Dentures are great in replacing teeth that have fell off or removed. Plus, because of dental care innovations, dentures have become more natural looking and more comfortable, so no reason not to wear them as substitute for lost teeth. Still, it may feel uncomfortable at first.
Your gums need to heal and your mouth needs to get used to the false teeth, especially if you’ve had no teeth in the empty spaces for some time. Sometimes it takes a few months for you depending on how fast your body heals. During this time, you are likely to feel sore. This pain and swelling of the gums will however slowly subside.
It can be a partial or full denture, but during the following instances it’s necessary to have remaining teeth extracted and replaced with a full denture:
- There are only few remaining teeth that cannot support a new prosthesis.
- The natural teeth are in poor condition.
- If the sockets or gums are infected so that they can no longer support the remaining natural teeth.
Nonetheless, it’s up to the dental prosthetist to decide if it’s better to remove or keep the remaining teeth.
In case a tooth or a number of teeth are extracted, it’s recommended that you see your dentist a day (24 hours) after. You also need to consult the day after you got your dentures. Then a follow-up visit is necessary after one week.
These follow-up visits are important because:
- They allow your Dental Prosthetist to check for any sustained soreness that need his or her attention i.e. sore spots.
- How your dentures fit should be checked. The Dental Prosthetist will make adjustments to your dentures if necessary. Sometimes you may require soft relines to your dentures following the denture procedure.
These visits are recommended for immediate dentures.
What immediate dentures involve?
Immediate dentures are dentures placed immediately after the extraction of the remaining teeth. The procedure involves taking impressions of your mouth while the teeth are still present.
By the time the teeth are removed, a denture is ready to be inserted and everything is done on one visit.
This differs from the traditional way. Usually, teeth are extracted during an initial visit. The gum and jaw bone would then be allowed time to heal before your dentures are fabricated.
This could take several weeks, and you’d have to go around without teeth in the meantime.
Given this, more prefer the immediate denture technique so that they won’t have to go around without teeth.
Yet this procedure has the following disadvantages:
This happens because the Dental Prosthetist is unable to fit the denture prior to the extraction of the teeth. This can also cause soreness and the need to adjust the denture.
Swelling of gums
Since the denture is placed immediately following tooth extraction, you are likely to experience some swelling.
You are therefore required to keep the denture on for the subsequent 24 hours and see the Dental Prosthetist the next day. This is necessary because taking off the dentures may cause bleeding and swelling that could prevent you from putting the dentures back on.
So you’ll know what to do, the Dental Prosthetist will give you some post-operative instructions. It is important that you follow these to the letter.
How to care for your new dentures?
Note that during the healing process, your speech may be slightly altered and your tongue and lips need to adapt to using the new denture.
Here are steps you must do to speed up healing:
- Do not remove your dentures for three days, or as directed by the Dental Prosthetist. This will help minimise the chances of bleeding and keep swelling to a minimum.
- Chew only soft foods and in small bites. You should not chew as hard using your dentures nor eat hard foods as if you’re using natural teeth. They can’t chew the same way natural teeth do.
- In case your bite feels uneven several days down the line, tell your Dental Prosthetist. In the off chance that you develop a severe sore spot which prevents you from wearing the denture, visit your Dental Prosthetist.
- After three days, take off your dentures before every bedtime to allow you gums to heal. Check with your Dental Prosthetist on how you should clean your denture. You should clean it regularly to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating.
Though you may experience some pain with fresh new dentures, the pain will surely subside and having a complete set of teeth, albeit false, boosts your confidence significantly. This is confidence that will allow you to achieve greater things.