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Immediate Dentures

Losting teeth is not something anyone wants to do an it can be a trying and stressful experience for most people. Even more difficult can be the experience of getting used to a denture - the appliance that dentists can have constructed for those people who lose one or more or even all of their teeth.

This information is to inform patients of the process and some of the problems that can be encountered with immediate dentures.

If you are about to have full upper and lower immediate dentures fitted, be aware that the very best dentures will only allow you to have 25 per cent of the chewing power you had with all of your teeth - that is a big change to get used to.

Another major change for someone who has never worn a dentures is that you will initially feel that you have a mouthful of plastic - and indeed you have. This will take some getting used to - the amount of time varies with each individual and can take three months or more.

Some patients never truly become comfortable with dentures, but put up with them as a poor second to theirown teeth. A few patients will find that they are not able to ever become comfortable wearing a denture, particularly a lower denture.

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The term immediate denture is applied to any denture that is planned and constructed with the intention of placing it in your mouth immediately upon the removal of teeth. They have the advantage that you do not have a waiting period with no teeth present. This can deal with possible embarrassing appearance problems, but a rigid timetable of follow-up treatment is required for the most successful outcome.

It is important that the denture/s be placed immediately after surgery, and that it is left in place for 24 hours.

You will then return to your dentist who will remove the denture/s, examine the mouth and make any necessary adjustments to the denture/s.

During the following seven days you should follow the post-surgery instructions, removing the denture/s after eating so that the mouth can be thoroughly rinsed and the denture/s cleaned, and the placing the denture/s back in the mouth.

After about seven days you should see your dentist again so that the denture/s can be removed in order that the biting surfaces may be made more regular. This is achieved by recording the relationship between the upper and lower dentures and grinding the tooth surfaces to achieve an even bite.

No denture is permanent in the sense that once you have a denture/s it will last a lifetime. Immediate dentures require regular checks because of the changes in the underlying bone that occurs after your teeth have been removed. You will therefore be called in at around three- monthly periods for up to 12 months after the denture/s have been inserted. At any of the review visits the dentist may recommend tissue conditioning, relining, rebasing or remaking to ensure denture fit and comfort, and to avoid damage to the valuable underlying bone that helps hold the denture in place.

You should discuss the ongoing fees for these treatments with your dentist, as each of these steps have costs that will need to be met by you, so it is important that you understand these fees.

It is recommended that from one week after the extraction of your teeth and the placement of the immediate denture/s your denture/s be removed at night and left to soak in a 1:10 solution of household bleach and water. The denture/s should be brushed with soap and water in the morning and then more during the day.

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Awareness of the many problems that can occur in the construction and wearing of immediate dentures will help in the preparation for the transition from your own natural teeth to wearing a denture. You will not be along if you find that any of the following situations occur with the wearing of your new denture/s:

Dentures are not like your own teeth and it can take three months of more to learn to use your new denture/s. Speech and taste are affected because the denture/s reduce tongue space and cover some of the taste buds.

Ulcers and likely to develop because of denture movement during eating, especially from your lower denture. Ulcers require that the denture/s be adjusted.

Lower dentures in particular are difficult to use. It takes learned muscle control and a balance between the tongue and the lop/cheek muscles to keep a lower denture in place. Some people cannot learn to use a lower denture.

If your own natural teeth have worn and appear short, it may not be possible to show more teeth with the denture because of a lack of room that is available in your mouth to make a denture that will also be comfortable to wear.

Before you decide to proceed with the loss of your own teeth and the fitting of your immediate denture/s, please discuss any questions you have with yourdentist. Again, it is important that you are aware of the possible problems to be faced, and that there is not necessarily a complete set of answers.

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