Immediate dentures are an important part of the tooth replacement process. Understanding the role immediate dentures play in your dentures journey can help you have a smoother experience overall, so we’ve put together this quick explainer to help you brush up. Read on to learn all about immediate dentures, the steps to obtaining them, and more.
What are Immediate Dentures?
Also called temporary, healing or same-day dentures, immediate dentures are the dentures given to you by a dentist immediately after the extraction of several teeth. Whether they’re full or partial, they are designed (as the name suggests) to temporarily provide coverage of missing teeth while your gums are going through the natural healing process, before your more permanent dentures are being made. They are not meant to be a replacement for traditional dentures, and as such do not have many of the comforts or utility of traditional dentures. However, they do ensure you can greet the world with a smile while you heal.
The Immediate Dentures Process
- Initial consultation. During your initial consultation, your dentist will explain your overall timeline to help you understand your unique care plan, and how long it will take for you to go from immediate dentures to regular dentures. Your dentist will also do an examination and take measurements for your eventual regular dentures.
- Extraction procedure. After your extraction, your dentist will give you temporary full or partial dentures to fill the gap made by the extracted teeth. Depending on how many teeth you’ll have extracted, you may need to come more than once.
- Healing time. You will take your immediate dentures home to wear while you heal and care for your extraction sites. You’ll need to wear them without removing them for the first 24 hours to serve as a band-aid to stop the bleeding and protect the sutures. After the first 24 hours, you may and should remove them up to five times a day. (Ask your dentist for a specific recommendation.) You may need to attend a few appointments with your dentist to ensure your sites are healing well, and that your immediate dentures are fitting and functioning as they should as your swelling goes down.
- Swap to traditional dentures. Once your sites are healed, or if you have already had extractions performed earlier, your dentist will give you your traditional dentures and make sure they are a good fit. Over time, you may need to come in again to have them adjusted or relined.
- Enjoy your smile! You may experience an adjustment period with traditional dentures, since they may have a larger palate or size than your immediate dentures. However, since traditional dentures are custom-fit to your mouth, you may find them to be a welcome relief after using immediate dentures for some time.
Pros & Cons of Immediate Dentures
|Covers your surgical sites and restores your smile while you heal||Less comfortable than traditional dentures, especially when worn over sensitive, fresh surgical sites|
|Protects your surgical sites from food and irritation when worn while eating||Fit will change often as healing progresses and swelling reduces|
|Helps preserve existing bone mass in the jaw||Require frequent adjustments|
|Helps to preserve your natural eating and speaking habits||May slip or loosen|
|Ready right after your extraction procedure||Not as natural in appearance or function|
Do Immediate Dentures Look Natural?
Immediate dentures are designed to look like natural teeth, and your dentist will take note of your natural teeth’s shape and color when selecting your temporary denture. However, since they’re not intended to be used as a daily solution like regular dentures are, they’re not as naturalistic in appearance as regular dentures. Your dentist will take different molds and/or scans of your mouth to ensure your final dentures look and operate like your natural teeth, but your immediate dentures may not have that custom detail.
Since immediate dentures are not custom-fit to your mouth, they may seem less natural when speaking or eating, and can slide around more than regular dentures. They aren’t as sharp, and don’t fit as closely. Your dentist will perform a number of adjustments throughout your healing period to ensure your immediate dentures are still operating to the best of their ability.
Caring for Immediate Dentures
Caring for your immediate dentures ensures they look, feel, and perform to their fullest extent until its time for your more permanent dentures. You’ll want to clean them as you would your natural teeth, and make sure you do so often to ensure you don’t introduce additional bacteria and food matter into your mouth while your extraction sites are healing. As immediate dentures aren’t as durable as regular dentures, you shouldn’t submerge them in water for long periods of time but otherwise clean them as you would traditional dentures.
With proper care, temporary dentures can last throughout the time it takes for your gums and bone to completely heal. While some people choose to hang onto their immediate dentures in case of emergency, we don’t recommend using them for extended periods — and certainly not as a replacement for regular dentures. You deserve to love your smile, which means you deserve a comfortable, reliable pair of dentures that can be with you for the long term.
Contact Us for Your Immediate Dentures!
The most important thing to remember about immediate dentures is that they’re temporary, so they’re not meant to perform or feel like the dentures you’ll eventually wear for years at a time. Think of them as training wheels for your eventual traditional dentures. They’ll help you learn the ropes of wearing dentures — and keep your extraction sites safe — so you can get back to smiling, eating, and chatting right away. If you’re considering a full or partial set of dentures, schedule a consultation with a practice to see how we can help you restore your smile faster with same-day turnarounds.