Let's see where to begin this lol. I am
a 33 yr old stay at home mom of four for starters.
I have been battling problems with my teeth since
my 20's it all started with the wisdom teeth had all those pulled years ago. Then slowly the molars were going bad. At the
time we are on govt asst. but they only pay to have a tooth extracted and nothing else cosmetic wise. So as the teeth were
giving me problems I would go and have it pulled. They were all in the back so it didnt bother me. Well then I started having
problems with the teeth in the front that you could see. That was really getting to my self confidence. It was to the point
that I would not smile with a open mouth, covered my mouth whenever I laughed. Looked like I was just smirking. During the
time that the front teeth were starting to go, My hubby got a good raise at work. Well that took us off all govt asst. which
was fine with me at the time felt like we were stepping up. Until I found out that all dental was now our responsibility.
We couldnt afford ins though my hubbys job so I just had to bear with it. At this time I had 22 natural teeth left some that
were broken off at gum level.
I finally couldnt stand it anymore,
I didnt have the money, or credit to apply for dental credit services. I got online and started emailing every social service
agency, and dentist in my area that had a email address listed. I will post this letter that I sent on the Postings Page.
The only reply email I recieved was from the most caring dentist I have ever met. I was to go to his office for a consult.
After the consult he agreed to let me work on a payment plan.I have done research on this dentist. He is very well
known in the community. He is always learning the newest ideas in Dental Care. He dontates his time and service
at a local homeless shelter. He is committed to giving back to the community. He is the President of the Savannah
Dental Society. He has great credentials. He wanted to try to save all my teeth. Told me that he would have
to do 9 root canals on the top. And go from there. Well at this point I was just ready to be done with it all couldnt imagine
having to go thru 9 root canals and all the office visits that would be required before I could smile again. I told him that
I think I would rather just have those pulled and go with dentures. He told me that if I wanted to do that he understood and
that he could work with me on that. He also told me that I had 7 teeth on bottom that he could save because they just needed
deep cleaning etc. And that if I could keep those that it would be easier to deal with a partial plate on bottom. He said
that the palate of the roof of the mouth creates suction to hold the top plate in but there is nothing in the bottom to hold
a plate in place and that a full bottom denture tends to float but I would not have those problems with a partial. So
that was our plan.
He had me come in on 3-8-04. He
took tons of pics of the inside of my mouth.He had also asked for me to bring in pictures of how my teeth looked when
I was happy with them. Took some time pouring over all those old photo albums to find any where I was actually smiling. He
asked me if I wanted my dentures to look like my natural smile or completely straight or somewhere in between. I went
with the natural smile except for the eye teeth, they were so tiny naturally so I told him to size those to fit with
the rest of the teeth. He took my input and decided on the size and shape of the teeth. He took impressions of my gums
for the immediate dentures to be made. (I have had questions about this process so I will detail in the postings section.)
Measured my teeth and gums with a little ruler. We decided on the shade I wanted my dentures to be. He said he wanted to go
with a shade that would be similar to the natural teeth left on bottom. but that it would only be my temp immediate set that
would be that shade. That if I decided to whiten the bottom ones that the perm set after all the healing he could match to
the whiter bottom teeth then. He told me that he was going to do all the extractions in one day and deep clean the remaining
natural teeth that same day. He told me that he would be pulling 12 on top and 1 on bottom. He said that he would be
placing my immediate top plate in place, but since I was keeping those in the front on the bottom that he would wait for the
one extraction site on the bottom to heal completely before he put in the partial plate on bottom. He asked me if I had any
problems having extractions done. I told him that I am really sacred with having them pulled that I had a problem with a dentist
a few years back that didnt deaden the area enough before he started pulling and I was in tears before I left the office.
Well my dentist prescribed me two tablets of a anti-anxiety drug. Told me to take one before I left home and I was to take
the other once I got to his office. (I had to have someone drive me and take me home) So thats what I did.
