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September 2, 1974

Removal of Dentures During Anesthesia

Author Affiliations

Mountain View, Calif

JAMA. 1974;229(10):1286-1287. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230480014015

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To the Editor.—  May I make a plea for a reappraisal of the long-established custom of compulsory removal of a patient's false teeth before anesthesia? Surely this ancient nursing practice, a relic of the days of inexpert airway control, is no longer decent and should be debunked.It is bad enough for a woman to have to make an appearance clad in a rude shroud-like shirt, hair dishevelled and all dainty beauty-aids removed. But to take away her dentures is the final blow to her dignity. Indeed, it is one of the things that many women fear above all else when contemplating an elective operation. Is this distressing dictate really necessary?Some years ago, I began to give in to requests of occasional female patients (men don't seem to care) to let them wear their dentures for brief periods of anesthesia. As I had suspected, all went well and the