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112 Messages

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2.3K Points

Tue, Apr 10, 2018 5:02 AM

Coping without teeth while waiting for new dentures

I am in my mid-sixties. I have had partial dentures, upper and lower, for a few years now. My dentist has told me that I need to have my remaining teeth out . I have had a panoramic x-ray done, and have an appointment later this week for a consultation with the surgeon who will be removing the teeth. The dentist has said that two or three weeks after the teeth have been extracted, he will be able to start on my new dentures. I'm not too worried about the extractions and I am also not too worried about getting used to full dentures. I am hoping that, because I have already had partial ones, full ones won't be too difficult to get used to - hopefully! What I am worried about is how to cope without any teeth at all while I wait for my new dentures (apparently two to three weeks for healing and about four weeks for denture-making appointments), both in terms of eating and for the sake of my vanity.  The dentist has not suggested immediate dentures so I will have no choice but to wait.  I have visions of not being able to eat much and of hiding from friends and family!  Fortunately, I don't have to worry about work as I am retired. I would love to know if anyone has any tips for coping during this stage.  I can't wait to get my new dentures because my existing teeth have been bothering me for a while, and I haven't been proud of my smile for a while, and I know I have to be patient, but any advice from those who have been through the living-without-teeth stage it will be welcome.  Many thanks.

Responses

160 Messages

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2.7K Points

2 years ago

I have heard others go with out teeth for 4 weeks but for me I had temporaries immediately .. your gums will shrink majorly over 6 to 8 mos.. then I will
Get my permanent denture ... they will do impressions and then wax tryin get to choose what teeth color etc ... for me it would concern me get permanent in 4 weeks but that’s just me... Soft foods u will be able to eat, eggs grits oatmeal lots of liquid .. I’m 5 weeks out with temporary teeth I can eat more but carefully .. good luck keep us posted.. rinse 5 times day warm salt water also.. in beginning.. I still do that two times day...

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

2 years ago

Many thanks for your reply, Allison.  My dentist hasn't suggested temporaries, unfortunately, so I will have to cope with having no teeth at all for two to three weeks while my gums heal and a further four weeks or so for the dentures to be made.   I will definitely rinse with salt water. Believe it or not, I used to be a dental nurse so I understand a lot of the procedures, but that was before i had dentures! Of course, techniques will have changed since then, so this is all new to me!  I will definitely keep you informed.  I shall just have to be patient and look forward to the day when I have new teeth and a proper smile. Once again, thanks for your response and good luck to you with your treatment.

233 Messages

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5.2K Points

2 years ago

I got all mine pulled over 6 months ago and have been eating without dentures ever since.  I'm doing implants so I consider this a temporary situation.  I only put my uppers in when I have to go out, and that's not often.  I'm in my 60's too and work at home (sewing for my Etsy shop).  For a few weeks, between relines, I just wore a surgical mask when I had to go out.  Nobody bats an eyelash because they assume either you are sick, or trying to avoid getting sick etc.

As far as eating, a food processor can be your best friend.  Once I discovered I could smoosh up almost anything, I was good to go.  Plus, I am blessed with the ability to eat the same thing every day.  You can eat things like cake and cheesecake and brownies by just gumming them without any processing.  Basically, anything you can break up into very small parts between your tongue and the roof of your mouth can be eaten with no teeth.  I eat Ritz crackers with cream cheese every day.  The one thing I cooked up and smooshed and ended up feeding to my dogs, was peas.  Didn't like them before and they still tasted just like peas all dressed up with gravy.  LOL.

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

2 years ago

Hi, Janet.  Thank you so much for your reply which has really reassured me about coping without teeth while I wait for dentures.  I wish I could have implants but unfortunately, the dentist says it's not possible in my case. I'm used to wearing partial dentures so I hope that full ones won't be too difficult to manage.  As for food, I already eat porridge for breakfast, and I am planning on lots of soups (I have a fantastic soup-maker that is already my best friend).  I will probably cook main meals in the slow cooker which tenderises just about anything.  I make cakes every week so I will practice gumming them! When I was a dental nurse, one of our patients could eat an unpeeled apple with just her gums, apparently, so I suppose anything is possible!

I do a little freelance writing from home, but I am so glad that I am retired and don't have to face a workplace while going through all this denture business!  I will get myself some surgical masks in case I need to venture out,  but generally I will be sending my husband out to do the shopping - that should be fun - NOT!

