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Treatment Information

Dentures

Types of DenturesImmediate

Immediate dentures (sometimes called temporary dentures) are actually made BEFORE your natural teeth are extracted. You walk into the office with natural teeth and walk out with false teeth on the same day. This is possible because after your teeth are extracted, a prefabricated denture is inserted directly over the bleeding sockets. At this time you will still be numb from the freezing used for the extractions, so it is not painful to apply the denture. In fact, the immediate denture acts like a band-aid and reduces pain when the freezing finally wears off.

The appeal of immediate dentures is that there is no point between having extractions and having dentures in which you will be without teeth. The bone that supported the original teeth is still intact and the gum tissue is firm. For the first week or so, the denture remains stable and reasonably retained.

The construction of an immediate denture requires one or two preliminary appointments before the insertion date. The number of appointments depends on how many natural teeth you have at the start.

For most people, the immediate dentures become permanent dentures. However, there are sometimes problems associated with immediate dentures that might cause you to want new dentures made after your gums have healed, in about a year. These problems account for the alternate name of immediate dentures: temporary dentures.

Some of the problems include:

  1. If you have more than one or two remaining front top teeth, it is usually impossible to do a wax try-in set. The denture teeth are placed in about the same position as the natural teeth before extraction. Even though the denture teeth will be straight and clean, their position may not be ideal because there is no way to preview them as we do with a standard denture. For this reason, not everyone will be happy with the final appearance of their immediate denture, and may wish to invest in a new one at the end of about a year when most of the healing has taken place.

  2. After your natural teeth are extracted and the immediate denture is inserted, there is a relatively fast loss of the bone that used to hold the natural teeth in place. By the end of three weeks, enough bone has been lost that there is a lot of space between parts of the denture and the healing gums. This leads to rapidly increasing looseness and sore spots that must be removed frequently. In some offices, the dentist will include a free temporary soft reline at about one month after the extraction/insertion date. This is a simple way to tighten the denture against the gums. Since the material is a bit rubbery, and frequently medicated, it makes the denture much more comfortable until enough healing has taken place to do a permanent hard reline (at additional charge).

  3. At the end of four to six months, the immediate denture must be relined with the same acrylic that the denture base was made from originally. The longer you wait, the longer you can expect the denture to remain tight before another reline is needed. The hard reline is a separate procedure and the cost is NOT generally included in the original price of the immediate denture. This means the immediate denture ends up costing a bit more than the standard denture when the cost of the reline is taken into account. The hard reline marks the official transition of the immediate denture into a standard denture.