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My Partial Denture Adventures by Lee
About Me
About Me
My Before Pics
My Surgery
After Pics 9-10-04
2 1/2 week update
Pics 9-21-04
update 10-28
Contact Me

My history, dental visits, and first impressions

Hello Everyone,

My name is Lee and I am a 32 year old mother of four. I keep children in my home for a living for which I have used as an excuse to not go to the dentist for almost ten years. We will go way back to my childhood, I never went to a dentist for checkups and cleanings due to lack of money, not that my parents didnt want to take me. I did go when I was around eleven or twelve and he tried to fill one of my teeth, but it cracked and he had to extract it. So my next trip was when I was 17 and again I had to have one extracted but this time he snatched my head to the left and to the right and busted my bottom lip. I also bled for a week. After those experiences, I didnt care if I ever saw a dentist again. Shortly after that, my boyfriend had to go get an extraction from the same dentist. He pulled his tooth and it was abscessed. The infection spread into his throat. He spent 5 days in the hospital while they sucked all the infection out of him.

Well, five or six years later, at the age of 23 or so and no visits to the dentist my bottom front teeth started turning white. Before long one little piece of tooth cracked on one and then the other, leaving me with a jagged mess, then the back started doing the same thing. I had just divorced my first husband and my 2 year old was having one febrile seizure after another so I had no money or time for myself.

Two years later, after getting remarried and giving birth to my little girl I went to a Cosmetic Dentist. I went in and walked out with horror. She gave me a price of 8,000 dollars and wanted me to see an oral surgeon and a dentist that specializes in root canals (cant remember the name) so I am guessing that would have pushed my price up to around 12,000 or so. So guess what I didnt go back.

A year or two later after the birth of my fourth child and last son, my husband talks me into trying his dentist. He gives me a price of 4000 dollars and also wants me to see oral surgeon and root canal dentist.

A little hint when it comes to me, I dont like one dentist much less trying to see three at a time. His dental plan stretched over a two year period and he wanted me to see him once or twice a month. I started the plan and he began on the jagged bottom. He was able to repair three of them but the fourth was going to need a root canal. I was able to keep my nerves calm and was proud that I made it through it.

I returned in three weeks to put a filling in my top left front tooth which included taking off 1/3 of the left side of the tooth. When he gave me the shots I was fine but after he started working on the tooth, the numb feeling went into my sinuses. All of the sudden, I felt like I couldnt breath through my nose. It scared me really bad and I jumped up but I made it through the rest of the filling but my balance was thrown off the rest of the afternoon. It felt really weird. He acted like it was no big deal but it was to me cause I didnt go back. I blamed it on too many appointments and couldnt find anyone to watch the kids for me. (Yeah right just didnt want to experience that again).
We are going to skip four more years into the future and after losing the filling in my bottom front tooth. My bottom teeth do not show after many years of practicing how to talk so no one will see it. I waited till summer time when I could get teenagers to sit w/ my kids. I went to the dentist and he told me I was going to need full dentures. Needless to say I didnt go back.

One more year passes and my filling in the top came out and I used temp filling to get me through till the summer and this time I wasnt going to let anything get in my way. I got a credit card that has no interest for a year on all purchases. I lined up several people to help me with transportation and babysitting. Well one day while watching my soaps, I see a commercial talking about if you are scared of a dentist or dont have time for a lot of appointments that "Dr X" (for privacy reasons will refer as "Dr X") is the dentist for you. He offers sedation dentistry. You can do what would take some dentists 6 months to a year to do and he can do it in one or two visits. This dentist just happens to be my first cousins ex husband from ten years ago.. I knew he was a dentist in a nearby town to where I moved to when I got married to my present husband, but with him being near Atlanta I knew his prices were going to be a lot higher than the dentist in my town. So I kept him in the back of my mind (constantly) but went ahead and saw a local dentist that offered immediate dentures. I went in and he started looking at my teeth with no x-rays. He tells me he sees no reason for dentures that with 15 extractions, he could do partials on top and bottom. I was really surprised but he wanted to pull 2 or 3 at a time and wait 3 weeks and then pull some more and I figured that this would take at least six months. He didnt do cleaning and normal fillings so I would again have to see someone else and there was a chance when he actually started pulling that he may not be able to do it and have to send me to an oral surgeon (again).. O.K. His price was right at 2000 dollars for the extractions and partials.. I told him to let me think on it.

I had several concerns this time.

1) How could he diagnose me when he didnt know what things really looked like without the x-rays.

2) I only weigh 105lbs and I am 5 foot 7. How could my body handle doing this extractions this way, I would have to be on soft foods for almost 6 months

3) I was afraid that I would start it and get frightened after the first extractions and not go back.



I told my husband I had to give "Dr X" a try, although I didnt want to cost my family a lot of money. My biggest thing about money is that my daugter is suppose to be referred to an orthodontist this year and I don't want to deny her any dental needs. I have had all four of my kids going to a dentist since they were 3 so that they would not be scared like me and it has worked with three of them but my youngest has to have a drink to calm him down so they can do the work. Like mother like son, LoL.

Anyway back to me, I make an appointment with "Dr X". The receptionist asked me to bring my x-rays from the other dentist and I told her he didnt do any. She said that wasnt right to diagnose someone with 15 extractions with out an x-ray.