I envy you being able to sew well enough to sell. I can knit and crochet, but I was never much good at sewing.  I am determined to improve my skills, though, so I bought myself a new sewing machine a year ago,  I have to say that I'm still a little scared of it.  I have so far only made small things and hope to build up to making clothes,  but I need to get to know the machine properly. Only yesterday, having had the thread break about five times, did I manage to work out that I had put the cotton reel on the spool for bobbin-winding!  I think perhaps I should have bought an old hand-operated Singer like the ones we had for sewing lessons at school! My new machine is a bit too technical!  Still, I will persevere!

Once again, thank you so much for your response. It has greatly encouraged me.  I  wish you all the best with your implants. I hope it's not too long before we are both back to normal eating!

233 Messages

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5.2K Points

Why are implants not possible for you?  Bone loss?  My dentist said that was no problem and did bone grafts with my first surgery.  I was actually quite surprised because I knew I had a lot of bone loss in my upper jaw.  They didn't have to graft into the bottom jaw so they did the implants at the time of the extraction.  I've just been sitting around healing for months.

I sew purses.  They are much easier than clothes.  LOL.  I quilted for years and got pretty good at it, but didn't try to turn it into an income.  It was just a personal passion but a real cash suck at the fabric store.  Having a really good machine makes a big difference.  It's not something to be scared of.  It can be so rewarding but I'm afraid it is becoming a lost art.  My grandmother, born in the 1800's, was my inspiration because she made dresses for me when I was a child.  I always really connected with that and loved home ec as a child.  I guess they don't do that in schools much any more.

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

Yes, bone loss. Having said that, I will ask him again now that I've spoken to you!  Mind you, I don't know what the cost would be.  I am British but currently living in France (although my house is up for sale and I hope to move back home as soon as I can).  Treatment here is partly funded by the state as long as you pay social charges, and partly by private insurance so whatever my treatment costs I will get roughly half refunded back to me.

My late mother was excellent at sewing, and my sister is, too.  They've both made wedding dresses, tailored suits and all sorts of other wonderful things. My mum used to make all our clothes when we were small.  I think my problem is a lack of patience.  I can do all the basics by hand like sewing on buttons, hemming, and so on, but it's machine sewing I struggle with.  I can't seem to find any sewing lessons here in France but it's something I will look into once I've moved back to the UK, and I know my sister will help me, too.  It does seem to becoming a lost art with the younger generation, but I am a member of an online charity-knitting group and several of the other members are brilliant at sewing and that's why I decided to buy myself a sewing machine. I have more spare time these days and space to leave the machine out ready for use, so there's no excuse.  I do practice. Yesterday, I made some small drawstring bags (which will be sent off to Operation Shoebox - a charity that sends shoeboxes full of goodies to orphanages in poorer countries) along with some hand puppets that I've crocheted, and other things that I have made.  I've just started loom-knitting, too, and that's great for making hats for charities and as gifts.

I've never tried quilting and I'm not sure I would have the patience.  As for the fabric being a cash suck, we have an amazing fabric store in my nearest town. The range it stocks is just amazing and I can spend hours just wandering around looking at it.  I can see how someone good at sewing could be tempted to spend a small fortune!  I also have a passion for buttons, which is odd for someone who doesn't really sew!

I will ask my daughters-in-law (who both happen to be teachers) if things like sewing and cooking are taught in school these days. Sadly, I won't be surprised if the answer is no.


233 Messages

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5.2K Points

I love everything British. Lol. I have been on a British tv binge for quite a while now, watching everything Netflix and Hulu have to offer. If I wasn’t afraid to fly, my dream would be to fly over there and try to do a pub crawl through all the pubs in all the villages on all my shows.

I don’t have any dental insurance so I have to do everything out of pocket here. Doing implants and bone grafts and extractions is really expensive. I quit working as a med tech back in 95 and this process would have cost me 2 years salary at what I was making then. And that was a lot more than I make sewing. I had to hit up the retirement savings because there was no more putting off the teeth. Since I’m one of those anxious patients who avoids things that make me anxious, I had quit going maybe 5 years ago and let nature take its destructive course. The thought of doing things piece meal, tooth by tooth, was just too much to sit through. And I still would have had an ugly smile. I just closed my eyes and jumped in the deep end and went for full mouth reconstruction. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though and hope to have the teeth “installed” within a month hopefully.

Wedding dresses and tailored suits seem like the ultimate challenge to me. That’s impressive.

