Immediate dentures may be just the denture you're looking for. Perhaps you would feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about being without your natural teeth during the four to six week process of being fitted for standard dentures. Maybe you're concerned about what you'd be able to eat, and how in the world you'd be able to eat it? Or maybe you would feel just plain self-conscious about a toothless smile. Choosing to have immediate type dentures can put all of these worries to rest.
Immediate dentures get their name from the fact that they are immediately installed into the bone socket after the natural teeth have been extracted.
It follows then that immediate dentures are only suitable for patients who still have their natural teeth, no matter how bad of a condition they are in. Immediate dentures are no longer an option for potential denture wearers whose natural teeth have already been removed and the gums have healed over.
The key to having immediate dentures is to plan for them before your teeth come out. Planning takes place with approximately two visits to your denturist prior to tooth removal. During these visits, your denturist will take precise measurements of your facial structure and original tooth size. Original tooth placement will also be noted. These measurements will determine the proper sizing for your new dentures, helping to assure that they will look realistic once they are installed.
Next, it's time to select your replacement teeth. Computer technology has taken this phase to new heights, and actually makes choosing denture teeth fun. You will be taken to a "virtual library" of dentures in every conceivable shape, size and shade. Make your choices and then see them assembled on the screen. If you're not satisfied with any aspect of the potential new dentures, you can go back and alter your original choices until you've assembled a set that pleases you. Your denture order will then be sent to a lab for manufacturing.
This is far and away a better system than the old one in which denture candidates wouldn't get to see the whole picture until the final product had already been assembled. Sometimes this led to disappointment. Since you'll be wearing your new dentures 24/7, you deserve dentures that will make you feel pleased about wearing them.
When your new dentures arrive back at the office it's time to install them. Your denturist will extract your old teeth under anesthesia, and the new denture teeth will be immediately cemented directly into the open socket. The biggest benefit of this process is that your new dentures will provide pressure stimulus to your jaw bone. Bones need such stimulus in order to continue production of more bone tissue. This means you shouldn't suffer from the bone deterioration that renders standard denture wearers unable to keep their dentures in place.
Your gums will likely be somewhat swollen after the extractions and it will take a few weeks for them to heal. During this period your gums will begin to shrink back to their normal size and shape, and this may make your new dentures shift slightly out of alignment. Your denturist will then need to make adjustments to restore proper placement of the new dentures.
All things considered, immediate dentures can be a great solution to the old denture process. Only your denture professional is qualified to determine if you are a candidate for immediate type dentures.