By David Hudnall, DMD
Tooth removal and receiving dentures for the very first time is a life-altering event. And people experience it differently. Tooth loss can conjure up conflicting emotions. For some, the removal of their teeth can signify becoming older or a sense of loss. Others see it as an opportunity for a new beginning that allows them to no longer have to deal with toothache pain or unsightly broken teeth. Your immediate journey will evoke many emotions, including the fear of the unknown.
Often, people put off seeking dental treatment because they don’t fully understand the process. The beauty of immediate dentures is that they allow you or your loved one to continue living without hibernating to avoid being seen without teeth. In this article, we plan to demystify the immediate denture process by answering some of the questions that you may have. That way, you’ll know what to expect when adjusting to immediate dentures.
What Are Immediate Dentures?
Immediate dentures can be either complete dentures or partial removable dentures that are dental implants inserted on the same day that natural teeth are removed. It is a very common procedure that many dental patients choose in order to transition from having natural teeth to dentures. With immediate dentures, you’ll walk away from the dental office with a beautiful new smile and the confidence of knowing that you won’t have to endure a period of being seen with no teeth.
The Process of Getting Immediate Dentures
Like any dental treatment, the process for immediate dentures begins with a review of your medical history, a clinical examination, and the development of a treatment plan to help you transition from your current state to wearing dentures. Dentists and denturists will also prepare you for your transition to wearing dentures. Although dentures have evolved over the years, one thing that hasn’t changed is the learning curve that everyone must go through to use dentures effectively.
The actual clinical procedure for immediate dentures begins with impressions taken of the mouth before teeth are removed. One advantage of immediate dentures over other types of dentures is that it is easier to emulate the shape, color, and tooth arrangement of your natural teeth while some of your teeth are still present. Once the dentures are completed, the appointment for extractions is scheduled.
Immediate dentures are made based on the shape of the bone and gum tissue before teeth are extracted. Therefore, the dentures you receive are a best-guess estimate of the expected shape of the dental ridges after tooth removal. In most cases, immediate dentures must be adjusted or modified on the day of delivery to fit somewhat reasonably well.
If you are having multiple teeth removed, your surgeon will likely prescribe medication to alleviate pain and possibly an antibiotic if there is a significant amount of infection present in your tooth extraction site. It is important to take the medicine as directed in order to aid in your recovery as your gums heal.
The Process of Adjusting to Dentures
Becoming accustomed to wearing your new full or partial dentures is a process, not a single event. Your experience will be completely unique and unlike anyone else’s. Remember, you’ve just undergone a surgical procedure, and it takes time for full recovery to take place. Most people will begin to feel better with each passing day and experience initial recovery from surgery within one week. But full healing after extractions can take anywhere from four to twelve months, depending upon the number of teeth extracted, your general health, and your immune system.
The Healing Process
Immediate dentures aid in the healing period by acting as a bandage to protect the tissues from injury and to help control bleeding. Most dentists ask that you wear your immediate dentures for 24 hours to 48 hours before attempting to remove them for the first time. This is because the gum tissue swells after surgery. Removing your dentures too soon after treatment may make you unable to reinsert them and will bother sore spots.
After a few days, you will remove your new dentures and clean them thoroughly with your denture brush before sleeping in them to allow your gum tissues to rest and improve the healing process. Because the architecture of your ridge undergoes numerous changes for many months after tooth removal, expect to return to the dental office for regular adjustments and temporary relines to improve their fit, comfort, and keep your gums healthy.
See Also: Immediate Dentures Recovery and Healing FAQs
Eating and Speaking
Denture wearers typically feel as if they have something the size of a shoe in their mouth and experience excessive salivation for the first few days after receiving dentures. This is normal, and the body will adjust accordingly.
Immediate dentures allow you to establish your speech patterns early. You will not be faced with learning to speak without a denture and then need to relearn to speak with a denture in place at a later time. While sticking to a soft foods diet after surgery makes it easier to learn to chew with dentures, an immediate denture also helps you to chew better than “gumming it” with no teeth at all, improving digestive function and nutrition. Eventually you should be able to chew solid foods.
Immediate Dentures: Designed to Be Temporary
Patients often become accustomed to their immediate dentures after the adjustment period because it was their first experience with dentures. They are often reluctant to give them up when the time comes for replacement dentures. However, immediate dentures are the ultimate temporary solution and were never designed to last longer than one year at the most.
The final step in the immediate denture process involves replacing them with dentures that fit properly on healed gums. This also allows the dentist or denturist the opportunity to construct dentures for you that are made from more-lifelike, durable materials that offer better support for your facial structure and help to enhance both appearance and function.
See Also: Are Same Day Dentures a Good Idea?
Immediate Dentures with European Denture Center
Patients often come to a crossroads where their natural teeth begin to fail, and they are left with fewer options for dental treatment. Don’t let this condition go unchecked, as having a mouthful of bad teeth is often accompanied by poor general health.
At European Denture Center, we understand that most people don’t want to be without their teeth. Our caring clinicians have immediate denture solutions that can restore your smile and confidence while allowing you to transition to wearing dentures in a short period of time. If you’ve been putting off treatment, today could be the day that everything changes. It all begins by arranging your immediate denture consultation at one of European Denture Center’s convenient locations!