Ask the 25 Year Old with Dentures

Go ahead, ask me. I’m a 25 year old male, in good general health. Due in part to poor dental coverage, problems with dentists, resulting fear of dentists, and accidents, I am 25 years old and rely on dentures.

I do this because I know it is very difficult for some, and I had a lot of questions when I had mine…I was very afraid and confused. So ask!

full or partial?

Full upper and lower. I actually kept the back tooth on each side on the top for an easier grip

Do you feel your dentures are adequate for your needs or would contemplate getting a full set of implants assuming you had the funds to do so?

The dentures I have are working quite well for me. I can eat an apple, a steak, hard bread, easily. When my gums are more healed and shrunk I may get “mini implants”. These are basically horseshoe-shaped gum-only (no pallette) dentures that lock onto your gums with a set of small, less invasive pair of implants. But that is because the pair I have now is cheap and thick in the pallette.

I have considered implants. The cost is quite prohibitive and to get my entire mouth done would be around $20,000. Even if it were free I would decline the offer. I don’t like how far they go into the jaw bone…I fear that if I were to fall etc etc that the impact would shatter my jaw bone instead of the teeth. Also there is a chance of infection and rejection.

How much did they cost?
Is there anything you can’t eat? Like caramel, corn on the cob, etc?
What’s the daily maintenance like?
Can you sleep with them in?
Will you ever need dentures for your dentures? As in, what happens if these go bad?

Did they hurt terribly when you first got them? How long did it take to get used to them?

What is the process for removing all your original teeth like?

How does it look?

I’m also curious about the comfort. Grandma griped about hers but I always thought it was because she didn’t wear them enough, not that they were ill-fitting in the first place. She was the type to tell people (even doctors) what she thought they wanted to hear, though, so it wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities that they just fit wrong in the first place due to her being a numbnut.

How much did they cost?

$2,500 total, not including surgery. Insurance is good - they pay 80% up to $1000 total…plus I have Flex, and that helps.

What can’t I eat?
I can’t eat anything incredibly hard…like I can’t chomp through ice or candy…but I never liked doing that with my regular teeth. Anything chewy is iffy. With these if the material sticks better than the adhesive…grip is a gamble. Also, I eat a lot more candy now that I don’t have teeth to worry about than I ever did before.

Daily Maintenance?
I like to sleep without them in. I leave them soaking in a rinse and when I wake up I run them in hot water for a minute, brush them, dry, add adhesive and they are good to go. I try to avoid coffee for the first 10 minutes they are in. Same cleaning at night.

Can I sleep with them in?
Absolutely. If I clean them before bed they are fine. If you were not to…it would be just as gross as if you didn’t brush before bed. Maybe worse…don’t plan to try.

Denture for Denture?
If these go bad I can upgrade early…I have the luxury of good dental, flex, and cash to do so. They are STURDY though. As mentioned I would like to get the mini implant horseshoe type.

Did it hurt?
Don’t be awake for the surgery. I consider myself a tough person, and I had quite a few pulled already, so the remaining few weren’t that bad…but an eye tooth was really in deep…lets say I can feel bruising next to nostril for weeks. It was emotionally jarring to have them pulled. I remember when the eye tooth shattered the 3 time the dentist tried to pull it, I nearly passed with fright. No pain at all. Get them done while asleep like when I had my wisdoms pulled. I don’t remember discomfort then.

They look GREAT. I mean compared to a mixed tooth smile; unreal. compared to my real teeth? 90% I’d wager good money you’d never know, and if I had the mini implants I’d guess 99%.

I eat all the time. I’m thin but I really lay into it. These things slowed me down for a week, but now I chow through it just the same. However I am young and heal quickly. For an older woman that may not be the case. There are still sometimes where my mind goes GET THESE OUT OF HERE. Almost like a claustrophobic feeling if that makes any sense.

The OP probably knows this but it is recommended that dentures be replaced every 5-7 years. After extractions the jaw bones and gum tissue continue to shrink and the dentures need to be remade to keep the jaws the proper distance apart. Also it is recommended that you see a regular dentist once a year even when you have no teeth!

To the OP:
Were you open with friends, family and co-workers about getting dentures?
Were your original teeth pretty gnarly looking to a casual observer?
If so, was it weird the first time people that know you saw you with the perfect white teeth ?

How long has it been since the extractions?
Does your denture-dentist do an immediate set of dentures and then a complete new “permanent” set? If so are you in the permanent stage yet?
Did you go to one of the “Dentures-R-Us” chains? How did you choose where you went?

Given your age, was there much argument from the dentist about having all your real teeth pulled and replaced with dentures?

RiverHippie you are absolutely right; replace them 5 to 7 years! Its 4 or 5k, not that much…save $1000 a year for it. Treat yourself, god knows you deserve it.

