When I was in the Navy, the slogan was “It’s not just a job – it’s an adventure!” Through the years, I have come to find those who wear dentures often find themselves in some sort of “adventure” – usually an embarrassing one.
I’ve changed their names, but I’d like to share some real life adventures in dentures. To anyone who at one time or another has had an embarrassing or unfortunate accident or incident with your dentures, I offer these stories to let you know you are not alone. If you have dentures or are considering getting dentures, I want you to know there are take steps you can take to avoid these mishaps. Though humorous, as in most humorous stories, it’s funny when you are not the one involved.
Joe came to my office with a broken lower denture. I asked him what happened to it. He said he was leaning out of the window of his truck talking to a female friend at work when his denture fell from his mouth and cracked on the pavement at the feet of his shocked friend. He had planned to ask her out to lunch. Instead, he became speechless as he quickly jumped from his truck to pick up the pieces and drive directly to me. I don’t think Joe got a second chance at that date.
Larry only wore his lower denture for appearance. He could not manage to eat with it in his mouth. So he put it aside while he ate. Apparently, his new dog thought his lower denture was a bone. Unbeknownst to Larry, his dog was able to steal the denture from the dinner table. Then he did what dogs do with bones. He chewed it up and buried it in the backyard! It took Larry and his wife two weeks to figure out what had happened before he was able to retrieve and bring in what remained of his lower denture.
Mary was visiting her cousin in Florida. Mary’s cousin did not know she wore dentures. Mary wasn’t much for going out, but her cousin convinced her to go out dancing. They were dancing with some men, and “things got kind of wild.” All of a sudden she was chasing her denture across the dance floor. She was horrified and felt like time was in slow motion as she scooped up her denture, put it in her mouth and continued dancing! Needless to say, the rest of that evening was awkward.
Sally said her denture was “okay”, but it was hard to wear all day. So she would take it out quite a bit throughout the day. Her three year old grandson was fascinated with her denture. Unfortunately, he was also fascinated with the workings of the toilet. Do I really need to finish this story?
So how do you avoid denture mishaps? First of all, make sure your dentures fit well. One size does not fit all. Everyone has unique situations and needs. If you are seeking a new denture, choose a dentist who focuses on proper diagnosis of your mouth and your face to allow for proper appearance, health, and function. Be wary of low-cost denture clinics.
If you have had dentures for a while, chances are they no longer fit as they should. Dentures can be re-fitted with something called a reline, or they may need to be replaced.
If you have a denture that fits well, denture adhesive in the form of a gel or powder can help. It can give you the security of your denture not popping loose or coming out of your mouth. It is so important that your denture fits well. If your denture does not fit well, too much adhesive gets used and the denture still does not stay in place. Furthermore, you are left with a sticky mess in your mouth. When you glue anything together, you want a close fit. If there is not a close fit, the glue fails.
If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, you might not be aware of dental implants. With as little as two to six implants, you can replace all your teeth without traditional dentures. Dental implants are anchored in your jaw, and the teeth are attached to the implants.
A well-fitting denture paired with denture adhesive does work okay for many people. However, most denture wearers have to compromise with what they can do with their teeth. The amount of force to chew with a full set of dentures is only ten percent of the force used by people with natural teeth. People with dentures are forced to limit what they can eat which is often softer and less healthy foods.
Do you want to eat what you want, or be limited to only eat what you can? Dental implants allow you to regain bite strength. This is exciting because now, with dental implants, you can eat what you want. Go ahead and bite into an apple or crunch on some fresh carrots without giving it a second thought.
Patients who choose dental implants are some of the happiest people I know. Usually, their only regret is not seeking treatment sooner. Their “adventures” are made up of positive life-changing experiences – and it is my pleasure to hear them all.
If you are interested in taking charge of your smile, and not falling victim to a dental mishap, I invite you to call our office at (217) 717-4551. Or you can find us online at www.SmileSpringfield.com.
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