I had an appt
on 3-22-04 to get started. By the time I was in the dentist chair I was a little nervous but calm. They started with cleaning
the bottom. I didnt feel a thing. He gave me plenty of novacaine shots I wasnt feeling anything they were doing in my mouth.
At one point I felt a little pressure and got a little anxious and was breathing real heavy and fast. He pushed his chair
back and laid his hands on my shoulders and told me Dena its ok, I want you to take a few deep breaths and calm yourself back
down. We are not in a race here to get finished, we have all the time in the world to get this done. Now lets breathe. We
did a few breathing exercises, reminded me of lamaze but his patience and calmness calmed me right back down. And he went
back to work on my mouth next thing I know he says ok we are placing the immediate in now. I was shocked he was done already.
Was all done at the dentist and headed home. Got my rx filled on the way home.
I forgot one part of the
pre extraction story. The first time I went in to his office he looked in my mouth and was looking around at everything with
his assistants there too. I was crying a little bit. He asked me did I hurt you I'm so sorry. I told him no it didnt hurt
I'm just ashamed of my mouth. He looked me in the eyes and told me Dena there is no reason to be ashamed you have made the
first big step and together we will give you a smile you will be proud of. Then he took a tissue and I thought he was handing
it to me so I went to reach for it he told me no Dena I made you spring a leak I can at least wipe away the tears for you.
He was so gentle and caring it just made me glad I finally took this giant step. He also told me that he is not a yank and
grab dentist. That he takes his time pulling teeth. Slowly loosens them up rocking them back and forth til he can just gently
pull them out. That really seemed to work better. From my past experience.
I had all
the extractions done on March 22. I went straight home and went to bed. My daughter (13) was in charge of dinner. I bought
a stouffers lasagna and ready to bake french bread. Easy for her and didnt require me in the kitchen. I took one pain pill
and laid down. I was still in pain about an hour later so I decided to take another. It still wasnt letting up. About an hour
later I was still in pain. I was scared to take more pain meds so I called his office, his receptionist told me that she was
going to put me on hold and tell him what all I was going thru, she came back on the line and told me that he said it would
be fine to take another, it takes a bit to get it working in your system. So thats what I did. There was a lot of mucus, salvia,
and blood to deal with. Placing gauze to stop the flow of blood. I am a smoker so that was real hard to deal with, not smoking
or using a straw for the first 24 to 48 hrs. Well I slept about an hr or two. Then my hubby came home from work. He came in
to see me and asked how I was feeling. I told him that its ok just hurts like crazy well hubby told me to take another pain
pill so I did. Finally by about an hour later the pain was gone. I was watching tv with him and everything. Just felt all
swollen etc. At bedtime I went straight to sleep. Only to awaken to drool all over my pillow. Was a wee bit bloody and
mucus. Anybody going thru this really needs to use an old pillowcase it gets pretty messy. Even during the daytime
there is a lot of excess salvia in the mouth. Its the mouth adjusting to having a foriegn object inside. The mouth
is producing salvia for the idea that you have something in there to chew up. The mouth and tongue adjust pretty
quickly to the idea that this foriegn object is here to stay lol. I was to keep the immediate in place dont take out
at all for a full week and I would go back to the dentist for him to take it out the first time and talk to me about how to
care for them etc. That first week was a hard one. After the first 48 hrs, I tried to smoke a cigarrette only to find
out I couldnt really grasp it with my lips much less actually smoke it. Sucking on a straw was a nightmare, the pressure of
trying to suck put pressure on the tender gums. I could eat puddings etc but nothing that required me to chew. I had stitches
right in front that felt like they were pulling every time I tried to chew or anything. I also had this awful NASTY taste
in my mouth seemed like whenever I drank this awful spit stuff would ooze out from under the plate and down my throat. OH
IT WAS AWFUL!! I have been told by others that my situation was a little different than theres. A lot of dentists have
you go back to their office 24 to 48 hours later to take out for the first time. I guess each dentist has their own approach.
