There are many different types of dentures, but the one most people with tooth loss will need at some point are immediate dentures. In this article, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about what they are, how they can be useful, and things you can expect from immediate dentures.
Immediate dentures could also be called temporary dentures. Often, tooth loss happens suddenly. When you are having teeth removed due to decay, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, or other dental health issues you will more than likely want some replacement teeth. These temporary dentures are a solution that can be used for six to twelve months while you wait for your gums and bones to heal so permanent dentures can be created.
Immediate dentures can either replace some of your teeth (partial dentures) or all of your teeth (complete dentures).
Getting Temporary Dentures: What to Expect
It may surprise you that you need to wait six to twelve months for permanent dentures. This isn’t’ a manufacturing timeline, it’s a biology timeline. We require six months because that’s how long it takes for your bones and gums to completely heal from having your teeth removed.
Once you are fully healed your permanent dentures will be custom-fitted to the new shape of your mouth. Your dentist will take a mold of your gums. The permanent dentures will grip your gums securely and this will create a suction to the gums and minimize movement in the mouth. While there are different types of permanent dentures, they will all fit your mouth more securely than your temporary dentures.
Your immediate dentures will be most likely be loose fitting and slip around in your mouth. While this isn’t ideal, it is definitely better than no dentures at all, and there are steps we can take to improve the fit. Typically a week after your oral surgery, our prosthodontist will apply a soft cushioned liner to the inside of your denture. This will act not only as a cushion on the gums to prevent denture sores, but also refit the prosthesis so it doesn’t move around. We will often do this every 2 months during healing. At Rockville Dental Arts all liners are included in our denture work so you are not nickel and dimed for all these procedures saving you thousands of dollars.
As your gums heal during the six-month recovery period, they will change shape. This is part of why you need to wait for your permanent dentures. You don’t want your permanent dentures to suddenly stop fitting. During this six-month period, you may need to visit your dentist and have them adjust or reline your immediate dentures so they are more comfortable.
As your mouth adjusts to the new plates, you may experience gum soreness. This is normal and expected, but you’ll need to take them off and visit your dentist to talk about adjusting them for comfort so you can avoid irritating the sore spots further.
How Long Does It Take to Make Immediate Dentures?
If you’re needing to have teeth extractions, your dentist can have your immediate dentures ready for you at your appointment. You’ll be able to put them on right after the extractions. However the dentures will need to be prepared two weeks in advance of the surgery. Our dentist will need basic impressions of your mouth to fabricate the temporary plates so they are ready the day you come in to take out the teeth.
You will need to wear your immediate dentures for a solid 24 hours following your tooth extraction. While some people are tempted to remove them early, this is not advisable. Your gums may swell up and then you won’t be able to get them back on, so leave them on for the full 24 hours if your specific case warrants it. During those 24 hours, you should also be mindful of taking your pain medication at the recommended times.
When it is time to remove your dentures for the first time, start with putting approximately a quarter of a cup of warm water in your mouth. Close your lips tightly. Do your best to force the warm water under the edge of the denture using your tongue. The water will help moisten and loosen up the dentures.
It’s likely that you’ll be able to remove the bottom immediate denture fairly easily by pulling up on it with your fingers. The upper denture may be a bit tighter and more stubborn. The first time is often more difficult than when this becomes routine. You can start by trying the water again. Then, put your index finger in your mouth and trace along the denture to the back corner. From there, you can gently press on the denture until it becomes looser and you’re able to gently pull down and remove the plate.
How Long Can I Leave My Immediate Dentures Out
This will help you start to adjust to wearing dentures and will protect your gums from damage while they heal, like a band aid. You will also want to try to chew and talk with your new dentures. There is a learning curve but in due time you will perfect it.
During the first 24 hours, you’ll need to leave them in the entire time. After that, you can remove them to clean them and rinse your mouth out, for about ten minutes, but you’ll want to do your best to keep them in as often as possible. After the first week or two, depending on how long your dentist advises, you can remove them while you sleep at night.
How and When to Transition to Permanent Dentures
After six months of allowing your gums to heal with your immediate dentures, you can work with your dentist to transition to permanent dentures. To be clear, the six months is a rough guideline. It may take longer, depending on how your gums are healing and whether you not you have diabetes. Your dentist will evaluate the health of your gums before deciding that the right time has come and you’ll be able to get your permanent new teeth.
There are several different kinds of permanent dentures, all of them made of different materials and at different price points. You can work with your dentist to select the right ones for you.
The Pros and Cons of Immediate Dentures
Your immediate dentures are going to protect your gums so they can heal, keep your smile complete while you wait for permanent new teeth, and you’ll be able to wear them as soon as you need to. You’ll also be able to keep them after you get your permanent dentures, which means you’ll always have backup teeth in case your permanent pair need to be repaired or have another temporary issue. These are all great reasons to choose this temporary solution.
The downsides of immediate dentures are all in comparison to permanent dentures. Your permanent new teeth will be a big improvement over temporary dentures, this is true. But since they aren’t a possible solution for several months, your temporary teeth are a big improvement over the alternative, which is to not have anything in place. Keep that in mind while reading through the cons of immediate dentures.
When compared to permanent new dentures, your immediate ones have a fair number of downsides. These include that since they aren’t custom-fitted, they are likely to slip and move around more. They’ll need to be refitted, possibly a few times, during your healing process. They may cause sore spots. Sometimes, immediate dentures are not as sharp as your permanent dentures will be. This means that chewing some foods may be more difficult.
Immediate Dentures Improve Your Dental Health
At the end of the day, immediate dentures are a great solution to keep your smile shining brightly while you wait for your gums to heal and your permanent new tooth replacement solution to be ready. Immediate dentures will take some getting used to. The adjustment period may be difficult, but your dentist is there to help you along the way should any problems arise.
If you think you may be a candidate for tooth extractions and immediate dentures then contact us for a consultation and we will put your mind and ease and you realize that we deal with these cases on a daily basis and you are not alone in this journey.