By David Hudnall, DMD
Dentists will tell you that the ideal way to transition to wearing dentures is to have all of your teeth removed and allow your gums to heal for at least six to eight weeks before receiving dentures. But not everyone can hibernate for this long. Many people work in the public eye and must continue with their normal routine.
Immediate dentures are an alternative solution that allows people who’ve had all of their teeth pulled to conduct their lives without the embarrassment of walking around with no teeth. Let’s delve deeper into the process so you’ll know what to expect when getting immediate dentures.
What to Expect When Getting Immediate Dentures
Getting immediate dentures is a process — not a single event. Anyone who has undergone a medical procedure of any type understands that there are stages to recovery. Expect the first day with immediate dentures to be rough and uncomfortable.
Think about it — your mouth has undergone a dramatic change all at once. There is going to be continued oozing from the oral tissues and extraction sites, accompanied by excessive saliva production stimulated by having a foreign object in your mouth. Once the numbness wears off, you will feel like there is no space for your tongue and like you’ll never speak clearly again. But all of this is a temporary inconvenience. Better days are on the horizon.
What to Expect for Immediate Dentures Recovery
Keep the dentures in your mouth for 24 hours after insertion. This facilitates the underlying tissues to form and heal to the shape of your denture, allowing for better stability. Should uncontrollable bleeding become a problem, you might ask: how long can I leave my immediate dentures out? The denture can be removed for very short periods of time (no more than 20 minutes) to apply direct pressure to the extraction sites with moistened gauze. The denture should be reinserted as soon as possible.
Pain experienced as a result of the extractions will not be alleviated by removing the denture. If immediate dentures are left out for an extended period during the first few days, swelling may occur. You will be unable to reinsert your dentures, defeating the benefits of immediate dentures.
It’s hard to know what to expect when getting immediate dentures if you have never experienced the process before. Patients want to know how long it takes to heal from immediate denture pain.
Each passing day of recovery brings improvement. Initial healing after tooth extraction takes around six to eight weeks for the extraction sites to fully close and toughen enough to tolerate eating firmer foods. The total recovery time and complete healing process of the underlying bone takes much longer — typically six to eight months — for the sockets to fill in with new bone and for the majority of the shrinkage to occur.
How to Remove Immediate Dentures for the First Time
Immediate dentures recovery is meticulous but necessary. Twenty-four hours after they are inserted is when you should take out the immediate dentures for the first time.
Remove the dentures carefully. Gently rinse your mouth with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a cup of warm tap water. Use a denture brush with liquid dish soap or a commercial denture paste to clean them. Reinsert your dentures. Continue to wear them 24 hours a day, removing them long enough to clean and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Repeat the process four to five times per day to promote healing.
After three days of continuous wear, the denture can be worn during waking hours only and left out while sleeping. Adjustments are a normal part of the immediate denture process. Because your gums change shape rapidly, sores causing discomfort are likely to develop. In most cases, your dentist will schedule to see you within 48 to 72 hours after treatment. This is to make the necessary adjustments to relieve sore spots and improve the bite relationship.
How to Store Immediate Dentures
When you’re not wearing your dentures, they should be kept safely in a sealed container — out of the reach of children and pets. Soak them in clean, cool water. Storing the dentures wrapped in a damp cloth inside a plastic bag is also an effective solution for slightly longer-term storage.
How to Care for Immediate Dentures
Dentures require daily cleaning to preserve their appearance and comfort. Remove your dentures over several layers of folded towels or over a sink of clean, standing water. That way, if you drop your dentures, they are less likely to break. Rinse any loose debris under cool, running water. Then use a soft-bristle denture brush with liquid dish soap or a paste especially made for use on dentures to remove plaque.
Toothpastes that are meant to be used on natural teeth are abrasive and will scratch dentures. These scratches allow more stains and plaque to accumulate, making your dentures look prematurely worn. Effervescent cleansers are okay for a fresh, clean feeling. But, don’t rely on them as a replacement for manual brushing.
Your Best Denture is Yet to Come
Keep in mind that an immediate denture is a temporary appliance and not your permanent dentures. Your mouth will undergo tremendous changes within a short period of time, so much so that replacement dentures will be required within the first year after extractions.
European Denture Center has many more denture styles and tooth replacement solutions appropriate for long-term wear. Don’t judge wearing dentures based on your immediate denture experience. We offer solutions with greater comfort and superior, lifelike aesthetics that will give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of!
For more information about immediate dentures and how European Denture Center can help with this life-changing process, follow this link: