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Posted: 03.15.2021

What Are Immediate Dentures?

Your dentist may have recommended getting immediate dentures, also known as temporary dentures, following a tooth extraction, but you may have questions about what that means. Not wanting to embarrass yourself in front of your dentist (or perhaps you were still out of it from the anesthesia and couldn’t think straight), you kept your questions to yourself, only to end up here on your quest to know more. Lucky for you, we have just the answers you’re looking for with regard to immediate dentures. What are they? Are they for you? How do you get them? And how much do they cost?

In this article:

What Are Immediate Dentures?

Immediate dentures, also known as temporary dentures, are inserted immediately after tooth extraction. You can think of these as a “placeholder” for the first two to three months until your permanent dentures are ready. You can learn more about the difference between permanent and temporary dentures here

Are Immediate Dentures for You?

If you’ve just had teeth extracted, then your dentist may give you temporary dentures to wear. However, the denture depends on how many teeth you’ve had removed. You could either get: 

Immediate dentures are a good solution for people who have aesthetic or psychological concerns about navigating daily life without prosthetics following dental extraction. It can make life much easier as you wait for your permanent set of dentures to be made

Advantages and Disadvantages of Temporary Dentures

Like with all kinds of dentures, there are pros and cons. You can explore the advantages and disadvantages to see if temporary dentures are the right choice for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Temporary Dentures

Like with all kinds of dentures, there are pros and cons. You can explore the advantages and disadvantages to see if temporary dentures are the right choice for you.

The advantages of immediate dentures are that they:

  • Fill in the gaps in your mouth immediately after tooth extraction or a full-mouth extraction.
  • Give you time to get used to wearing, speaking, and eating with dentures.
  • Protect your gums during the healing process and help minimize gum bleeding.
  • Allow you to get dentures the day of your denture extraction so you can go out in public immediately with teeth.

The disadvantages are that they:

  • Are an extra cost.
  • Aren’t custom-made, so the fit isn’t as ideal as permanent dentures, meaning it’s possible they may slip or move around a bit.
  • May need to be adjusted and relined for comfort to account for the changes in your mouth due to healing, which can also add to the cost factor.
  • May cause you to experience soreness or irritation as your mouth heals and adjusts to dentures.
  • Need to be worn for four to six months until you get your permanent dentures.
  • Won’t feel like natural teeth, and they are not as sharp as permanent dentures so they may be difficult to chew with.
  • May allow for you to experience bone shrinking after a tooth extraction, meaning your dentist will need to adjust and realign your immediate dentures.
  • Cannot be tried before the teeth are extracted, so you can’t see how they look in advance.

What’s the Process of Getting Temporary Dentures?

So how do you go about getting an immediate denture? The process usually goes like this: 

  • One to two months before your tooth extraction. The dentist will take several impressions of your mouth, usually over four or five visits. This process helps your dentist create the right denture for you.

  • The day of the extraction. Once your teeth are removed, you will get the immediate denture inserted after the procedure. 

  • First day with immediate dentures. You may feel a little soreness and discomfort as you get used to the denture. 

  • First weeks. You will adjust to dentures, and the denture soreness and discomfort will slowly go away. 

  • Getting your permanent dentures. When your dentist thinks it’s time, you will get impressions for your permanent dentures, and they will be made to measure. 

How Are Immediate Dentures Made?

Your dentist will extract the back teeth first, which will need to heal over the course of four to eight weeks. Once that back area has healed, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth and get your immediate dentures made. The process is similar to how standard dentures are made and are often made from resins. Once your immediate dentures arrive, you’ll have the front teeth extracted by your dentist. Then your dentist will put the dentures in the mouth and get them adjusted if necessary, so they fit.

What Are the Costs of Immediate Dentures?

The cost of immediate dentures depends on a few factors, like the type of dentures, for example. Immediate dentures are an additional cost to permanent dentures because they will need to be constructed before the extraction, and you may need follow-up visits for adjustments and refitting.

An immediate denture costs more than conventional dentures at first as you’ll need extra time for construction. A guide for recontouring tissues after the extraction through a surgical stent is necessary and you may also need follow-up visits for adjustments and relining, as your gum line will change shape as it heals. Once your soft tissues have healed and the underlying bone stopped shrinking, usually about six months following extractions, the immediate denture will be replaced by a permanent reline or a permanent denture. As your mouth changes over this healing process, you may need your denture relined and readjusted more than once, which can also add up to costs.

Care and Cleaning Temporary Dentures

Once all your teeth have been extracted, your dentist will fit the immediate denture. You’ll need to follow your dentist’s advice to avoid any complications. You will need to keep your new immediate dentures in for 48 hours. After that, you can clean your dentures just as you would permanent dentures.

To clean your temporary dentures:

  1. Hold them over a towel or basin half filled with water to avoid breaking them.

  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, denture cleanser, and water to clean them.

  3. Soak your dentures overnight in water or cleaning solution.

How Long Can I Leave My Immediate Dentures Out?

When you get your immediate dentures, follow the instructions your dentist gives you. Usually, you should not take the denture out until the morning following the extraction, and even then only for cleaning. However, by your fourth day, you should take the denture out at bedtime and leave the denture in a cup filled with cold clean water until the morning.

Your dentist will give you immediate dentures after tooth extraction. Not only do they help you get used to dentures, but they also cover up the gap left behind while your permanent dentures are being made, so you can get out and live life with confidence.

How Long Do Immediate Dentures Last

As seen from the name, temporary dentures are designed to be temporary—and should only be worn for six to eight months until you get your permanent dentures. Since temporary dentures are not custom fitted, it’s best not to wear them for the long term

Frequently Asked Questions About Immediate Dentures

How long can you wear temporary dentures?

Temporary dentures are designed to only be worn for six to eight months, while you wait to get your permanent dentures.

How painful are immediate dentures?

Most of the discomfort is due to tooth extraction and inflammation in the gums as they heal, not the dentures themselves. In fact, temporary dentures hold the tissues of the gums together as they heal and acts like a “bandage.”

What is the difference between temporary dentures and permanent dentures?

The main difference between temporary dentures and permanent dentures is that temporary dentures are not custom-made to fit your mouth like a permanent denture. In fact, permanent dentures take more time to fit and make, which is why a temporary denture can be a good solution while you’re waiting for your permanent denture.

Do permanent dentures feel better than immediate dentures?

Temporary dentures don’t fit as well as a permanent denture, which has been custom made for you. As your mouth heals from surgery and your jaw changes in size, temporary dentures will need to be relined to fit better. A permanent denture uses impressions of your mouth to get the perfect fit, so it’ll feel more secure and comfortable than an immediate denture.

Can immediate dentures be made in one day?

Immediate dentures are made before the front teeth extraction, as your dentist will take impressions after the back teeth have been removed. So, these dentures are not made in one day, but are ready to go once you’ve had your front teeth removed.

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