You may have been advised to have an immediate denture. But what is it and how is it done? We hope that this information will help to explain the concepts and clear up any of the questions you might have regarding this type of prosthesis.
Let me explain what an immediate denture is by using an example. Suppose, for instance, that you have eight (8) remaining upper teeth. These teeth are, unfortunately, poor and can not be utilized in any way to support a new prosthesis. If you were to have a traditional denture made, it would be necessary to have all of these teeth extracted first, the bone and gums would have to heal and then a denture could be fabricated. This process could take several weeks, if not longer, and for that time period you would have to go around without any teeth.
In order to avoid this type of problem, we utilize an immediate denture technique. This involves taking impressions of your mouth while your teeth are still present. At the same time, when your teeth are extracted, we have a denture ready to be inserted. In this way, you never have to walk around without teeth. Immediate dentures do present certain situations which I would like to list for you.
- Since we are unable to try in the denture prior to extracting your teeth, certain esthetic compromises may have to be made. This should not present any significant problem, however, and your esthetic result should be more than satisfactory.
- Since our goal is for you never to be without teeth, we will be inserting your new denture immediately after the extraction of your remaining teeth. This may seem odd, but it is perfectly normal. Typically, after the extraction of teeth, there may be some swelling. By placing your denture in immediately, this swelling can be kept to a minimum. If you did not place the denture immediately, the swelling that occurs might not allow you to wear your denture until the swelling subsided.
- It is very important that you follow the postoperative instructions of your dentist or oral surgeon very carefully. You must wear you new immediate denture for three (3) days, after the surgery, without removing it. This will help to control the swelling.
- Once healing has occurred, after approximately three (3) months, you will either need a reline of your existing denture or the fabrication of an entirely new denture. If a new one is to be made, we will then be able to make any esthetic and phonetic changes that you want within the limits of denture prosthodontics. If a new denture is to be made, you will then be able to use the immediate denture as a spare (emergency) denture. This can sure come in handy if your new denture should break and need to be repaired at the laboratory.