No one likes the thought of getting dentures, but if your teeth are missing you won’t be able to chew food properly and can get indigestion or even malnutrition. Besides, most people enjoy eating and if you can’t do it properly it can impact your enjoyment of life and even social interaction.
Probably the worst thing about going to the dentist and getting dentures is the thought of having your teeth out. But this may have happened gradually over the years and you may not need to have any more out. In this case, you’ll be getting a part plate to replace those that are missing. If you do need to have some out, it won’t be any worse than you’ve had before.
The dentist will fit you for a temporary plate so that you won’t be left without an attractive smile, but can pop it in as soon as the gums are healed enough. This temporary plate may be used for up to 12 months to allow all the swelling to go down and the mouth and gums to adjust to their new normal. Once this has happened, you’ll be fitted for a new, permanent plate.
For each plate, an impression must be taken of your mouth. To do this the mouth is filled with an expandable substance that covers the roof and gums and fits into all those little indents and ridges and then it hardens. This makes a template for the plate. If you have a strong gag reflex, the dentist will probably get you to hold a numbing solution in your mouth for a minute or two to prevent you heaving.
The plate will be made before you have any teeth out, so you won’t have to spend any time looking like a skeleton with no teeth. This is often all people are worried about, so don’t worry; it won’t happen. If you have to have teeth pulled out, the dentist usually does one side at a time. While it won’t be pleasant, at least it will be over quickly. If he only took out two a week you’d be going back for weeks at a time. It is very likely you won’t have to have all your teeth pulled out, if you’ve been having regular treatment over the previous months.
Once the dentures have been fitted, you may find it feels strange and you might even find it difficult to talk properly for a few hours. If you feel you are lisping, find a book and read it out loud to get more used to it. This is especially good if you are not a talker by nature, so don’t get much practice.
Eating will feel different too, but very soon you’ll feel more natural and will eventually forget you’ve got those dentures in.