Also I used a lot of warm salt water rinses to help rinse the mouth out from the nasty taste. It helped some but didnt take
away all of the nasty taste. I guess because it was all under the plate just couldnt rinse it all away. Also there is a huge
adjustment in seeing yourself with and without the new teeth. I will try to describe some of these feelings on my postings
page, as well as how I am coping with my hubby and letting him see me etc.
I went back in on 3-29-04 and he
took them out for the first time. I was SOOOO scared thought it would really hurt pulling em out and the stitches being there
too. I was totally surprised a slight tug nothing to even make a face over and they were OUT!! He told me yes they are quite
dirty and that was to be expected because of them being in place for the week. But we will clean your mouth for you today.
He put my plate in the autoclave that deep cleans them. He removed the stitches which didnt hurt either. He then said
I see why you had such a hard week you have a sore (similar to a canker sore) right under the plate in front, he also said
I had two more tiny spots that looked like they were trying to become sores too. He told me to use Zilactin on them, similar
to ora-gel but that it would coat the sore so the plate didnt rub against it. He told me how to brush them, care for them,
putting them in and getting them out etc. Was very well informed on what to do. He said he was going to adjust them a little
to help on the sores. Told me in a few days that they should heal up. Cleaned my mouth well, oh that was heaven!!! Well
on my way home I picked up the Zilactin. I came home and pulled out my plate was scary doing it all myself. I brushed my bottom
teeth, brushed my plate, used mouthwash oh what a wonderful feeling. Applied the Zilactin, on the tube said to let the med
dry over the sore before drinking etc. So I applied the med and held my lip back away from the sore so that it would dry,
then it hazed over like wax on a car. So I popped my denture back in that hurt like HELL!!!!. I was told to take them out
at night. I had a problem with sleeping with my hubby and no teeth. So I kept them in at night and took them out during the
day when he was at work. Thought the sores would be getting better but they werent was taking all my will power to make myself
put them back in after each cleaning and applying the med. Well then I came upon a bright idea. I decided that when I brushed,
rinsed, applied the med, allowed to dry, that I would let my mouth sit for a bit before putting them back in THAT DID IT!!!!
While I was holding my lip back for the med to dry it was also drying out my mouth so that when I put the denture back in,
the mouth was dry no salvia. When I did it all and waited about 15 mins after it dried, the mouth had produced some saliva.
I was able to pop it right back in and didnt hurt as bad. A couple of days later it was to the point I didnt need the pain
gel at all. The sore looks like its still there but it doesnt hurt and I dont have to use anything. So at the point of no
pain whatsoever was two weeks after the extractions. The extraction sites themselves never hurt at all cept the first night.
They are healing real nicely. It was just the mouth sore giving me fits. As of last Wednesday, April 7th I was able to actually
chew stuff. I went overboard the first day. We had pizza for dinner and I managed to eat a piece of pizza. Well it didnt hurt
and so I kept going, I ended up eating 3 pieces. Well my stomach had been getting by on pudding, chicken n dumplings, meal
replacement drinks etc. So having that actual food in my stomach it didnt know what to do. Had a belly ache all the night.
But hey my mouth didnt hurt. I have started slowly trying more things, I have found I can eat hamburgers with a bun lol, some
chips, sandwiches etc. The only thing is I havent accomplished biting with my teeth yet. My dentist had told me that my new
best friends would be a knife and fork. Well he was so right lol. I just break off pieces of sandwiches etc or cut up my food
to where I can just put it in my mouth and chew have found it works great for me. Well thats my story up to this point.
I have a dentist appt today 4-12. Cant wait
to see what all he has to say. It really boosts the confidence when he looks in now and tells me what a good job I'm doing
keeping my teeth and mouth clean.
I will continue to update my progress on the Postings Page