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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3569
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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I am moderately youngish looking 70 year old practicing

Customer Question

I am moderately youngish looking 70 year old practicing attorney and I have just had a full denture installed. The dentist was very very competent but seemed resistant to providing useful info regarding thin dentures I suspect because maybe a little stuck in her ways.
JA: Have you seen a dentist about this yet?
Customer: The acrylic denture provided looks good and feels good but speech issues small but noticeable that I have not been able to overcome in the last 36 hours.
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so the dentist can help you best.
Customer: Since the same day extraction there remains some swelling but the speech issues ARE caused by the thickness up front. My dentist does do implants and we both believe they would allow for more comfortable and familiar speech habits on my part.
JA: Any recent injuries? How long have you been dealing with the swelling?
Customer: They are, however, cost prohibitive. What are my alternatives in thin denture category and how much do they cost? To answer your question two day since the extraction of the four upper teeth and replacement of the same day denture.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

To start,the transition going from no denture to being able to speak comfortably normally takes about 3 to 4 weeks or longer.You mentioned that four teeth were extracted.Does that mean that you were wearing a partial denture prior to the full denture?

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

Are you actually wearing a full denture or do you have any remaining upper teeth? If you had only four teeth extracted,are they the only teeth that you had prior to constructing the full denture?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For about two and a half years I had a partial plate consisting of the front six teeth. That partial plate was once permanently fixed and the attached to some kind of a thin metal plate that provided a full set of back teeth. I lost that the back plate and the unsupported front permanent partial plate or cap (sort of "metalish" with white teeth) disengaged about 6 months later.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

Ok so what you are wearing now is an immediate denture.These should be considered as temporary dentures only.The impression to make this denture was taken while your front teeth were still present.Therefore,the is no way to make these custom to your mouth.They were just guessing what it should look like after the extractions.Your custom made denture can be made as thin as you want it to be but you need to realize that the mouth is extremely sensitive to any small changes,You had a bridge previously and now the teeth are joined by acrylic.The tongue is not used to this yet and it takes some time for it to get used to the change.If you have good retention,there is no need to think about implants holding the denture in place.The cost of doing implants with a permanent bridge attached is extremely expensive.You are in the neighborhood of $30,000 to $40,000 if you are even a good candidate.Did your dentist let you know that this denture is temporary or that it will need to be modified after the extractions sites heal in 8 weeks?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the period of time will be 6 to 7 months
weeks. I have the denture in now and it has not come out since Thursday. It will not come out for the first time till Monday.There a some speech issues caused by the front of the tongue where the thickness of the bridge meets the teeth and at the back of the tongue where the bridge begins that I am not sure will ever come back, causing whistles a degree of lisping and some cases thickness of speech from the rear to mid area of the palate. I don't believe will improve substantially over an extended period.On the otherhand I am almost certain that a thinner denture would provide immediate speech relief.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For clarification that is 6 to 7 months before gum shrinkage and the fashioning of a new denture. As for the current denture she did indicate there would be about 3 interim and periodic adjustments starting three to four weeks out .
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

There is no reason that you cannot take the denture out at this point.There is also no reason why you cannot return to your dentist and have the areas trimmed to create a thinner area in the back as well as in the front right away.There is absolutely no reason why you would have to wait three months to have these dentures adjusted.The dentures can be adjusted right away and will give you immediate relief.Your speech will begin to normalize in three to four weeks once the adjustments are done.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

If the posterior teeth have been out for an extended period of time,there is no reason to wait 6 to 7 months before the new dentures are started.Eight weeks is sufficient time for healing in the anterior area and at that point your new custom made denture can be started.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Dr. thank you for your advice. Just to be clear though the first adjustment is Three to Four Weeks Out. I expect based on our discussions that somewhere between the second and sixth month out there will be two additional adjustments. I have not discussed with the dentist the fact that since this is not a permanent solution adjustments can be made to the current bridge that will provide some relief in the area of more comfortable speech, and yes the posterior teeth are out about 7 years now so I will discuss when at the earliest I can obtain a thinner denture with the dentist.Thanks again for the info.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just one other thing pertinent to the immediately above and if there is an internet article you can point me to it rather then engage in this typed dialogue. That is what is an "adjustment". Dentists throw the term around and patients like me act like we know what a dentist means when in fact we (the patient) do not. In general what can be adjusted?
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

It is really simple and basic mechanics.The denture is made out of acrylic.We have an acrylic cutting carbide bur on a slow speed handpiece that can trim acrylic in seconds to just where you need it to be thinned or trimmed.It is nothing complicated and any dentist has the tools in their office.It is a simple procedure that is done and you should not be charged for the adjustment.Think of it as simply sanding down a piece of wood with a piece of sandpaper.It is no more complicated than that.The borders ,the teeth the back, the front ,the middle or any part of the denture can be trimmed or thinned in a matter of minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

If there are no further questions,please supply rating so that we can maintain good quality control on this site .Thanks

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

Is there anything else that I can help you with??

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

We do not get credit for our time unless you leave a rating.Could you please rate the answer if you have no further questions? Thanks