the thought of having to explain dentures on a date, etc. No offense to anyone who wears dentures, but I just want to be normal and have my own nice looking teeth that I don't have to constantly worry about being embarrassed about again!
 
R

RP

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hey imamess,

you need to find a dentist first, most dentists (cosmetic) have an implantologist they work closely with and will make a referral for you. The other choice that might be pertfect for you is to find a dentist who is a prosthodontist - per wikipedia "Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes"

In other words, they do implants, bridges, dentures, ect. and can explore your options with you, both on a clinical and financial basis. Most do some level of general dentistry as well.

I've been warned to stay away from the assembly line implant centers by dental health professionals........

rp
 
S

SandySea

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Imamess, I've had upper dentures since I was 16, and have been on MANY dates in my lifetime ... haven't had to explain them once! Who knows? It took my husband more than a year to even realize I had dentures - not that I was keeping it a secret, it was just a subject that never came up! And again, it was no big deal - he has them himself! Seriously imamess, can you honestly tell if anyone you know has dentures? I bet lots of them DO.

(But as for being normal, that's something I refuse to be, with or without dentures!)

And RP, I guess you're right, I must be a very special person. I'm one of those weirdos who believes that the harder you work, the luckier you get. The more you perservere, the more you achieve. The more determined you are to succeed, the more likely you are to succeed. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
:oops: Strike the last one, it doesn't apply, I just got carried away with the cliches, lol.
 
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imamess

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Imamess, I've had upper dentures since I was 16, and have been on MANY dates in my lifetime ... haven't had to explain them once! Who knows? It took my husband more than a year to even realize I had dentures - not that I was keeping it a secret, it was just a subject that never came up! And again, it was no big deal - he has them himself! Seriously imamess, can you honestly tell if anyone you know has dentures? I bet lots of them DO.
SandySea,

I'm not sure if you saw my post to you in my other question thread. I really do admire your can-do attitude. But I can't imagine *marrying* someone without them knowing about your dentures! Do you sleep with them in?

I'm probably making too big of a deal over this and like I said, just feeling sorry for myself. There are much worse things that can happen and it's pretty pathetic of me to think my life is over because of dentures, when people go through much worse every day. Maybe the next doctor I should see when this is over is a shrink.
 
R

RP

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You are what we call a "pace setter" Sandy- way ahead of the curve.....
 
S

SandySea

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Pace setter? Hey, I'm a pace setter!!! Woohoo!!!!!
Haha, sorry, but because I wear dentures I'm a pace setter? Well, maybe it's a way to get others to wear their dentures - you too can be a pace setter! :D

Sorry, just kidding, but I'm no pace setter, I'm just a person who doesn't believe in giving up before I even get started, or getting stressed out over dentures. Dare I say it, lol .... they're not going to BITE you! :ROFLMAO:
(forgive me, I know not what I say - they can actually bite you, lol, but a chair and a whip usually keeps them under control.)

Imamess, you said you can't imagine marrying someone without them knowing about your dentures .... hun, it's not a disease! If I was a horse, maybe my new *owner* might have to check my teeth out first, lol, but when 2 people care about each other enough to get married, they don't say "but hey, first I need to know - do you have your own teeth?" LOL

Ah, you're probably wondering about things like french kissing ;) and worrying that a probing tongue might discover your big secret and be totally shocked. Actually, you usually have better things on your mind when you're kissing someone, and unless you're secretly a blue tongued lizard with a 12 inch tongue, it's highly unlikely that tongue is going to find where the denture ends and the throat starts! Up till that point, it will feel like any old mouth to the tongue!

I dated a man for 3 years and didn't know he had dentures until he got new ones! Was I shocked? No way. Did it change my opinion of him? Of course not! It just wasn't that important. My husband has had dentures since he was 25 (he's now 73). I've had dentures since I was 16 (I'm now 61). My mother has had dentures since she was 21 (she's now 87). My best friend got them when she was 40, I'm sure my neighbour has them, the cashier at the supermarket probably has them, maybe my postman has them - I don't know because I don't think about it. Nor do I care. Dentures are NOT the big deal you're making them out to be, imamess. Truly. Probably half the people you know have dentures, whether full or partial, upper and/or lower.

No, I don't take them out at night. They're as much a part of me as my eyeballs (which I also don't take out, thank goodness! - now that MIGHT gross me out, lol) My dentures come out in the morning and again in the evening, in the bathroom. I brush them and rinse my mouth, and then they go back in.

So really imamess, don't sweat it. People will like you because of who you are, not because you do or don't have your own teeth or do or don't wear contact lenses or glasses, or because you did or didn't have your tonsils out or your appendix removed, or any other reason other than you're interesting, intelligent, caring, fun, interested in them, and a nice person. :)
 