So I go to my first appt. I was so nervous to let him look in my mouth at how bad it is. He had looked at my teeth at 13 and told me I had perfect teeth and that it looked like I had braces. In which all that changed, when my wisdom teeth came in and crowded them. I was worried about the assistant being a young girl with perfect teeth. I was more worried about her looking in my mouth than him. Well the assistant wasnt young and I told her I didnt care for dentist offices. I also told her why and she was so nice. She explained to me everything she was going to do and ask if I was ok while she done it. They done a panoramic (?) X-ray of me because he was worried that the bite wings would make my teeth hurt. It wasnt bad but if you do not like closed in places it may bother you. They close this thing around your face and make you bite down and you can not move your head. It probably wouldnt be as bad on everyone else but she was trying to tell this new lady how to work the machine and she had me in there a little too long. I handled it but I didnt care for it. I like being in control. Back to the chair I went and "Dr X" finally came in and we swapped stories for a while. It had been along time since he had seen any of my family members. I told him that the main thing I didnt like about a dentist visit was him being in my space and me having to lay flat. So he worked from behind me and didnt keep me laid back long. He told me he was going to give me 2 or 3 different plans and I could decide which I preferred. Well the first was going to save more teeth but I would have to go thru 2 root canals and crowns. This plan would cost a lot more money and it would take 2 visits instead of one. I decided against this one because I have heard how root canals can go bad and you loose the tooth anyway.


I went with plan number 2. We are going to extract I think 14 and he is going to fill the remaining that needs it. We will do everything in one visit. I will wake up with my cast base partial already in the bottom because I will be missing two of my front teeth. I will also get a retainer for the top to correct the crowding. The partial for the top will be done in 7 to 9 months according to how long it takes the retainer to work. I will have the front 6 and then 2 more in the back on the top. The price with everything but the top partial will be 5800 dollars after my insurance pays 1000 of it. That was perfect because that would leave me several hundred on my card for any emergency that may come up.

He talked with me from 4:45pm to 6:45pm. I could not believe he took that much time discussing everything with me. He is also going to bleach my teeth.

I could not believe that I went from thinking that I was going to have to have dentures top and bottom, to saving half my teeth and getting to wear a retainer as well as getting to bleach my teeth. My husband was not as happy with my decision as I was, because of the money but I have always put my family first and I was going to put myself first for once this time.

The Impressions Stage

I went back for the impressions, which I was amazed I didnt back out. There would be no turning back after this appointment because I had to pay for the bottom partial and retainer.

I was really nervous when I got back in the chair. I had read on the boards that it was no big deal but then I also read how people had gagged. The assistant done my top impressions and again she was so sweet. She tried the tray out first to make sure it was going to fit in my mouth and it did. Then she told me if I felt like I was going to gag to put my feet up in the air. She said it would get my mind off the gagging feeling. She put the stuff in and it wasnt bad. It tasted like Mint. When I tried to swallow it felt weird but it didnt take long at all. The funny thing was when she pulled it out it took my temp filling out also which was embarrassing, but I laughed it off. "Dr X" came in and said he was going to do several impressions.

First he put what I would call two big pieces of wax on each side of my back teeth and he told me to bite down and hold it, he then removed it. Then, He used this thing that looked like a caulking gun and he called it a blue moose I believe and he squirted a gel along the top of my bottom teeth. He told me to bite down and hold it, then he removed it. After that, he got the same putty stuff that she had used on the top and put it along the bottom teeth and put the metal tray in and he pushed down on it (really hard). I guess to get a perfect fit for the bottom and when he was taking it out it felt like it was going to take all my teeth with it but no such luck.

I asked him a few questions because in my next appt. I would have drugs in me when I got there and afterward and I knew I wouldnt think of anything to ask.

Q) Would I wake up with my partial already in and how long would I need to keep it in after getting home?

A) Yes, it would be in and I could take them out whenever I wanted

Q) What should I clean the partial with?

A) He told me to take them out after eating if possible and brush them with a denture brush and tooth paste. And to soak them with a denture soaking tablet twice a week. (I need to ask him is there a certain kind of toothpaste to use because he told me there is some toothpastes that are to harsh on our natural teeth so they would have to be harsh on fake ones)

Q) Could he give me all my information now instead of after the appointment so I could read over it instead of trying to understand it while under all them the drugs. Also, could he give me all my prescriptions so that I wouldnt have to go to the pharmacy after the visit.

A) Of course, I will take an antibiotic for four days before the surgery. I will take a valium the night before and a hour before the surgery and then he gave me Tylenol 3 for pain afterwards. I told him I had a reaction to Demerol before the birth of my second son. My heart rate went sky high, but that could have been nerves and not an actual reaction. The other pain med everyone takes has the same ingredients or something as Demerol so he asked if I had taken any other pain meds. I told him no that I didnt even take any after my hysterectomy but then I remembered taking Tylenol 3 after my first son and it made me sleep from One in the afternoon till the next morning. So that decided it,  he would give me the Tylenol 3 but I probably will not take it because I don't like the way pain medicine makes you out of your mind.

He wouldnt make an appt because he said he wanted to make sure the partial was in and the way he wanted it. He said he didnt want me to plan everything for a certain day and then the partial not be back. So he told me to keep July 9th or 16th in the back of my head. He only does surgeries on Fridays so that will give me three days to get better before my kids come back on Monday.

I am now trying to prepare. I always have to have every thing in order. I have a grocery list started with the foods that I will be able to eat for the first few days. I have lined up for my grandmother to come up so I can make sure someone is here to cook for my kids. My husband would let them eat hotdogs all day LoL. She can also cook me some good food. My hubby would just feed me pudding all day. She will also be here to help me keep the kids the following Monday just in case I am not back to normal. I am hoping it will be the 9th so I will have several weeks to get use to my partial before meeting all the teachers for the new school year.

Keep checking back and I will give everyone an update within the next few weeks.

Backpacker taking a drink; Size=180 pixels wide
Taking a break from work

What a job!

I might describe my job in a little more detail here. I'll write about what I do, what I like best about it, and even some of the frustrations. (A job with frustrations? Hard to believe, huh?)