“I am resigned to getting partial (or complete) dentures. I realize they are uncomfortable, but what I do fear more than the pain of removal, is the return to work. Will I sound like Daffy Duck? Are they horribly uncomfortable? I know I need them, but I am concerned!”

This is a very common treatment solution to edentulousness. You will be surprised by how well you get on with the dentures. Millions of people have them and cope very well. Some useful tips and advice are as follows:

It can take about one week for every decade old you are to get used to new dentures. It is important not to panic if they feel loose when you first get them- they should tighten up when they settle. Also your mouth learns to control them but this takes time.

Often especially during the first few weeks, they might rub the gums a bit , meaning that they need to be adjusted by the dentist – so if you get an ulcer just call the dentist!

When you first get them read a book or a newspaper out loud, talk to the plants/pets etc as much as possible to get used to talking with them in. The more you use them the better. Don’t remove them to eat or talk, It will only take longer to get used to them.

Practice counting from 65 up to 70 as these sounds can be the hardest to get used to. Remember that your tongue and cheeks etc. are suddenly being asked to move in a different way- give them a chance to learn!!

You should usually take them out at night- but keep them in for the first 1 or 2, as this will let your mouth get used to them being there. (You might find them in the sheets in the morning though!). Keeping them in for the first 24 hours also helps if you have had teeth taken out as it ensures that the gums heal in the best way.

It is common for people to salivate more (which can affect speech) when they first get a denture – basically because the mouth thinks that the plates are big gob-stoppers!!! It’s not very often that a dentist will advise you to have sweets but it helps to have something like boiled sweets or mints (try to get SUGAR-FREE!!) for the first few hours of wearing your new plates. When you finish the sweet the salivation should naturally decrease and the mouth will not think that your dentures are food also!

It sounds like you are getting immediate dentures (i.e. teeth extracted and the plates fitted on the same day). You will probably need the dentures relined, or new ones made in about 3 months. This is because the dentures are made as a ‘guess’ of what the gums will be like after the teeth come out. So if you do feel that you are struggling a bit, things WILL be improved upon in 3 months.

I hope some of this helps. Very soon your dentures will feel like a part of you rather than foreign objects!”