If you've suffered severe tooth decay, injury, or gum disease and need your remaining teeth replaced, an immediate denture can help relieve you of some concerns you may have after the extraction process is complete. An immediate denture, as its name implies, is a denture that is placed in your mouth immediately after your teeth are removed. It makes the transition to dentures less noticeable and also helps keep you performing everyday functions, like chewing and speaking.
Immediate dentures are made using your mouth as a model. First, your dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and establish a bite that best resembles your original bite. Your dentist will also help you select the shape and color of the denture teeth and gums. This impression is then sent to the dental laboratory.
During the next visit your dentist will adjust your bite, test your speech and check the appearance and functionality of the denture teeth and gums. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat this step to ensure that everything is just right.
After a satisfactory fit and appearance are achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory for fabrication. At the subsequent visit, the remaining teeth will be removed and the denture will be delivered. Please note that the extractions may be performed at one visit or they may be removed in two or more visits depending on the number and condition of the teeth to be extracted, the shape of your jaws and your health condition. Your dentist will best advise you of the preferred timing for your extractions.
While every effort is made to make a good and functional denture, please keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a perfect denture. After delivery of the immediate denture, it may require a few adjustment visits and some time for you and your immediate denture to adapt to each other. This is due to the fact that when your gums heal following the extractions they will shrink for a period of about 6 months and the denture needs to be re-based or re-lined to fit properly.
The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your immediate dentures is a process; in some cases, it takes weeks or months to get used to your immediate denture.
An immediate denture can also alter your eating; you will not have the same chewing efficiency as you had with your natural teeth. An immediate denture will also alter your speaking and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable. Keep in mind that due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the strong muscle movements of the tongue and cheek, a lower denture may be harder to keep in the mouth compared to an upper denture.
Fortunately there are new alternatives now, such as implants, which can help restore functionality that is more like natural teeth. You can discuss this possibility with your dentist.