A Personal Message To My Denture Patients
There is a likelihood that you will at times doubt your ability to use artificial dentures, and that you will be seeking help; therefore, I have written this pamphlet FOR YOU, so that you can obtain the truth from the source from which it should come.
Your new dentures which you are now wearing have been constructed to the best of my ability, and so far, I have kept my agreement with you.
You agreed to give me your full cooperation, and during the construction, while under my guidance, your co-operative response was pleasing and very helpful. Now you are without my personal guidance, so let this little pamphlet be your guide, study every word and when any trouble occurs, refer to it for instruction and encouragement.
Your desire is Successful Results and I too, above all else, desire it for You. Replacing the natural teeth is not a simple operation and you may become discouraged in performing your part, but success will be yours provided you approach the new experience of wearing dentures in the right state of mind.
I only wish I could tell you that you will not experience any discomfort, or any interference with those natural characteristics associated with the teeth. The truth of the matter is, you may experience some pain, interference with speech, inability to mastic ate and loss of appetite, etc..
All of these conditions were experienced at one time or another when the natural teeth erupted. You cannot expect less of artificial substitutes. You will have no troubles that have not been experienced and conquered by many denture patients.
These conditions are experienced during the period of learning to tolerate and use dentures. We call it the adjustment period, and remember you are still under treatment. The length of this period varies according to your mouth conditions, general state of health, age and your ability to adapt yourself to new conditions.
Distressing as it may seem to you this period of adjustment is expedient for a successful ending, for it is necessary that I know whether or not the borders are extended correctly, if the pressure is equally applied, and if the dentures move in harmony with the natural jaw movements. This can be proven in a short amount of time provided you keep the dentures in your mouth, and should you experience trouble, I will be able to give the correct treatment.
Remember the words of Samuel Johnson, “Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.”
I would not have let you go home with the dentures had I not been satisfied that they fit your mouth; only your constant application, persistence and good-natured indulgence will make them efficient in use.
CONDITIONS THAT YOU ARE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE DURING THE ADJUSTMENT PERIOD—THEIR CAUSE AND TREATMENT
1. Nausea. 99% of the patients suffering from nausea, do so because of nervousness.
Treatment. Keep the dentures in the mouth and the feeling will soon pass. A piece of hard candy, especially lime, held in the mouth will be a great aid. If the feeling persists after two days, call the office for an appointment.
2. Feeling of Fullness in the Mouth. This condition is perfectly natural, but after all the bulk is very little more than the bulk of your natural teeth and the bone that shrank away after the removal of the teeth. The tongue has become larger, while the teeth were out of the mouth and it must be given time to return to its normal size. As soon as the cheeks and tongue become accustomed to the dentures, the mouth will feel very empty without them. Treatment. Not necessary.
3. Interference with Speech. The cause of this is very evident—you remember you had the same trouble when you were without teeth. It is due now to the presence of foreign material in the mouth. Treatment. A little patience, reading audibly, with special attention pronunciation, going over and over the words that you do enunciate distinctly. Remember I made tests in the office and I believe the teeth are correctly placed. No other treatment necessary –just time and patience.
4. Facial Expression. Your expression may seem slightly altered at first; the cause being the sudden change from no teeth to a full set, but as the muscles relax and the lips resume their natural position, you will be pleased with esthetic effect. Do not be alarmed if a friend calls your attention to the change. Remember your teeth pleased you when you tried them in, before we completed the work. Do not change your mind now. Changes are expensive and seldom please as well as the original.
5. Feeling of Looseness. Such a feeling during the period of adjustment is due to the efforts
of the tongue and cheeks muscles to repel the foreign body. To overcome these forces just close, suck, and swallow. After a period, these muscles which have acted as enemies to your efforts will become your allies and in an unconscious manner will assist in holding the dentures in place. Remember we tested the fit at the office and found enough, so do not become impatient, for as they settle in place there will be a noted improvement.
6. Excessive Amount of Saliva. The reason for this is due to the long training that your
salivary glands have had to become very active whenever any foreign body is placed in the mouth. Your dentures are at present foreign bodies. Do not be at all concerned with this condition, for saliva is an aid to digestion. Treatment. Just swallow more often than you have in the past and in a few days the increase will diminish and soon resume normal proportions.
7. Soreness. When you consider the fact that no other tissue of the body, save your eyes, are as tender as the tissues in the mouth, it is a wonder that they ever became tough enough to tolerate the pressure of the dentures. Yet you know many people are wearing dentures without pain and you are, of course, no different from them. However, sore spots may develop and must be correctly treated. This is to be expected and does not mean that there is anything wrong with your dentures that cannot be corrected. The dentures must be comfortable before you can expect to begin masticating with them. Treatment. Call the office for appointment and be sure to keep the dentures in the mouth as the sore spot must be present in order for me to make the correct diagnosis and render the treatment necessary to give you immediate relief. It is very important that you follow this procedure, because it will not only enable me to render the correct treatment, thereby relieving you of pain, but it will shorten the time of the adjustment period. You may have to make several visits for this purpose during the first few weeks.
