More about Immediate Dentures

What are Immediate Dentures?

Immediate dentures are dentures that are put in ‘immediately’ after having a tooth extraction. This could be to replace any number of teeth.

It may be that the prognosis is very poor for all your remaining teeth (as commonly happens with severe gum disease), in which case an ‘immediate complete denture’ or dentures (top and bottom) may be made. On the other hand, an ‘immediate partial denture’ could also be made as a temporary solution to allow the gums to heal up before you consider other treatment, if you require a single front tooth extracted. Or any combination in-between these two extremes.

After a tooth extraction your gums will heal and shrink as the bone in that area is no longer needed to support your tooth. Most changes occur during the first three months when one or more denture relines will often be needed and by 6 months your bone level should be pretty stable.

At this point the temporary relines can be replaced with a more permanent acrylic reline, a new denture or a fixed option such as a dental bridge or implant – whichever is the most appropriate for your situation.

This healing generally isn’t a problem at the back of your mouth and so immediate dentures tend only to be used where aesthetics would otherwise be a problem to allow you to continue to smile and socialise.

The amount of shrinkage and healing time will vary slightly from one person to another.

What are the Advantages of Immediate Dentures?

Immediate Dentures have a number of advantages:

  • No gap- You don’t have to walk around without teeth or with a gap in your smile
  • Better healing- It promotes better healing by stabilising the clot underneath
  • Less resorption- It loads your ridges straight away saying to your brain- “Hey, we need this bone for support” thus reducing the overall amount of resorption
  • Improved chewing- It allows you to continue to chew and function normally
  • Improved speech- It stops your speech being affected from having a space (if it is at the front of the mouth)
  • Easily adjusted- They can be easily relined when the gum shrinks up to cover any unsightly gap or improve the fit. A temporary bridge on the other hand may need to be re-made.
  • Better alternative- With immediate full dentures it allows the existing position of the natural teeth to be copied and the correct height of the dentures (OVD) to be somewhat gauged- instead of it being a total guess. There is however, another side to the coin discussed below.
    What are the Disadvantages of Immediate Dentures?

Since it is a denture, all the disadvantages of standard dentures could apply here, such as it will need to be taken in and out to be cleaned, biting and speech may be affected to begin with etc. Bear in mind, immediate dentures are a working progress/ temporary solution whilst healing occurs and further adjustments are part of the game- there is no way of avoiding them with the changes that occur to your jawbone.

If you are having an immediate denture, i.e. your teeth are removed and the denture put straight in, you do not have the luxury of a try-in stage. There is quite a lot of guesswork involved here, due to the ‘straight-in’ procedure. With a single tooth this generally isn’t too much of a problem, but with a full denture where the extension of the base is so crucial to your grip, a poor fit may result. Frequent adjustments and the use of denture fixative may be needed in-between the relines.