Immediate or Surgical Dentures
Dentures that are made prior to and are inserted immediately after patient extractions, usually by the Dentist or Oral Surgeon. There are 2 major benefits of this treatment option:
- The teeth act as a Band-Aid on the extraction site, controlling bleeding, swelling, food entrance and general healing.
- Your appearance; you do not have to go without teeth during the healing stage.
1-3 appointments within 2-3 weeks prior to your extraction date. Impressions are taken, teeth shades and shapes are chosen or matched to your natural teeth, and the denture is crafted. Once completed, the denture is usually delivered directly to your dentist or oral surgeon.
Transitioning from natural teeth to dentures is very individualized and can range from easy to challenging. So too is the healing process as no two people have the same experience and no one can predict how your body will respond or how long it will take to heal.
Factors that affect the fit of the denture immediately after extractions:
- The amount of bone removed and resulting shape of the jaw
- The amount of swelling and bleeding
- The ability to heal quickly and adapt to change
Knowing these common experiences can prevent GREAT misunderstandings that will affect not only your transition and acceptance of dentures, but also your acceptance of your Denture Specialists aftercare and trust in the new dentures.
What to expect as you transition from natural teeth to dentures
Even the smallest cut or irritation in the mouth feels huge compared to its’ realistic size when seen. Similarly, the denture is a foreign object in the mouth and initially results in the same sensation. As the bone resorbs, tissues heal, and the body adapts to the denture, it will feel more normal
An Immediate Denture is only the FIRST STEP in this transition and healing process. Just as other surgeries have steps of aftercare, (eg multiple bandage changes), so does the healing from extractions and the role of the dentures in this process.
A Post Op adjustment is necessary to ensure the denture is fitting properly and to eliminate any sore areas that could affect healing.
The most tissue change and healing occurs over the next 2-8 weeks. The dentures will start to feel loose as the swelling decreases and the gum shrinks as the bone starts to resorb.
- A Temporary Liner (a layer of acrylic) is placed inside the denture to fill the area of shrinkage, refitting the denture to your gums.
- As healing continues, Liners are added as needed on top of each other, continuing to take up the space left behind by the body’s changes. This is done to make sure the denture stays at the right height for the proper biting position.
- A Liner is placed on average every 1-3 months, but differs for each person.
- This process continues from 6-12 months until the bone resorption stabilizes, which is driven specifically by your bodies healing rate and amount of bone loss (due to bone resorption).
- Immediate Dentures start out thinner than normal dentures to accommodate these Liners. As a result, in some cases denture breakage can also occur during this time.
It’s very important to keep all appointments made for you during this phase of healing, as it aids in your recovery and acceptance of dentures.
A process to replace all this temporary material (weaker and more porous) with normal acrylic (stronger and denser). Although Relines can be done after the 3-month mark, we recommend waiting a year to ensure your body has stabilized, and thus prevent the need for more than 1 reline if done too soon. Most insurance plans will only pay for 1 Reline every 2 years.
This is an additional cost and is NOT included in the cost of Immediate Dentures.