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Immediate Dentures

Immediate dentures are those which are made before all of a patient's teeth have been removed. These dentures are then inserted into the patient's mouth immediately after the remaining teeth are taken out.

As the patient heals from the oral surgery, the immediate denture is adjusted and relined (with soft, temporary reline materials). This is done to compensate for the changes that the mouth undergoes during this healing process.

Once the patient's mouth has fully healed, if the patient is completely satisfied with the appearance and bite of the denture, it can re relined to achieve optimal fit. If the patient desires changes in appearance, fit, or design, a new denture is made to fit the mouth form at that time. This full healing takes from six to twelve months.

Advantages of Immediate Dentures

There is one major advantage of immediate dentures: the patient will not have a period of time without teeth. There are also some other advantages:

1) The face muscles and tongue do not have the opportunity to change before teeth are placed.

2) It is easier to adapt to denture wear when immediate dentures are used.

3) The denture helps the extraction sites to heal, by acting as a bandage.

Disadvantages of Immediate Dentures

There are several disadvantages to immediate dentures. These occur due to the uncertainty that is involved in the construction of the dentures. This uncertainty is because the teeth are still present when the impressions are made, and also because the surgeon's result may differ from the predicted result. The disadvantages include:

1) Immediate dentures do not fit as well as conventional complete dentures. They will require relines and adjustments, and it may be necessary to use denture adhesives.

2) The cosmetics are unpredictable. The positioning of the denture teeth cannot be evaluated until after the natural teeth are removed, and the denture is in place. While minor adjustments can be made to the cosmetics of the finished appliance, major changes are not possible

3) It will be difficult to speak and eat, until the mouth has begun to heal, and the patient has had time to learn to use the denture.

4) The dentures will be uncomfortable until the surgical areas have begun to heal and the dentures have been adequately adjusted.

5) Multiple adjustment and reline appointments may be required during the months after the immediate dentures are placed due to changes in the mouth during healing.

6) Immediate dentures are more expensive. This is because it is usually necessary to reline, rebase, or make new dentures after healing. Any of these procedures are at an additional cost to the patient.

Helpful Hints

The first few weeks wearing immediate dentures can be difficult. These tips can make the time of transition easier:

1) Do not remove the dentures during the first 24 hours after surgery, unless absolutely necessary. The surgical sites may be swelling during this time, and it could be difficult or impossible to re-insert the denture.

2) If possible, sleep with the denture in place for the first 3 days.

3) Read aloud, or talk or sing with the dentures in place. This will allow the tongue and face muscles to adapt to the new denture.

4) Begin eating with a soft diet, such as cooked vegetables, baby foods, or chopped meat. When eating, use short, up and down chewing strokes. Distribute the food so that both sides of the mouth have equal amounts of food at the same time.

5) Do not attempt to bite with the front teeth. With immediate dentures, as with all dentures, biting with the front teeth may cause the dentures to tip and loosen.

6) If denture sores occur, call the office for an appointment. Sore spots generally indicate that an adjustment is needed.

7) Above all, be patient. It takes time to heal, as well as to learn how to use dentures.

As always, if you have problems, concerns, or any questions regarding your dental care, feel free to contact the office.

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