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Adjusting to Dentures: Guidelines for New Denture Wearers

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 @ 15:09 PM





Sometimes wearing new dentures can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect. At first, your new dentures can seem awkward and strange. This can be because dentures can make your mouth and lips feel fuller than normal. Fortunately, these and other uncomfortable feelings dissipate as you grow more used to your dentures. Here’s what you can expect when you first start wearing your new dentures.

Chewing and Eating with Your New Dentures

Chewing and eating can be tricky at first.  Your mouth needs a little retraining!  Here are a few tricks.

  • Start out with only soft foods. Later, you can graduate to foods that are harder to chew. Use both sides of your mouth to chew. Chewing on both sides at the same time helps your denture teeth to remain stable.
  • Don’t eat large chunks of food, but cut up your food into small bites.
  • Avoid using the front teeth to bite into foods because you don’t want your dentures to become dislodged. Instead, use your side teeth when biting into foods.
  • Include lots of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits and proteins.

 Considerations and Warnings

  • Speaking can be challenging at first. It helps to practice speaking by reading aloud. Stand in front of a mirror, observing how you speak. Be sure to speak quietly and slowly.
  • If your speech is slurred, don’t worry because this is common. Also, if you have upper dentures, you may gag. Fortunately, this is usually temporary.
  • Foods may have an odd taste or lose their taste. Again, this issue shouldn't last long.
  • Don’t chew hard items such as ice.
  • Sometimes small bits of food can get underneath your dentures when eating. To solve this problem, just take out your dentures so that they can be rinsed with water.
  • Expect to regularly visit your dentist, so your oral health can be monitored as well to ensure that your dentures fit well. Your dentist will advise you on when it’s time for your dentures to be adjusted, relined or replaced.   

Dr. Julie Berger is Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist.  She can be reached at


334-0555  GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Sedation Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 14:09 PM


Being afraid of going to the dentist is a common problem, but your overall health can also suffer when you ignore dental care. If you have dental phobia, it’s important to understand why.   

Common Causes of Dental Phobia

  • One of the most common fears is of pain.  Often this fear is not based on reality but rather on second hand horror stories passed down from other people. Parents, for example, can unwittingly pass their own unfounded anxieties on to their children.
  • The fear of dental injections or even the fear that the anesthetic will not work is common. This is particularly true of people suffering from needle phobia.   
  • Some people are afraid of side effects from anesthesia. For example, they’re fearful of feeling dizzy, faint or nauseated.
  • A fear of feeling helpless and out of control is very common. Often this fear overlaps with claustrophobia.

Communicate Your Fears with Your Dentist

Share your fears with your dentist. This is the best way to overcome dental phobia. In other words, tell your dental hygienist and dentist what scares you before you’re treated.

Be transparent about any negative past experiences. Fortunately, most dental procedures have vastly improved over the past few decades and aren't as traumatizing as they were years ago. What's more, ask your dentist to explain what’s involved in a procedure.  Often, simply communicating that when you raise your hand the dentist will immediately stop, can turn a scary procedure into and easy one!


Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is an extremely effective treatment of dental phobia

Although it’s often called “sleep dentistry,” patients aren't usually asleep, but are comfortably sedated with various medications. There are several ways the sedation medications can be administered:

  • Oral sedation involves taking an oral medication, such as valium, before a dental procedure.  This can reduce anxiety and take the edge off the procedure.   
  • IV sedation works quickly, allowing your anesthesia trained dentist or anesthesiologist to make constant adjustments in sedation levels. Time will go by very quickly and you will often have little memory of the procedure.  Often, with IV sedation, years of necessary dental treatment can be caught up in one comfortable appointment. 
  • General and deep sedation may also be used. This kind of sedation is usually reserved for the hospital setting or an oral surgeon’s office. Wisdom teeth, for instance, are often removed under deep sedation by an oral surgeon. 

The bottom line is to be proactive about your dental fears. Simply ask your dentist what can be done to make a procedure more comfortable. When I understand what makes my patients fearful, I can better determine how to lower their anxiety, putting them more at ease. 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Sedation dentist Gettysburg, sleep dentist Gettysburg

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