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Thread: A Little Help From Your Friends.

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Default A Little Help From Your Friends.

    I am taking lots of meds for infection and gearing up to have my, rotted by
    MS meds, lower teeth pulled and then fitted with the dreaded lower denture.
    8.5 years ago is when I had to get my upper denture.

    My upper is great, I love it, but I fear a lower, as I have heard horror stories
    of them not fitting well and hurting all the time.

    Please help me cope with this new stress venture in my life - Not to mention
    thehorrible ordeal of having all. my teeth pulled.. I have asked to have this
    done with novacaine and a little N.O. gas, since I'm allergic to Versed.

    I know this isn't major surgery, but with MS, anything can be major!!. Tell
    me all the upbeat stories you've heard or experiences you may have had, to
    help me get through this as gracefully as I can.

    Thanks, I'm skeerrred!!
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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  3. #2
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    Had uppers AND lowers for 3years now hate my uppers and I forget that I even have lowers! As far as having them pulled well it was one of the only time I did not come out of the meds trying to kill someone. I eat everything I used to eat before MS got all the teeth. With the exception of gum. Regular chewing gum causes an embarrassing problem, they fall out!!!

    Thank goodness I can still eat corn on the cob. Sal I think you will be glad you did it.

    P.S. I don't even use adhesive. But plan on at least a couple of visits to have them adjusted.

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    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    I have only 6 teeth left on top, and one of those is getting loose. On the bottom, I have a few more than the top, but not many. I want to get dentures, but how do you afford it? I have medicare and medicade, but haven't found a place that does dentures that accepts them.

    Sally, you will do fine, and think how good it will feel to be done with it.
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Gary for sharing your experience. You have helped to put my mind at ease a bit.
    When you had them pulled, were you out? I'd like to be out, but versed didn't work and the 1st
    time, They had to finish me with novacaine. Did you ever use the oxide (laughing gas)? I do
    have to use a little adhesive on my upper, but it fits pretty well.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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  9. #5
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Thanks Howie. I have 9 teeth left on the bottom and 4 must be pulled.
    I don't think I could eat properly or look pretty with just the 5 left and then go thru
    this again when they die. And the expense...Y E S!!! It's not like the old days when
    you could get a set of choppers for a few hundred. Now you're talking into the multi
    thousands!!!! My uppers cost 6,000.00, 8 1/2 yrs ago, for the dentist and dental
    surgeon!!! I won't have a D Surgeon this time and didn't get an estimate from my
    Dentist, but it will probably be as much!!! I have a bit saved, but it's dwindling fast.
    H E L P.....!!!
    Last edited by SalpalSally; 10-20-2014 at 10:34 AM.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    except for a permanent bridge I had installed more than forty years ago, i, at age 67, have all my natural teeth. They are pretty yellow, due to coffee consumption, and there are plenty of fillings, crowns and other hardware in there, but nothing removable. I'm about to "celebrate" my 31st anniversary of having ms.
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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  13. #7
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    That's a long time Cat. I'm just a baby MSer compared to that.

    Speaking of teeth, I had one really loose about a month ago. I kept wiggling it, and got tired of it one night. Got out a pair of pliers, got a firm grip, and pulled it out. It only hurt for a second. I was so proud of myself, I saved it.

    Try that one Sally!
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I have 18 natural teeth left though 4 of them are being used as supports for fixed bridges.

    I'm really lucky to have so many. My mother's sister died in her 80s with all her natural teeth intact and had never been to a dentist for any reason. Maybe it's true that if you want good teeth, pick relatives with good teeth.

    Sally, I have a partial lower denture that has 3 teeth on it and it works fine--never wobbles or falls out and doesn't need any adhesive. I've known quite a few people with complete lower dentures who didn't have a problem. Are implants an option? I've heard good things about those but they're even pricier.

    Medicare/Medicaid doesn't cover dental but some states have Medicaid coverage for SOME dental. WA state covered basic dental under Medicaid but something like a denture was covered only in a very limited way. I think the denture had to be for at least 5 teeth in a row, and there was something about an arch too. They had to be located on an arch, maybe?

    I've had dental insurance for the last 5 years and it's been very helpful. The premium is about $40 a month and there's a $100 deductible and a $1,000 annual limit but it came in handy with recent dental problems I had.

    When I hear about upcoming dental work I'm going to "need," I always ask myself if I really need it. I let one extraction go for years without replacing the tooth but the other teeth did drift. As the dentist said they would.

    I wish I had something encouraging to say about dental expenses. I'm just thankful for a credit card every time a dental expense comes along. I've also borrowed from relatives.

    By making a lot of phone calls after I moved to this town, I found a dental clinic for seniors. The dentists there seem competent and the prices are lower than some places. It is a no-frills place and there are often inconveniently long waits for appointments but at least it's a way to save on this huge expense.
    Maybe your area has something like that?

    I urge you to keep all the teeth you can. Please don't have them all pulled!

    There are partial dentures you can be fitted with to replace the 4 teeth you say you have to lose. Yes, you have to take them out and clean them but they will help preserve the shape of your jaw and keep your remaining teeth in line.

    To save money, maybe you could replace only some of the 4?

    Any dentist I've known ALWAYS is in favor of preserving teeth as long as possible. They're yours, they came with you, and you can NEVER replace them.
    Last edited by agate; 10-20-2014 at 05:24 PM.
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  17. #9
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Sally)))))) ~

    Aww … don’t be skeer’d!

