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McLean Family Dentistry

Too Embarrassed to Talk?

How can you be too embarrassed to talk? It’s simple, right? Open, speak, talk. Well, that’s what I thought too. Sure I’ve had patients who have come to me saying they hate their smile and want things fixed so they can look better and feel better about themselves. But it wasn’t until recently that I learned a very special patient wasn’t talking because they were embarrassed of their denture falling out.

Denture falling out…how? Good question! Normally we have patients who come to us who lost their teeth for various reasons and now want dentures to be able to eat and talk. We take impressions of their gum tissue sitting on bone and make dentures to sit on the U-shaped ridges. What people don’t realize is as we continue to put pressure on the gum and bone, the bone recedes. As that bone recedes, the denture doesn’t hold in place anymore. Those u-shaped ridges flatten out and the dentures don’t hold in place anymore. Why not make another denture you may ask? We could but the retention would be very poor as the denture would move around too much with the limited ridge height. And that is why people with ill-fitting dentures are embarrassed to talk. If you hit your tongue along the denture the wrong way, it will come right out. Imagine this happening at a nice dinner or during a business meeting.

Needless to say, patients who wear dentures stop enjoying the food they normally love because they simply can’t eat the same way. The chewing functions don’t work the same with dentures. If you love food as much as I do, the thought of that can be pretty devastating.

Please don’t think this is only happening to our 80+ senior citizen community because it’s not. Early tooth loss can happen very early in a person’s life due to many reasons. Diabetes, genetics, past drug abuse, smoking, trauma/accidents and various other reasons can attribute to tooth loss. And please don’t assume this is an issue with people of low income. You’d be surprised who’s wearing dentures because they simply didn’t know there was another option.

So let’s go back to that special patient of mine. He came to me frustrated with his denture and heard something about screws that hold dentures in place. He was talking about an implant-retained denture. This type of denture is held in place by implants and you don’t have to worry about taking them in and out or worse, falling out. And the best part is…You can eat your favorite foods again! The process is simple, doesn’t hurt, and is done by some of the best specialists in the area.

If you see him now that he has his denture fixed in his mouth, you can see a visible difference in his happiness. He smiles more, enjoys food again, and doesn’t have to worry about his denture coming out at inopportune times.

I hope that none of my patients are ever embarrassed of their smile. I hope that I can help in any way possible to get you the smile you want and deserve. Of course we will continue to be embarrassed of things that happen in our day to day life. After all, it’s life. Let’s just always be proud of our smile. :)