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Immediate dentures – what are they and what are the pros and cons?

Immediate dentures, also known as same-day or temporary dentures, are dentures that can be made and fitted very quickly – often within 24 hours – so you never have to go a day without dentures. In this article, we take a look at why you might want immediate dentures to be fitted and some of the pros and cons, to help you decide if they’re the right choice for you.

Why have immediate dentures?

Despite advances in dental technology, losing teeth is still very common due to gum disease or tooth decay. But if your dentist needs to remove some or all of your teeth, it will take time for your mouth and gums to heal. This means it won’t be possible to fit permanent dentures straightaway. However, many people feel highly sensitive or self-conscious about losing their natural teeth so, instead of waiting for the healing process, they decide to have immediate dentures fitted as a ‘stop gap’.

Another reason people have immediate dentures is if their permanent ones are lost or broken and they’re waiting for them to be repaired or replaced.

Advantages of immediate dentures

It can take weeks or months for permanent dentures to be made, so wearing immediate dentures in the meantime is a choice many people make. You can have partial or full dentures fitted, which will instantly fill the gaps in your mouth after the extraction of one, several or all of your teeth. This means you can avoid the potential embarrassment of being seen out and about without your teeth.

Another advantage is that the dentures can actually help your mouth and gums to heal, as they protect your gums and help reduce bleeding. Although they’re designed to be temporary, they do cost less than permanent dentures – so some patients choose to keep them in the longer term to save money, as they can actually last for years in some cases.

As noted above, the turnaround time for immediate dentures is very quick. Before your tooth or teeth are extracted, your dentist will take an impression of your existing teeth, note their shape and colour, and measure your upper and lower jaw. They’ll then use these measurements to order your temporary dentures to be made at a dental laboratory, so they’ll be ready for use straight after your extraction.

And because you’ll still have your natural teeth at the time the immediate dentures are made, it’s much easier to make them resemble your teeth in terms of colour and shape than it would be post-surgery.

Disadvantages of immediate dentures

The main problem people tend to find is that temporary dentures aren’t custom-made to fit your mouth in the same way as permanent ones. This means you might find they move or slip around, which can be inconvenient. This movement can trigger a gag reflex if they touch the back of your mouth, which means they won’t be suitable for some patients.

Another issue is changes to your mouth and potential shrinking of your jaw bone, which can happen after dental surgery. So, you can expect a series of repeat visits to your dentist so that your dentures can be re-lined, which means adding extra material to them to compensate for changes in your mouth and jaw, including the reduction of swelling.

Some patients also experience soreness and pain when they first start wearing them, as their mouth and gums haven’t healed. In addition, temporary dentures may not feel like your natural teeth, which can take some getting used to. They’re not as sharp as permanent ones, so you might have some problems with chewing. To start with, you’ll need to stick to softer foods as you become accustomed to your temporary dentures.

You’ll need to wear your immediate dentures for up to eight months before your permanent dentures (and your mouth) will be ready. And if you do decide to keep them as your permanent dentures, you’ll need to be prepared for regular dental visits to have them adjusted, so they continue to fit. This could turn out to be a more expensive option in the long run than opting for a different type of denture.

Are immediate dentures for you?

It really depends on your circumstances. If you’re just having a couple of back teeth removed, this probably won’t be too noticeable so you may decide against them. On the other hand, if your dentist is removing a significant number of your teeth, or all of them, the chances are they’ll recommend immediate dentures. Of course, the choice will be yours and you should discuss this with your dentist if they need to perform an extraction.

it’s important to note that immediate dentures won’t be right for everyone. Your dentist might advise you against having them if you suffer from certain health conditions or have specific oral issues which make them an unviable option.

Like to know more?

For more information about immediate dentures, and to discuss if they might be suitable for you, please contact First Class Dental Clinics on 0115 646 2023 or contact us online. Our clinical dental technicians will be pleased to help. Or, you can read about all our different denture services at our website.