Patients will often ask, “Can I wear my dentures during my surgery and general anesthesia?”
Every patient is unique. Removing dentures may feel like a minor inconvenience to some and a real personal, emotional issue for others. Some feel uncomfortable removing them in front of close family members or even their spouses.
If you are having general anesthesia, you will be asked to remove your dentures. This is because they can become a safety hazard once you are “asleep”. Your anesthesiologist will secure your airway once your are under anesthesia, which means they will likely place a breathing tube or an LMA (laryngeal mask airway).
In the process of doing this, the dentures may become loose, obstruct the airway, and/or generally get in the way of managing the airway. This is obviously a very important issue.
Also, there is a chance of the dentures getting damaged or misplaced if they are left in place and then need to be urgently removed in the operating room.
Most medical centers will provide patients with a plastic container for the purpose of securing and storing the dentures during the surgical period. If a patient is sensitive about family members seeing them without dentures, they can remove them AFTER saying their “See you later” to family members. It can then be requested that no family members be allowed to see the patient after surgery is completed until their dentures are given back.
The physicians, nurses, and surgical technicians that work in the operating room take care of patients with dentures frequently and treat them with the same dignity and respect they treat all patients.
In conclusion, if you wear dentures, you will likely be asked to remove them if you are having a general anesthetic.
If this is a sensitive issue for you, please talk to your surgical team so that they can give you the privacy you may need prior to removing the dentures.
Please share your questions and concerns in the comments section below.
I look forward to hearing from you and wish you a safe and smooth perioperative experience.