‘I was distraught when dentists told me I needed dentures aged 30 – I was too young’

A mum-of-one has opened up about what it’s like to have dentures at the age of just 30 years old, after having shattered her real teeth in a freak ladder accident

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Jess Sutcliffe had to get dentures at 30 after freak accident

A 30-year-old woman who was left “distraught” after losing her teeth in a freak accident is now trying to break the stigma of having dentures fitted at a young age.

Jess Sutcliffe’s teeth had begun to wear away in her teens, due to her drinking too many soft drinks. Her dental issues worsened considerably however when, in May 2016, a falling ladder struck her in the mouth, kocking out her two front teeth.

The mum-of-one had her teeth pushed back in by doctors without any anaesthetic, and had to come off the contraceptive pill while undergoing a course of antibiotics.

Jess became pregnant two months later, meaning she had to temporarily halt the treatment plan her dentists had given her, which included scans and root canals to see whether or not her teeth could be salvaged.

Sadly, when Jess finally returned to the dentist towards the end of 2017 to try and get her teeth fixed, she was told they could no longer hold a bridge, and that her teeth would have to be taken out and replaced with an artificial denture.

Jess had to temporarily stop her dental treatment after becoming pregnant


Jam Press Vid/@xjess91x)

She was initially “distraught” after learning she’d need a denture


Jam Press Vid/@xjess91x)

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Jess, who lives in Harlow, Essex, recalled: “I was distraught, I always thought dentures were for the older generation. I was fearful, anxious, and just in shock that I was losing my teeth at such a young age.”

As the procedure wasn’t covered on the NHS, the senior medical secretary has had to pay for it herself, all while undergoing a number of appointments to have her denture moulded and her teeth removed.

Jess said: “The day of my procedure I had so much anxiety over what I would look like and how I would manage the denture.

“But when I awoke from the anaesthetic and was shown my new teeth in a mirror, I was surprised and they were so much better than I had imagined.”

Jess initially struggled with her confidence after getting her denture


Jam Press Vid/@xjess91x)

Jess now shares her story with others, hoping to show other young people with dentures that they aren’t alone


Jam Press/@xjess91x)

Jess continued: “[Once I was back home], the issues then started, I had not been told how to remove it [the denture] without damaging it. I looked in the mirror and just burst into tears again at the horror of seeing I had no teeth and a hole where my teeth should be.

“I didn’t want my partner or anyone to see me without [the denture], I felt humiliated and distraught. I saw my own dentist a few days later and [had] another denture made as the one I was given initially was moulded when my own teeth were still in place so the denture did not fit as it should’ve done.”

Although she finds her dentures easier to manage now, she struggled at first, and felt “alone”, believing that nobody else her age could “understand or sympathise.”

This prompted her to become a source of support for others navigating similar situations.

Jess now opens up about her life with dentures on TikTok (@xjess91x), in the hope that her story will help other young people struggling with their confidence due to dental issues.

She continued: “I have had my TikTok since the beginning of the first lockdown but had never used it, I had always been afraid of being judged and I’ve always struggled with how I look, let alone having missing teeth.

“But this year I have started to try to love myself due to the positive people I had followed. I then felt like the best thing I could do with my accident surrounding my teeth was to make awareness and normalise that losing teeth can happen to anyone for many different reasons.

“My confidence is still developing and I don’t think I will ever be over it but if I can be there for someone going through the same my aim is accomplished.”

Have you experienced a life-changing dental issue? We pay for stories. Email us at julia.banim@reachplc.com

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