    My husband has had full dentures for about 10 years. He hasn’t had them adjusted; he doesn’t use adhesive; they fit well and look natural. The only time he has discomfort is when a seed sneaks in under them, which isn’t often. He just removes the denture and the seed, then replaces the denture with no further aggravation to the site.

    For his bottom denture, he has two “pegs” ~ a root canal was done on nubs of his two lower canine teeth, and metal posts were installed into the root. The bottom denture has matching metal pegs, which fit into the posts. This keeps the denture secure and in place. Something similar to this:

    http://www.affordabledentures.com/ot...ation-implants

    Numbing/Anesthesia

    There are some excellent numbing agents in dentistry these days. Discuss with your dentist what the options are and determine whether they are safe for you.

    If you are having a full set of bottom teeth removed, I highly recommend that you do it in phases, rather than all at once. Our dentist pulled my husband’s (and my) teeth in quadrants, with sufficient time between to allow for healing.

    While that means more trips to the dentist, it also spares you from having too much numbing medication at once.

    Our dentist also made a temporary denture for my husband to wear after she removed his teeth. This promoted healing, reduced swelling and bleeding.

    If your dentist uses Nitrous Oxide, be sure that it is mixed with oxygen. Your dentist should have a blood pressure monitor of some kind, as well as a pulse ox to check your SATS and heart rate.

    In lieu of Versed, are you able to tolerate .5 mg of Ativan?

    Breathing and Meditation

    I recommend the following, which works for me:

    Once in the dentist’s chair, close your eyes. Imagine a beautiful place, a scene, something special to you. Breathe in deeply, release your breath slowly. Start with your head and neck, and concentrate on relaxing them. Next your shoulders. Breathe. Next your arms and hands. Your torso. Move all the way down your body to your toes. Breathe. Deep. Release slowly, through your mouth, with your lips slightly parted. You are in that beautiful place, and you are relaxed.

    During the procedure, if you clench your hands, remember to relax them. Go back to your beautiful place and start again releasing the tension from your head to your toes. Think about that and not what is going on in front of your face. Close your eyes. Breathe through all of the hands and apparatus in your mouth, and relax your body.

    Try practicing this technique before your dental appointments begin, so that you have it down pat. I promise you that this helps.

    I also think about my loved ones during dental procedures, and I focus on them to direct my attention away from the dental work.

    Save Your Teeth or Get Dentures?

    In my husband’s case, his teeth were a lost cause. (He’s British. ) He loves his dentures.

    In my case, my teeth were salvageable, and our dentist convinced me to keep them. I have had many removed, but in their place I have an upper partial, and a bridge to nowhere on the bottom. Several crowns. All of that took me 6 months of dental visits every week to 10 days to accomplish last year.

    The benefit of dentures:


    No more dental bills! You have no teeth, so why go to the dentist? No more dental appts. for cleaning. No more cavities. No more infections. No more brushing. Flossing. And for me, the application of stuff before bed to build up calcium in my remaining teeth. I also have whitening trays. That’s a LOT of time that I have to devote to my teeth! Not to mention $$$. No need for dental insurance if you have dentures.

    While the capital outlay for dentures is ridiculously expensive, I can testify that the work I had done last year was far more expensive than having my teeth pulled and a full denture. It was my teeth or a second car. I have my teeth, and we still only have our wheelchair van.

    And, every time I go to the dentist for anything, even cleaning, I have to take Amoxicillin, because I had rheumatic fever at age 13 and was diagnosed a hundred years ago with a heart murmur. All of those antibiotics are NOT GOOD for me. They make me more susceptible to MRSA and other super bugs. So without teeth, I wouldn’t need to take them any longer.

    My husband has no teeth, and our son, Jon, has no teeth (extreme decay and gum overgrowth, because no dentist would treat him for many years; it was the only option to save his life). Here I am holding onto my teeth, worrying about assorted oral infections and bacteria, still going to the dentist, and spending money on my mouth.

    At some point, practically, I feel that dentures make sense.

    I used to feel like a truck with barbed wire tires was parked in my mouth with my new upper denture. I still can’t eat with it in my mouth. But I’m wearing it, because my teeth are migrating without the support.

    See why full dentures make sense?

    And implants ~ a friend had a quote of $25k for ONE implant! ONE! My understanding is that many visits are involved, lots of work, x-rays, etc. My answer would be, “Well, maybe if I was in my 20’s, an heiress, and a celebrity. Then, yeah, sure. I’ll get an implant.”

    Instead of spending that kind of dough on one tooth, I’d rather invest it in getting some body part lifted! (Gravity is not our friend! )

    Reassurance

    Dental work is everyone’s nightmare, and dentists know it. So most dentists do their utmost to provide comfort and care to their patients. Make sure that your dentist shows compassion, and don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions. Explore your options. Get the best approach to your dental needs, which are suitable to you in every way.

    You became accustomed to your upper denture, and the same will be true for your lower denture. It’s all adjustment, and that takes time. You will do it.

    Ask your dentist for a “cash discount.” Or flash an AARP card, and ask if there are any benefits with it. Our dentist gives us a 5% cash discount. It saves the dentist’s office a lot of manpower going through insurance companies for payment. If you write a check as you leave the office, you’ve saved 5% on your bill. So, don’t hesitate to negotiate with your dentist.

    What you’ve imagined this will be is far worse than what it will be. So practice relaxing and breathing, and you will have less anxiety.

    Sorry that this is so lengthy. Just sharing the breadth of my experience to help a friend in need~

    Everything will be fine, Sally ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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  19. #10
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Due to your input, info and support, I'm working on being brave.
    Dentist hasn't called to set up appts. Maybe he forgot about me LOL!!!
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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