Teeth are one of the most important features of the face. Without them it is hard to speak, eat, and you may feel weird around company. With immediate dentures there is no need to function without any teeth, even right after surgery.
While it may not be a permanent solution, it is an option in-between visits to the dentist. So what are immediate dentures? How are they different from traditional dentures?
In this article, we will cover the question, “what to expect when getting immediate dentures?” to guide you through this transitional phase with confidence.
What are immediate dentures?
Dentures are the most common restoration for those who have to have all their teeth removed.
A conventional denture is made when all teeth are already missing. If you still have teeth, you must wait 6 to 9 weeks after extractions before making a conventional denture. This allows time for your gums and the bone of your jaw to heal and reshape.
Most people don’t want to go without teeth for that long. This is where immediate dentures are useful.
An immediate denture is made before extractions are done. It is placed in the mouth immediately after surgery. This allows you to go home with a full set of teeth the same day the others are removed.
Immediate dentures are designed to fit your gums the way they look while the teeth are still there. After the extractions, the gums and bone heal under the denture and change shape. Over time the dentures will not fit tightly any more and will have to be relined.
- Can replace teeth the same day as surgery
- Controls swelling and guides healing
- Never have to go without teeth
- Looks good and functions well
- Must be relined multiple times
- May need to be replaced after healing
- May slip or move
- Lasts at most 5-7 years
Immediate denture steps
As the name of this denture suggests, you will get them immediately. There are a few steps which must be taken to lead you there, however.
The first thing you’ll do is meet with the dentist for the initial consultation. First, they’ll do a dental exam (which may include an X-ray and/or teeth impressions) to get a good idea of what they’ll be working with. Next, your dentist will come up with a treatment plan that includes the procedure steps, the timeframe for all of it, and what recovery will look like. If they think a bone graft is necessary, they’ll discuss that with you too.
If you do need a bone graft, it could take 4-12 months after the graft before your jaw is ready and healed enough for the implants.
The first appointment will be for diagnosis and treatment planning. X-rays will be taken of your jaws and any remaining teeth. The dentist should do a thorough cancer screening and exam of your mouth.
Next you will have impressions of your mouth made. This involves putting a soft putty in a tray into your mouth. The putty sets into a rubber-like consistency and makes a perfect mold of your mouth.
Then a bite relation record will be taken. This is a similar material, but just a small amount is used to show how your top and bottom teeth fit together. These records will be sent to a dental laboratory and used to create a custom denture.
At your next visit, you’ll have your tooth extractions done. Your mouth will be thoroughly numbed and the teeth will be removed.
Immediately after surgery, your new dentures will be placed into your mouth. These not only serve as your new teeth, but also to cover the extraction sites and minimize swelling.
After the whole procedure, the dentist will give you an appropriate prescription for pain and send you home to recuperate.
What should you expect during your recovery period?
You should leave your new denture in place for the next 24-48 hours. This guides the healing of your mouth and prevents swelling. If you take them out, you may not be able to get them back in!
You should become familiar with what you can expect afterwards. So here is a list of necessary steps to take during the recovery period.
You’ll likely return to the dentist after a day or two. They will remove your denture and make sure everything is healing properly. This also gives them the opportunity to make adjustments to the dentures and treat any sore spots.
After this appointment, the denture should be worn all day but taken out each night. Clean your dentures and put them in an overnight soak.
This allows your gums to breathe and prevents fungal infections. These are some essential steps in how to take care of your dentures.
As time goes by, you’ll likely get more sore spots that will need adjustment. Your bite may also be adjusted to make it more comfortable.
These adjustments should only be done by the dentist. Never try grinding or carving on your denture at home! It may break or be messed up to the point you have to buy a new one!
You may also have tiny bone fragments work their way out of your gums. This is fairly common when you have many teeth taken out at once. Your dentist can remove these bone chips easily.
Your denture will likely become loose over time. This is due to the healing and reshaping of your jaws. As the bone reshapes, you will need to have relines done.
During a reline procedure, a soft material is mixed and placed inside your denture. The dentist will then put it inside the mouth where it will stay while the material sets.
The reline material fills in any space created by shrinking gums. It improves the fit and makes the denture more comfortable to wear. It is common to do 3 or 4 of these temporary soft relines.
After 6-9 weeks, your healing should be complete. A final hard reline can then be done. This reline is often sent to a dental laboratory and should last for a long time.
Immediate dentures cost
Immediate dentures usually cost slightly more than a traditional denture due to the procedure being more complicated. You also have the added costs of tooth extractions and relines.
Expect to pay:
|$1500-$3200 per arch
|$75-$150 per tooth
|$200-$400 per tooth
|$200-$500 per arch
The relines of an immediate denture may be included in the price of an immediate denture or may be charged separately. Check with your dentist so you know what to expect.
Additionally, you may need surgical procedures to reshape your bone. Large knots or bumps on the jaw must be removed in order to be able to wear a denture.
Normally, expected costs will be discussed prior to any treatment being done. This allows you to be prepared and make arrangements for payment. Payment plans or financing options are available at many dental offices.
Are immediate dentures permanent?
A quality, custom made immediate denture may last as long as a traditional denture once it has a final hard reline inside. Sometimes, however, the changes to your mouth are too significant and it is better to replace the immediate denture with a conventional one.
No denture is permanent, however. Even the best of dentures only last 5-7 years before needing to be replaced. This is one of several problems to consider when choosing between dentures and other restorations.
Instead of immediate dentures, you may want to consider the G4 Implant Solution. This revolutionary procedure can replace your bad teeth with permanent, beautiful fixed bridges that can last a lifetime. And it can all be done in one 24 hour period!
Click here to find out more about this remarkable alternative to immediate dentures!