Trumpet playing after dentures (it can be done!)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ButchA, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Wow... I haven't been on here in quite some time. I found my way back though and my username/password still worked. I took a little sabbatical after having serious dental issues, and then finally got my upper teeth fixed - but yet the hard way, permanently.

    You guessed it... A full upper denture plate. :-o I thought my days of playing brass instruments was over. But where there is a will, there is a way. I talked to my dentist and my concerns about playing trumpet, trombone, french horn, etc... and even clarinet, sax, and all sorts of varieties of instruments. I was advised to allow, at minimum, about a month for my mouth and gums to heal and to get used to dentures, before I even think of trying to play an instrument.

    Long story short, I started experimenting with all that nasty denture adhesive junk like Super Polygrip and Fixodent and stuff like that. Both myself and my dentist found a way to secure the upper denture plate in place to allow me to start playing my trumpet again without problems. I'll admit... I had to start slowly, and play a low C up to a G, and things like that, just like a little kid learning for the very first time. Once I learned to adjust my embouchure and compensate for the denture plate, I increased my range and tone little by little. I played a regular concert Bb scale, going up and down, over and over. Again, once I got that pretty good, I increased my range even more. As it stands right now, I can only reach a high G at the top of the ledger line very quickly, as I can feel the denture plate getting loose.

    Here's a You Tube video that I made for anyone who might be facing the same type of dental problems in the future.

    Trumpet and Trombone sample - YouTube

    With my old 1967 Holton Collegiate trumpet, I have a Bach 3C and a newer Schilke 14A4a. I find that when I use the 3C, I have hardly any range and can only hit a regular high C or maybe D with the denture plate. When I use the Schilke 14A4a, I can make it up to a high G (top ledger line) clearly.

    To sum this long winded post up in a nutshell, like I said in that You Tube video... NEVER GIVE UP! Even if you face getting dentures, you can still do it! You can still play trumpet and all other brass instruments and woodwinds and things! :D
     
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Nice testimony. Hope you continue to increase your range. Imagine you are really having to learn to play with little pressure. Play on!
     
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Full upper and lower plates.............Thank you Fixodent!
     
  5. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Wow!!!! That was incredible!! :thumbsup:

    I still have my normal bottom teeth (until next year Jan/Feb) but have the full upper denture plate on top. Seeing the video that you made gives me even more hope that I will be able to hit the upper high C (off the ledger line) again like I used to.
     
  6. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Wilmer, that was terrific!

    And highly encouraging to those of us who have been told to expect to pretty much give up trumpet under those dental conditions....to never expect to be able to play anything again.

    Eventually, I'm pretty sure I'll be facing a situation requiring some pretty significant dental work.

    I'm going to see about getting in touch with you when that day comes...I'm sure you may have some valuable suggestions and advice.
     
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Yeah, I think I'm eligible to join this denture wearers segment of brass players on TM with a full upper and a partial lower of all but 4 natural teeth. Admittedly, it wasn't an immediate return to capability of playing trumpet and I kept no log of the time I could not.

    That said, I do believe there may be some influence due to the variability of physiology and the precision with which the dentures are made vis pay less ... expect less. Mine were expensive, but I'd recommend the dentist that fitted them for me. Yep, I no longer have to cut up apples or cut the corn off the cob and I can flash my dentures like Wilmer did.

    Too, that right upper frontal incisor cap gave me problems from day one pushing my mpc placement off to the left and now it is again about centered ... well most of the time.
     
  8. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

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    I think the overall level of awareness and possible means for resolution of this issue will become more evident as many players age and experience dental problems, simultaneous with the availability of the Internet to bring the topic into discussion.

    Such was not the case in years gone by.
     
  9. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Well put...

    A little personal history of dental problems:

    Childhood - no problems, except braces in high school. Started on trumpet in 4th grade. But yet became more versatile in school band and switched on and off, sitting in sections of the whole brass family, but yet still keeping trumpet as the main instrument.

    Adult - still mainly played trumpet and occasionally played my old trombone. As my daughters entered school and took up band (and also became versatile like me), I venture into woodwinds and (from them) learned flute, clarinet, sax, and bassoon. I could never master woodwinds, but could at least play a scale and goof around a little on them. Very odd instruments, I swear they have like 8,263 keys or buttons on them! :lol:
    I did have my 1st serious dental issue while on active duty in the military. While stationed up in Boston, MA in the US Coast Guard, a bunch of buddies and I used to play ice hockey in the wintertime. We got pretty good and got military authorization to form an off duty, after hours, hockey team and played in the amateur adult league in Boston. You guessed it... I accidentally got hit in the mouth with a hockey stick during a game, and went down on the ice. Oh yeah...it was nasty...teeth all over the place...blood all over the place... :shock: They sent me to the local hospital ER and they stitched me up and the Coast Guard sent me to a local dental clinic and they put in a permanent front bridge spanning from eye tooth to eye tooth. After healing up, I continued to play instruments and never had any problem.

    Middle Age Adult - Now that I'm over 50, been retired from the Coast Guard for quite a number of years, and my daughters are all grown up and on their own, I faced more serious dental issues. Due to age and deterioration, one fateful day while eating something hard, the front bridgework broke in half! I consulted my dentist and had numerous X-rays done and all sorts of things. The dentist said that with gum disease and gingivitis or whatever, they recommended a full upper denture plate. So, to make a long story short... Here I am, adjusting to having upper dentures and slowly getting back into playing trumpet like I used to.

    Now you know the whole story... It takes a little fiddling around with denture adhesive and reworking your embouchure, but you can still play with dentures!
     
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Yeah, you can! Join the club of denture players.
     

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