As if the thought of going to the dentist wasn’t enough. As if actually doing so and allowing the dental assistant to take all the X-rays, the hygienist to poke your gums, and the dentist to examine one tooth at time wasn’t a big enough victory over your fears.
Yet, you leave the dental office with another hard pill to swallow- a prescription for your dental issues that you probably didn’t even anticipate: full mouth extractions and dentures.
After becoming a dental assistant and seeing first-hand all the anxiety patients go through, I was determined to do as much as I could on my part to minimize this choking, paralyzing fear, especially prevalent in denture patients. Shortly after working as an assistant, I decided to become the actual person responsible for making those same dentures I’m used to seeing cause anxiety.
The following tips are the result of years of experience in the dental field in various roles, and will hopefully help you or someone you know to overcome the anxiety of getting dentures. They are written primarily for local patients looking for affordable dentures in Las Vegas, yet they are universal.
I believe the key to overcoming this anxiety is a thorough understanding of the matter; an informed mind that guides emotions. Therefore, education is my primary goal here.
Part 1 will cover the first 4 tips that are more foundational in nature, while Part 2 will focus on the remaining 6 tips which are more practical.
1. Don’t get dentures
If you absolutely don’t have to, that is. I have met many people who have seriously underestimated their abilities to handle dentures but chose this route anyway while still having other options open. If you can afford it, do crowns, bridges, implants or start with a partial denture, if that’s an option for you. Consider all of the above first, even if it’ll push the inevitable only a few years out. Let it be your last resort, so that when it gets tough you can tell that to yourself.
2. Research what it looks like to live with dentures
There are many videos, communities and groups of people out there talking about individual denture experiences, difficulties, successes, etc. Educate yourself through people who are already doing what you are just thinking of doing. This will bridge the gap between your ideas and reality, theory and practice. And if you are in Las Vegas, NV feel free to stop by and have a talk with us. Our team of denture professionals would love to answer your most personal questions and give you an honest advice.
3. Know all the negatives in advance
There are many benefits to having dentures, like a beautiful smile, gained feeling of confidence, ability to chew hard foods again, but you also must know all the fine print, so to say. Approach the business of getting dentures like the business of signing a contract, where EVERY detail is essential to know. Some of the doctors I have worked with would almost seem to be talking the patient out of dentures with all of their “negative talk”. Yet, it was the best thing for the patient (and the doctor) in the end. The docs who sugarcoat the matter will end up ultimately hurting you since mental readiness is absolutely vital in order to uproot the first signs of anxiety.
One of the most common misunderstandings about wearing dentures has to do with the lower denture. Upper dentures often get good suction, but even though the lower denture is the one that logically should be staying strong, it is the one that’s often referred to as a “floater”. Only a small percentage of lower dentures stay in place and don’t move, so your solution could include various adhesive products, or even better- implants, which would secure that sucker for good.
4. Embrace the journey
It is truly a journey with its own milestones, valleys, high peaks and low grounds. You will have dreary days and joyful days; rough and easy. Thinking of getting used to your false teeth as a journey instead of a 100 meter sprint is mindset that will absolutely change your life. You won’t be surprised by all the obstacles, you will expect them. How long is the journey? Somewhere between 6 and 8 months. So throw on a backpack, get ready for all sorts of weather, set realistic short-term goals and don’t forget your favorite book. Soon enough you’ll reach Rome.
If you are in Las Vegas and in need of affordable dentures or a denture repair, reach out to us and we would love to help you.