TerrifiedWoman

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Well I'm sorry, but I agree with Sandy. I've now had full upper and lower dentures for seven weeks and the only time they have spent in their little 'bath' container is when I'm asleep. (I will most likely sleep in them after my final hard reline..just don't like sleeping with the adhesive right now..rather clean it out for the night!) From day 1 I have worn them from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed..about 15 hours a day. I'm not wonder woman..not super human..I'm simply determined that two pieces of plastic will not win. Nobody gets used to dentures by not wearing them. If you feel sorry for yourself and refuse to wear them..whose fault is that? If they aren't comfortable..GO BACK TO THE DENTIST! I made numerous trips back to the dentist for adjustments the first few weeks and they got a little more comfortable every time. Yesterday marked my 7 week 'anniversary' and it's been over 2 weeks since I needed any adjustments. Another couple of weeks and I'll be getting my final hard reline..and I can't wait!
If dentures are properly fit there is no reason a person cannot eat just about anything they ate with natural teeth. Yes, it takes a bit of practice..but if you give up you'll never learn. I was eating meatloaf by week 2..because I was hungry and wasn't about to feel sorry for myself and starve.
I agree with Sandy..people come here for encouragement. Yes, some people will have difficulty adjusting to dentures..but anyone CAN get used to them *IF* they want to badly enough. Like I said before..nobody gets used to them by NOT wearing them. I also cringe somewhat at the thought of implants. Implants cost thousand of dollars..sometimes as much as $40,000 for an entire mouth. Before we encourage them, lets be honest and warn people that they can fail. They can break. They can get plague just like real teeth and cause gum infections. They aren't the perfect fix for everyone. I know someone that has them and hates them just as much as some people apparently hate dentures. So..nothing is perfect.

iamamess..hang in there and refuse to give up. Think of the thousands of people walking around every day with dentures. They did it..and so can you!
 
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imamess

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Well I'm sorry, but I agree with Sandy.
Well, you guys are definitely encouraging! I really do hope I'm making a bigger deal out of this than it will be. Heck, dentures will probably look better and be more healthy than what my situation is now. I do have one question that both you and Sandy mentioned that I didn't understand...

You mentioned that you're able to wear dentures without adhesive. How does that work? What's a hard line? Also, you figure of $40k for full implants is correct and what I've been quoted. Mind if I ask how much top and lower dentures cost? If dentures are really as easy to adjust to as you guys are making out, it might be a no brainer decision for me. But I suspect that you and Sandy are unique and special type of people who are able to suck it up, take what life throws them, and do what they gotta do without complaining. I wish I were more like that! -lol.
 
TerrifiedWoman

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Hi iam! I honestly don't think Sandy and I are all that unique. Not when it comes to dentures anyway. :giggle: One of my best friends also got immediate upper and lower dentures and had no trouble adapting to them at all. Another close friend's husband also has dentures..no problems at all from the start. There are literally millions of people walking around wearing dentures every day..most we aren't even aware of. One of my friends had dentures four years before I knew about them..and only then because she told me when I was getting mine!

Properly fitting dentures should not require adhesive. The uppers work with suction...they literally suction snugly to the roof of your mouth. Mine do that with my temporary reline..although I use powder adhesive at the moment because my gums shrank just a little bit since that reline and they feel slightly loose. I do currently use Fixident on the lower because it has never been relined since I got it seven weeks ago and it's loose. It's hard to imagine how an upper denture can stay tight with just suction..but believe me..it will! Mine was actually hard to get OUT the first week after the temp reline! :giggle:

Temporary relines are usually done after a few weeks with immediate dentures. Your gums shrink and the dentures get too big. The dentist puts some goo on the denture and sticks it back in your mouth..you bite down for a few minutes..then he removes the denture and trims off any excess, leaving the slightly hardened 'goo' in the denture. It doesn't have any taste once it's hardened up and makes the denture fit wonderfully!
After a few more weeks as your gums finish healing and shrinking the temporary reline will start to feel a little loose. Once the dentist decides you're done healing/shrinking..he (she) will do your final hard reline. It's done like the temporary one..but the material they use is identical to the original denture material..the pink "gum" looking stuff. (My temporary reline is actually mint green! :ROFLMAO: ) It requires more time to harden up..so you have to leave the dentures at the dentists office overnight. I'm going to be doing that next month during vacation time so I won't need to go anywhere toothless. :redface: The relines on the lower works the same..but they don't have suction to hold them in. They just sit snuggly over your gums. Of course I haven't had that experience yet..but Sandy has! Other people I talk to say if they fit well it's no problem at all..they just snug onto your gums and stay there. I know my friend that has dentures eats absolutely everything you can think of..with NO adhesive at all.

Implants were never an option for me..even if I had wanted them..which I didn't. My insurance pays a whole $1500 a YEAR on dental..so it would have taken me..oh..26 YEARS to get and pay for implants. :ROFLMAO:

My dentures cost me $1600..and that included all trips for adjustments and all relines. Seriously..if I wanted to spend $40,000..I'd buy a new SUV. ;)

Okay..popping back in to edit this regarding cost of dentures! The actual DENTURES cost $1600...however the entire experience cost just under $10,000..which included all my extractions by an oral surgeon in the hospital under IV sedation. Still a far cry from $40,000 for implants! I'm sure that price is higher than some due to the fact I had so many impacted/broken teeth and needed some bone smoothing etc. The oral surgeons bill was by far the worst. I had the option of having it done at the regular dentists office with just gas and locals..but no way was I brave enough to face that..so went with the oral surgeon and IV sedation. If you can afford it..I highly recommend that route!
 
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imamess

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If you can afford it..I highly recommend that route!
Thanks TW! I'm the opposite. I actually have a fear of being put out. It's a control thing. I'd almost rather go through any amount of pain and remain conscious. That's a big reason why I've been procrastinating on this. I have wisdom teeth that need to come out and I know they're going to want to put me under for that. I've had a molar extracted before and I was fine with just a local (I also don't want gas!).

Anyway, you make it sound so easy. I hope you're right. Maybe I'll report back and let you guys know how I'm getting along. I suspect I'm going to be a very depressed person for awhile though. Thanks again for your encouragement.
 
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