Family: Married with four grown kids and four grandkids
Occupation: Computer software IT consultant
Dentures: Wife has had dentures for eight years
"I want my wife to enjoy her dentures, but I feel bad that she can't."
When Len's wife, Carol, had to get dentures eight years ago, he knew what she would go through—because he already had them. "I remember that she didn't think it was that big a deal," he recalls. "It wasn't a showstopper; it was more of a speed bump." However, after getting full uppers and partial lowers, her experience has been anything but pleasant, and it has become a touchy subject.
Len says, "Carol's dentures were ill-fitting from the get-go. The dentist has offered to fix them several times, but she refuses to go back." Len attributes Carol's reluctance to return to the dentist to her fear of gagging on the molding compound, which occurred when she originally got measured for her dentures. "Since then, Carol has said repeatedly that she won't go back," Len declares. "I think the dentist could help her get past a lot of her fears; she just has to know what to expect."
Len's opinion of dentures is the complete opposite of his wife's. Since getting a few initial adjustments made, his dentures have worked flawlessly. His job requires him to speak in front of groups, and he does so without any problems. Conversely, since his wife got hers, Len states, "As far as her dentures are concerned, I feel like her life hasn't gotten better." On top of her denture discomfort, Len states that chronic back pain has prevented Carol from dealing with anything else. "She probably would have gone back to the dentist if she didn't have back issues."
While Carol has refused to get her dentures adjusted, Len has noticed how her behavior and their relationship have subtly changed. "She's always been outgoing, a real extrovert," he states. "But since getting dentures, she's gotten more cautious about when she speaks." Additionally, Len has noticed that Carol has been much more selective when choosing restaurants. "She's a good sport about it," he remarks. "But (since getting dentures) she has started choosing different places to eat. She doesn't like barbecue anymore, salads, or any red meat." While it's apparent that Carol is not satisfied with her dentures, Len notes that she always keeps her dentures in, even when she sleeps. "She's not ashamed of having them," he notes. "But if she talked to other people who wore them, besides me, it would probably do her some good."
After nearly 50 years of being married, Len knows when to talk to Carol about sensitive subjects, and when not to. "I know and she knows that we're going to argue about her going back to the dentist. I can't make her go," he reflects. "She hides her pain well, so I don't really know how much it's bothering her. If she went back and got her dentures adjusted, she would be as satisfied as I am. But the older I get, the more I realize that I can't make her [go back]. She'll go when she's ready."
Posted: August 17, 2009 3:37 pm
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