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

You must be in the States, then?  I have family in Florida and in Baltimore but I've never been there. I don't like flying, either. I have flown from the UK to Spain and Portugal but they were relatively short flights. I'm not sure I could ever do long haul!  British TV is pretty good, I have to say, especially compared to the French stuff. Fortunately, with a satellite dish and  receiver, we can receive many British channels so it works well for us.  As for British pubs, they are one of the things I miss!  My French neighbours visited London for the first time last summer and they loved the pubs, the beer, and the fish and chips but, understandably, they weren't impressed with the wine!  They were impressed with the driving standards, too, and, having lived in France for nine years, I can see why. Standards here are pretty bad. I feel safer on the busier roads in the UK than I ever do on the quieter roads here!

It's a shame you've had to finance the implants yourself but they will be well worth it, I'm sure.  I'm not really a nervous patient, but the French don't do regular dental check-ups like we have in the UK and it took us ages to find a dentist here without a long waiting time for appointments, so it's been a while since we had treatment. We finally found one and we've also cashed in some private pension funds to pay for our treatment. My husband needs treatment, too, but he doesn't have to have all his teeth out. He still has a few that are good, apparently. We toyed with the idea of waiting until we move back to the UK where the treatment would cost a fraction of what we are paying here but, like you, we just went for it.   I want to be able to eat properly, and  smile properly.  I hope the dentures do the trick. I have got on really well with partial dentures, so hopefully I am halfway there! 

I will know tomorrow afternoon when I have to go back to have the extractions and the dentist said it will be 'two or three weeks' for the gums to heal before he can start the dentures so, hopefully, I'll be all done and dusted within two to three months.  In the meantime, I won't be going out much if I can help it, so all the more time to practice my sewing!

You must really be looking forward to getting your treatment finished.  Not too long to wait now!

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

Just to update everyone who so kindly responded to my very first post on here. I had my appointment yesterday with the consultant who will be removing my teeth.  As I didn't have to wait long for the initial appointment, I assumed that I would get the appointment for the extractions soon after. The earliest is 9th July, so I am a bit disappointed to put it mildly! It will now be months before I am back to 'normal'. Three months until the procedure, then two to three weeks healing until the dentures can be started so my hopes of having a smiley summer have now evaporated!  After the initial shock, I have now got used to the idea.  Also, I am having all the teeth out under a local anaesthetic - I was hoping for a general so, although I'm not really a nervous dental patient, I will definitely have to psyche myself up for this one!  The consultant was very nice, so at least I've met her and know what to expect.

1 Message

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86 Points

2 years ago

Hi Guys! I've never actually written anything online ever - but I wanted to thank you all for this advice! I had all of my teeth removed last Friday and I'm stressing about being toothless for the next 3 months... Unfortunately I got something called dry socket after my surgery, and the pain was horrendous - but today is the first non-pain day that I've had! Eating has been low on my list of priorities, but now that the pain has settled down, I can't think about anything other than food lol So I'm looking forward to trying everyone's suggestions! One thing I was wondering about is if anyone else had jagged bits of bone poking out from their gums after extractions? And if so, how long did it take to go away? Thanks again guys, and good luck with all of your teeth issues!
P.S The surgical mask is a great idea!

112 Messages

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2.3K Points

Hi Kristi.  It's good that you found this forum for your first online post!  Well done on getting through the worst bit of your journey, the extractions. It will only get better from now on.  I expect you were told about regular salt-water rinses after extractions. They really do help to keep the extraction sites clean.  Smokers are prone to dry-socket but, if you are not a smoker, the fact that you've had it is down to bad luck.  I have heard that the pain is as bad as a raging abscess so I am pleased that you are now over it and out of pain.

Sometimes after extractions you might find little pieces of bone sticking out but they usually work their way to the surface. There is some useful information here:      https://www.animated-teeth.com/tooth_extractions/a-tooth-fragment-sequestra.htm

If you find that they are causing real discomfort go back to your dentist for help and advice. Don't suffer in silence.

I found the masks really useful. They are dead cheap (your local pharmacy will sell them) and they helped me a great deal. I just used to explain them away by saying  that I had allergies!

I had my extractions last July, got my new teeth in September and, by Christmas was doing really well with them. Now they feel like my own and I haven't looked back. This forum was a huge support while I was going through the process so please keep posting to let us know how you are getting on and for any further advice you may need from the very knowledgeable and experienced people on here.  

Good luck to you.