Dentures are a viable option for those struggling with missing teeth, whether just a few teeth or an entire set. They serve as a functional replacement, restoring the ability to chew, speak clearly, and smile confidently.
Dentures come in different forms, such as immediate, permanent, and partial, each suited to specific oral health care needs. This blog aims to answer the question: can immediate dentures be permanent?
What are Immediate Dentures?
Immediate dentures are provided by your prosthetists immediately following tooth extraction. They’re removable and created using several bite impressions and measurements of your mouth taken during the initial appointment before your teeth are extracted. These dentures are a temporary solution, allowing you to wear dentures and maintain a normal appearance and function while your mouth heals.
Understanding Permanent Dentures
Contrarily, permanent or conventional dentures are provided once your gums have completely healed from the tooth extractions. Typically, the healing process may take several weeks to months.
Once healed, new bite impressions are taken to ensure a natural fit for the permanent denture. These dentures are designed to be thinner, lighter, and more comfortable than immediate or temporary dentures.
Immediate Dentures vs. Permanent Dentures
The main difference between immediate and permanent dentures involves when they’re made and fitted. While immediate dentures are made before teeth extraction and used immediately after, permanent dentures are fitted once your gum tissues have healed completely. The former offers an immediate solution to missing teeth, while the latter provides a long-term, permanent solution.
Temporary Dentures vs. Permanent Dentures
Like immediate dentures, temporary dentures are used immediately following dental surgery. However, they’re only an estimate of the size and shape of your teeth and are meant for short-term use. In contrast, permanent dentures are tailored to your mouth’s exact shape and contour, ensuring a natural fit and comfortable wear over an extended period.
The Denture-Making Process
Creating dentures involves meticulous planning and several appointments with your prosthetist. For immediate dentures, the process starts with an initial consultation where the prosthetist takes bite impressions of your existing teeth. After teeth extraction, these dentures are adjusted to control bleeding and aid healing.
Permanent dentures, however, are only made after your gums maintain a certain soft tissue contour following the healing process. After a final set of impressions, your permanent dentures are made to mimic your natural teeth closely.
Partial Dentures and Complete Dentures
When you have a few missing teeth, partial dentures can be an excellent solution, while complete dentures are recommended when all natural teeth are lost. An immediate partial denture or complete denture options can also be explored if you need teeth removed due to gum disease or tooth decay.
Oral Hygiene and Immediate Dentures
Oral hygiene indeed plays a vital role in the overall success and comfort of immediate dentures. Just like natural teeth, dentures can accumulate food particles and bacteria, leading to gum disease and bad breath if not adequately cleaned. Therefore, irrespective of whether your dentures are temporary or permanent, maintaining good oral hygiene practices is crucial for your oral health.
When you receive immediate dentures following a tooth extraction, there will be a healing period during which the gums and the bone beneath them shrink and change shape. During this time, you may experience some discomfort, and it is essential to keep the areas around the dentures clean to prevent infections that could further exacerbate this discomfort and potentially delay healing.
One key hygiene practice is removing your immediate dentures daily for cleaning. This not only helps to clean the dentures themselves but also gives your gums a chance to rest and be directly cleaned, reducing the risk of infections and gum diseases.
Use a soft denture brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser to gently brush all its surfaces, being careful not to damage any plastic or metal parts. It’s important to note that toothpaste should not be used for cleaning dentures as it can be too abrasive and may damage them.
In addition to cleaning your dentures, it’s important to maintain your oral health. This includes daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. It’s also essential to keep up regular check-ups with your prosthetist or oral health professional so they may identify and address any potential issues early.
Moreover, in the initial days after tooth extraction, your prosthetist might also recommend rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to help soothe the gum tissues and control bleeding.
Cost of Dentures
The dentures cost varies depending on several factors, such as the case’s complexity, the number of missing teeth, the type of dentures, and the prosthetist’s expertise. Discussing your dental and general health with your prosthetist to understand the cost involved better is essential.
Can Immediate Dentures be Permanent?
While immediate dentures offer a great temporary teeth replacement option after tooth extraction, they’re generally not designed to be used as a permanent solution. Over time, as your mouth adapts to the dentures and the gums and lower jaw heal, the shape of your mouth changes, potentially leading to a less-than-perfect fit.
However, certain cases may allow for refitting or realigning immediate dentures, extending their use. Denture realignment or relining is when the prosthetist resurfaces the underside of the dentures to make them fit your gums more comfortably.
It’s worth noting that even if your immediate dentures are realigned, they may not provide the same level of comfort and a natural fit as permanent dentures designed after the healing process.
The Pros of Retaining Immediate Dentures as Permanent
While immediate dentures are primarily a temporary solution during the healing process after tooth extraction, some patients may consider keeping them as permanent dentures due to the following potential benefits:
Retaining immediate dentures and making them permanent can be a more cost-effective option, as it avoids the expense of creating a new set of permanent dentures. Especially for those who are budget-conscious, this could be a significant advantage.
Comfort and Familiarity
Some patients may have grown comfortable with their immediate dentures and prefer to keep using them. In this case, a prosthetist can realign or rebase the immediate dentures to improve their fit after the gums and bones have healed and reshaped.
Immediate dentures offer the advantage of never having to appear without teeth. Should patients choose to retain their immediate dentures as permanent ones, they continue to benefit from this uninterrupted, seamless transition from natural teeth to dentures.
Choosing to keep immediate dentures as permanent ones can save considerable time as it removes the need for additional fitting appointments and the waiting period to create new dentures.
Things to Keep In Mind
While these pros might make the option of retaining immediate dentures appealing, it’s important to remember that this is not a suitable choice for everyone. As the mouth heals, gum tissue and jawbone changes often lead to immediate dentures fitting less comfortably over time. Despite realignment or rebasing, they may not provide the same comfort, fit, and function as customised permanent dentures would.
Before making this decision, it’s essential to consult with your prosthetist or dental professional. They will be able to assess your individual oral health care needs, explain the pros and cons, and guide you to make the best choice for your long-term oral health.
Conclusion: Trust Your Prosthetist
While immediate dentures can potentially serve as a permanent solution, it’s more beneficial to move towards permanent dentures in most cases. Their natural fit, comfort, and durability make them an excellent long-term solution for missing teeth.
Remember, maintaining your dental health is key. Whether you’re considering getting an immediate denture, a permanent denture, or exploring other options like partial dentures, ensure you keep up with your oral health care.
Book an appointment with Custom Denture Clinic today for a comprehensive examination and a personalised treatment plan. We strive to provide quality care that caters to your unique dental health needs, and we’ll guide you towards the best solution to restore your smile.
Immediate Dentures | College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics – The University of Iowa
Permanent Dentures (Types, Pros, Cons & Costs)
Dentures: Temporary & Permanent, Costs, Pros & Cons – Oral-B