My family knew - mom and dad had them early too. We suspect there are some really weak teeth in our family. My sisters were supportive as they are in all respects of life. I told close friends but aside from that I try to keep it down. They look perfect but I don’t want anyone staring just to stare. As for co-workers - my department knows but not the whole organization.

My teeth looked fine until a year and a half ago. Looked fine. For the past 4 years I had no back teeth - though you wouldn’t know it by looking. It was odd to me. At the time (year and a half ago) I was tutoring college student athletes and, being a handsome extremely fit college guy myself, used to get hit on A LOT by the girls I tutored. (I never fell for the study at my dorm stuff and always kept it professional…although these tennis players…jesus…) When my tooth between front and eye tooth broke I got hit on a lot less. When the eye tooth on the otherside went…no one hit on me. Now that my teeth are fixed? Gold baby, gold. lol

It wasn’t wierd - I think - because people EXPECT to see perfect white teeth. When they see this they DON’T think. It’s the broken mouth that brings attention. The only person at work that didn’t know I had work done and commented was a woman at PD, hadn’t seen me in a month. She said my dental work looked great and I genuinely appreciated it.

It’s been 6 months since the extraction.

You get two sets; immediate and permanent. The immediate, although somewhat harder to chew with, will provide you social comfort. With these no one will know you are missing teeth. When I had my teeth pulled an hour later I had these put in and was at work. No one knew I had them done that day. They look great. The temporaries can also be relined after the first week when the most radical shrinking and healing occurs. This makes them a tight fit and I could eat easily with them. After 5-6 months when you are done with a majority of shrinking you get your perms. They look perfect. Perfect.

I picked the dentist that was a 2 minute walk from the house. He is very highly regarded by several prominent people in the area. He was against me getting dentures - wanted me to get implants. I will be honest and say the fact that he was older comforted me. I knew he had a LOT of experience and reputation. He didn’t argue when I made up my mind as I did have many options anyway.

When I went in to have them done I brought my girlfriend for support. When I got home I laid down and waited for the pain meds to kick it, about half an hour, and held in the tears. I consider myself very fortunate but it is traumatic and gut wrenching to have no teeth.

Do you have to take them out every night? Sleeping toothless would feel REALLY weird.

Have you had any weird tooth nightmares (teeth chasing you, all falling out, etc)?

What kind of adhesive do you use? How does it hold your dentures in all day, but not damage your gums when you take them out?

I can sleep with them in - I just prefer them out. It is wierd not having a jaw “rest” but I still prefer it.

No dreams so far. I dream a lot. Wierd stuff too. But no teeth dreams.

I use polygrip for adhesive. You wouldn’t notice it if not looking, but groceries, walmart, and near every gas station I go to has it in stock. It grips like a weak glue bond…the more tension I put on the more it gives way. It doesn’t hurt because the grip is actually fairly weak - it doesn’t have to resist MY pulling, just resist movement from eating, which is generally lower pressure. Shearing can be an issue. So it never really hurts.

I am glad i found this. My sister had the upper teeth on left side pulled a few weeks ago. The sutgeon told her she could probably get a partial. Well today she was told that all top teeth would have to be pulled and she eould have to get partial dentures. She is 25 yrs old and this is very traumatic for her. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. And are there any words of encouragement or anything that was helpful to you when you went through this?

I would let her know that having full upper dentures is NOT a life changing event.

Make sure she understands that when they are done right NOBODY will know they aren’t real. There are many days I will look at my teeth in the mirror and forget myself. Her diet doesn’t have to change at all.

As far as the people close to you…think of it as a good thing; anybody worth knowing will understand and accept the changes as part of living a healthy life, anybody who would put you down for it didn’t belong in your life anyway.

Also, if you can afford it, BE PUT UNDER! By far the toughest thing to cope with was the process of pulling them out. At one point my dentist said it was getting pretty tough and there was nearly nothing to grip on my eye tooth to pull. I asked if it were an emergency and my dentist replied calmy “If I packed up and went home right now? Yes. But I won’t do that Anthony, we’re in this together”. Helped.

Thanks for starting this thread. At 42 years old I still have all my teeth (minus four wisdoms), and just a couple of fillings, so I rarely think about these things. I wouldn’t have thought I would find an “Ask The…” thread from a guy about his dentures would be so interesting, and yet I read right throug the whole thing.

A few years ago I had a dental appointment where the dentist talked a lot about gums receding and bone loss and I had at that point already lost one back molar. I was pretty freaked out and imagining the worst I started researching dentures on the internet. I lurked for a while at a denture support board that was really helpful and informative. You see the good and bad experiences. The OP seems to have had a pretty easy transition but some people struggle with them.
My teeth have remained stable so no worries for now.

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