8. Wearing Dentures at Night. This should be done during the adjustment period, provided
they do not keep you awake. Wearing your new dentures while asleep is the most satisfactory way to become accustomed to them. Try it tonight. If after an hour or so you are unable to sleep, remove them and try again tomorrow night for a longer period. After you have become accustomed to them, they should be left in at night.
9. Mastication. The reason for the treatment of this phase last is that it is the most trying experience that you will have and therefore you should be fully adjusted to all other phases before you attempt to chew with your new dentures. You must be patient and persistent. “Practice Makes Perfect.” A new piano is of no value to you unless you learn, by practice, to play it. The same is true of your teeth. It will take plenty of practice, but in the end, you will become a master of the art. Some patients become adapted to the art much quicker, just as some people learn to play the piano much quicker. Treatment. After the dentures are comfortable you may take your first lesson but not before, or you will be disappointed in the results. Begin by taking very small bites of soft food and chew very slowly. In biting off a morsel of food; such as an apple, or carrot, it is best to press the piece, which has been cut off, against the front teeth and at the same time break it off with a twisting motion of the hand.
To assist in holding the lower denture in place while chewing you should:
a. Use an up and down chewing motion with the minimum amount of lateral jaw (side) movement.
b. Have small pieces of food on both sides at the same time. c. Limit the tongue movement until you find the most efficient position for your own individual case.
At first, particles of food will get under the dentures, but in time this condition will correct itself aided by the tongue and cheeks. Do not expect the same satisfaction and efficiency as with the natural teeth, for they were firmly imbedded in hard bone. If you obtain 20% efficiency, you will be doing fine.
CARE OF DENTURES
1. Sterilizing Dentures. Never place dentures in hot water. They can be cleaned with a denture brush, using soda or salt, however the most satisfactory method is to use a denture cleanser powder containing oxygen which aids in sterilizing the dentures and no brushing will be required. Always have water in the basin when you wash the cases, to prevent breakage should they slip from your hand. You should report to the office every six months for a “denture prophylaxis” (cleaning and polishing) just as you did when you had your natural teeth. In this way you are assured of preventing “denture breath” and a disagreeable taste. There will be a small fee charged for the service.
2. Breakage. We cannot guarantee you against breakage of the dentures, or the teeth. We do guarantee that they are made of the best materials obtainable, but like any other commodity, made of the same material, they will break when too much force is placed upon them. Of course, all breakages can be repaired. It takes at least one day to repair a broken denture or replace a broken tooth. Why not be prepared for such emergencies, which very often occur at the most inopportune time – a social engagement, or an important business meeting. You can save yourself much discomfort and embarrassment, during the time your denture is being repaired, by having duplicate dentures. You should have this protection, when planning a long trip.
3. New Bases. When the shrinkage of the ridges progresses to a place where the dentures are too loose to be worn, or the facial appearance becomes noticeably changed, the dentures should be rebased. This, of course, is not a part of our original contract. These changes are more rapid in some patients that others. The dentures do not change but the supporting tissues do. The condition of your health and the protective care of your ridges are vital factors in the time and amount of shrinkage. You are likely to have more shrinkage with your first set than from any other. There are cases where a denture cannot be rebased due to so much shrinkage that the lower jaw protrudes, and the facial expressions are very abnormal. In this kind of case the bite must be opened, which will require a new denture to relieve this condition.
4. Yearly Examination. At least once a year you should report for an examination of the entire oral cavity, especially the occlusion of the teeth. I may be able to say you’re supporting ridges from the permanent damage by correcting the occlusion, which may have become unbalanced due to the changes that often occur in the oral formations. This condition, which you may or may not be conscious of, causes a shifting of the dentures and/or undue pressure on one or more areas of the supporting ridges, resulting in real damage to the mucosa and underlying bony formation. Always remember that these are the only ridges for the denture support that you will ever have so give them the best of care. A small fee, depending on the amount of service required, will be charged for such adjustments.
SUGGESTED DIET FOR BEGINNERS
• Well-cooked cereals, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat and rice.
• Eggs-poached or scrambled.
• Stewed fruits and all soups.
• Cooked vegetables- such as string beans, potatoes, spinach, asparagus and tomatoes.
• Uncooked vegetables- such as sliced tomatoes, carrots, cut in small strips, etc.
• Fish of all kinds.
• Milk toast with butter and cottage cheese.
• Desserts- custards, ice cream and rice pudding.
As no two persons encounter the same troubles or experience the same satisfaction with dentures, advice from friends or relatives should not be regarded seriously. Your case is Individual, and may be entirely different. Nor should any attention be paid to the good natured teasing and joking with friends. Please feel free to discuss with me any suggestions that you deem important to the success of the case. Wishing you the best of luck, and remember I too, want to help make this the most successful case I have ever made. Won’t you help me.
*Upon the date of the delivery of your denture, you are entitled to a complimentary 24hr Post Op adjustment, a 1-week Post Op adjustment, and 3 additional denture adjustment appointments within one year of delivery. Any additional adjustments needed will come with an additional cost of $82 per visit