You’ve been advised that you need an immediate denture…but what is it and how is it done? This information will help to explain the concepts and answer questions you might have regarding this type of denture. Your Denturist can guide you as to when the situation warrants immediate dentures.
Considering an Immediate Denture?
You may have decided to have some or all of your remaining teeth extracted or your Dentist may have advised you that you should consider having extractions. You may have been given a treatment option of having an immediate denture placed at time of the extraction(s).
This brochure is a general guide to a potentially complicated and involved dental procedure. Obtaining detailed information on this topic, specific to your dental situation, is highly recommended. Your Denturist will help guide you on whether an immediate denture is for you.
What is an Immediate Denture and how is it fabricated?
Prior to extractions, your Denturist will take impressions and specific measurements of your existing oral situation. Together, with your Denturist, you may determine the size, shape and colour (shade) of the teeth to be used (as well as other esthetic considerations) for your new dentures.
The finished immediate denture (also known as an immediate placement denture) is inserted immediately after your tooth or teeth have been extracted, usually while your mouth is still frozen with local anesthetic.
Why an Immediate Denture may be necessary
An immediate denture is an excellent alternative to being without your teeth because your smile is restored directly after your extraction(s). An immediate denture will also protect the sensitive gum tissue at the extraction site(s). The denture acts as a bandage to:
- Control swelling and allow the healing to progress
- Help keep the gums/tissue free of debris (food impaction) that can cause irritation
- Prevent dislodging of extraction site(s) blood clots that are necessary for healing
During the healing process after extractions, the presence of an immediate denture can also help make the transition from eating soft foods to a wider variety of food easier and faster. However, the ability to eat a wide variety of textures does take time, and the rate at which extraction sites heal varies with every individual. The results and length of healing time may vary considerably (from a few weeks to several months) due to many factors. Some of these factors are: your general health (e.g. diabetes, immune system diseases), nutrition, age, and the condition of your teeth and oral tissues prior to extractions.
What can you expect when replacing natural teeth with an Immediate Denture?
Prior to your extraction appointment your Denturist will need to take impressions of your mouth while your natural tooth/teeth are still present. Other procedures and measurements will be taken to record critical information required to make your denture. Your Denturist will follow the precise and detailed procedures necessary to fabricate your new denture. Your immediate denture can be made in the likeness of your natural teeth, or changes can be made to your smile at your request. When denture fabrication is completed, your Dentist or Oral Surgeon will remove the teeth that are scheduled for extraction.
Once your natural teeth are removed, your denture will be inserted. The timing for the insertion of your immediate denture has been pre-arranged between your Dentist and Denturist and is intended to make you as comfortable as possible, often when your mouth is still frozen with local anesthetic. As healing occurs, follow up visits are required with your Denturist to assess your oral condition and provide any necessary adjustments.
Generally, the gum tissue (soft tissue) takes a minimum of eight to twelve weeks to heal after extractions. It may be necessary for your Denturist to place a temporary soft lining material on the fitting surface of your denture to improve fit and minimize soreness. This may be repeated as your gums and bone continue to shrink. This may take twelve to twenty-four months after extractions. Your Denturist will review the treatment plan in place for you, once you have reached a stage of healing that may require a permanent fitting procedure. This may involve: a permanent reline, rebasing, or the fabrication of a new permanent denture. Costs for these treatment options are usually not included in your initial fee and should be discussed with your Denturist.
Your initial denture
A great deal of time and care is spent in the fabrication of your new denture. When wearing a denture for the first time, there will be a lengthy adjustment period. The transition from having natural teeth to wearing a denture may not be easy. It is life changing. Perseverance and patience are the keys to success, and your effort will determine how quickly and how well you will adjust to your immediate denture.
It is important for you to learn how to eat and talk while wearing your denture. Remember, millions of people wear dentures successfully and with time you will too!
Like most things, a denture does not last forever. A check up once a year with your Denturist is recommended. On average, a permanent reline is recommended every two years to keep it fitting properly. A denture is commonly replaced approximately every 5-7 years. Check with your insurance provider on the frequency your plan allows for relines and a replacement denture.
When you first wear your new denture, you may have a sensation of fullness in your mouth and your tongue may feel restricted by your denture. You may also experience extra saliva flow, and perhaps have difficulty swallowing. These sensations will gradually disappear as you adapt to your denture. Once the local anesthetic wears off, you will have a sore mouth from the extractions and possibly denture sore spots. Regular follow up visits to your Denturist will be necessary in order to monitor your progress and report your healing to your Dentist.
When you first speak with your new denture you may notice a change. Your words may sound slurred and your tongue may seem too big to accommodate the denture. Practice speaking as much as possible, and read aloud. With practice the tongue and lips will relax and you will overcome this challenge in a short time.
Eating with your new denture
Chewing will require practice to eat effectively. Begin by eating small pieces of soft foods. Do not bite food with your front teeth as this may dislodge the denture. As your healing progresses and you grow accustomed to your new denture, slowly introduce harder textured foods into your diet. Your mouth will be sore from the extractions and pressure to chew will be limited. A general rule is to swallow food only when it is the consistency of applesauce. A minced consistency is safe for swallowing and easier for digestion.
If you are wearing a denture that covers some or most of your palate (roof of your mouth) you will experience a decrease in taste, temperature and texture because the tissue is covered. It is important to slow down when eating, be aware of the cheek and tongue tissue to avoid biting them, and be aware of the temperature and location of food to ensure safe swallowing.
Initially, you may find the muscles around your mouth are a little strained. As the denture settles and your facial muscles relax and adapt, your denture will look and feel more natural. Talk and laugh naturally and you will be surprised how quickly your natural facial expressions will return.
Caring for your Immediate Dentures
Rinse and brush your dentures after every meal using warm water and denture cleaning paste, not toothpaste. Toothpaste is too abrasive for your denture. Gently brush your gums, use a tongue scraper to remove debris, and clean the roof of your mouth with a moistened super soft toothbrush as this will help stimulate blood circulation, tone gum tissue and promote healing. Do not do this until you have asked your Denturist when it is safe to do so after extractions. Rinse your mouth frequently with water throughout the day. Rinsing will help minimize bacteria and help to keep your breath fresher.
A frequently asked question is should I sleep with or without my denture? Ask your Denturist about your specific situation. Often an immediate denture is worn at night for the first few weeks to protect the tender extraction sites. A denture should be removed each day and placed in a covered container with a denture soaking cleanser that kills bacteria. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the denture cleanser to determine how long your denture should be soaked. Soaking a denture overnight is optional with some denture cleansers. This keeps a denture clean, and also gives the supporting tissues in your mouth a chance to rest.
Thoroughly rinse your denture in warm running water before inserting it into your mouth after it has been soaking in a cleanser. When a denture is not being worn, it should be placed in a covered container filled with water to prevent drying out and possible dimension changes of the denture base material.