Today, more than 36 million Americans have no teeth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades. For these individuals, getting extractions and dentures in the same day could be a great option, but the procedure isn't for everyone. If you need some or all of your teeth removed and are concerned about going without teeth while you wait for conventional dentures, you may want to consider immediate dentures as an option.
Immediate Denture Procedure
Immediate dentures, also known as temporary dentures, are placed the same day that your natural teeth are removed. By getting your extractions and dentures in the same day, you'll be able to flash that pearly white smile on your way in your dentist's office and on your way out, too. It's likely that you'll need to visit your dentist prior to your tooth extraction appointment so they can take bite impressions, measure the dimensions of your mouth and assess your tooth shade, as The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics explains. Your dentist will use this information to create your temporary dentures and have them ready for you on the scheduled day of your tooth extraction. It will also be important for you to know which dentures are right for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages
As The University of Iowa describes, there are several advantages to receiving immediate dentures:
- The immediate replacement of a missing tooth eliminates any extended gap of time without teeth.
- The dentures can be designed to exactly mimic the shape and color of the tooth (or teeth) to be extracted.
- The dentures cover the site where the teeth are extracted, which helps to protect the sockets while they heal and can reduce bleeding.
- Having your dentures placed immediately after your teeth are removed lets you adjust to talking with dentures sooner, and it eliminates any time gap where you would have to learn to speak without teeth.
It's also important to note that there are some potential disadvantages associated with immediate dentures, as outlined by The University of Iowa:
- Immediate dentures generally cost more than traditional dentures.
- Because immediate dentures are placed before the mouth has healed from tooth extraction, the fit of the dentures may loosen over time as the gums heal and shrink. This may cause discomfort, and patients may need to visit their dentist for refitting.
- The patient may not be able to see how the dentures will look prior to placement.
Are You a Candidate?
For some patients, immediate dentures are not a suitable option. Patients of older age, poor general health or those undergoing radiotherapy may not be the best candidates due to the complexity of the treatment, according to a study in the Journal of Research in Dentistry. Similarly, patients who are non-cooperative or who have a compromised mental state may not be able to tolerate the surgical procedure.
If you need one or more teeth removed and are looking to maintain a seamless smile and tooth function, getting extractions and dentures in the same day may be a viable option. Talk to your dentist to review your treatment options. They will be able to look out for your oral health and make the best recommendation for your individual situation.