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success w/ dentures?--loss of saliva

cornelia
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2005

I have lost my salivary glands and need to have my remaining teeth pulled as they are rotting. Has anyone else have experience in this? Without saliva, will they stay in? Suction?

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Cornelia, My salivary glands were damaged by radiation and also my teeth due to the radiation and the dry mouth. My dentist suggested implants so that the denture would stay in place. All my upper teeth were pulled out and four implants inserted. I had to wait six months before getting the dentures made especially to go with the implants because the jaw bone had been damaged by radiation too and we didn't know if the implants would stay or not. While waiting for the permanent dentures, I used temporary dentures which worked well enough but do not come close to how good the permanent dentures work.

Temporary dentures work fine but there are things that are not easy to eat and they move when you take a bite out of some food but, like everything else, you get used to it. You can find Biotin at the drugstore and sometimes the supermarket, it has many products for dry mouth and one is a gel that you sort of spread on your tongue and it helps with the dry mouth. I didn't have many problems with the temporary dentures which were not attached to anything, no problem with my dry mouth and I suppose suction was OK but I only had them for six months. I do not know how it will be with long term use.

I personally prefer the permanent dentures with the implants because they stay in place even if you have a dry mouth, no problem eating and they look like real teeth. I guess my dentist did a great job. They are comfortable and I only remove them at night or after eating in order to brush my teeth.

Hope this information helps.
All the best,
TereB

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

What are these implants? Do they just hold the denture in? My friend was 38 at the time of his diagnosis and had all his teeth removed.He just has regular dentures and is interested in these implants you talked about.Can you give me more info?thanks!!!

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi maur,
The implants are small pieces of metal (titanium so no problem if you have MRIs in the future) that are inserted through the gums and attach to the jaw bone. There is a tiny screw that goes inside the implant and only the head of the screw shows on your gums. The dentures are like regular dentures (mine do not have a palate like the regular ones) and have tiny indententions that match the position of the implant screws so the denture is attached to the head of the screw.

The attachment of denture to screwhead is very good; the denture does not move, stays in place and you have less problems eating. It is not a permanent attachment and you can remove the dentures to clean your mouth and to sleep. You can sleep with the dentures on but I prefer not to do it.

I've seen advertisements for implants when you are missing one or two teeth but I don't know anything about it.

If you are interested, make sure you have a good dentist. Many dentists insert the implants themselves but I went to an oral surgeon who works with my dentist not just for the implants but to remove the teeth. The oral surgeon had to do it because there had been damage to my jaw bone. Surgery was done in oral surgeon's office. Before the surgery was done I was in the oxigen chamber about 30 days to help my jaw bone and 10 days after the surgery. I guess the oxigen chamber worked well because the bone accepted the implants with no problem. I understand that sometimes the bone will not hold the implant and that is something you would have to discuss with your dentist. My dentist has lots of experience working with cancer patients.
All the best,
TereB

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

I forgot to mention, I only have four implants and they seem to be enough to hold my dentures.

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

Thats quite interesting! I will let my friend know about this. He is having trouble keeping his denture in & hates it. He doesn't have saliva and that makes it worse. He lives in Florida so maybe there is a oral surgeon there who does this.Thanks so much for the info!!!

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