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What Are Temporary Dentures?

Dentists try to help patients retain their natural teeth as long as possible, but sometimes replacing them with dentures is the best treatment option. However, after the removal of the natural teeth, the mouth isn't ready for permanent dentures for several months. To avoid living without teeth over this period, patients can wear temporary dentures.

Fitting a Temporary Denture

A temporary denture is also called an immediate denture, and the dentist fits this prosthetic device immediately after removing the natural teeth. In a separate visit prior to tooth extraction, the dentist takes a bite impression, the teeth shade, size and shape, and measurements of the upper and lower jaw are determined and an impression of the upper and lower arches of the mouth are completed. Before your extraction, they will create the temporary denture and insert it as soon as the teeth have been removed. Because the mouth and gums have not had the chance to heal yet, temporary dentures often require refitting over the following weeks and months.

How Are Temporary Dentures Made?

In addition to jaw measurements, the dentist uses the existing natural teeth, lips and face shape to create the temporary dentures. A study in the Kerala Dental Journal outlines one procedure where providers created dental impressions of the upper and lower teeth arches and took measurements of the jaw, mouth and face. The immediate dentures were created to look similar to the original teeth in color and shape.

A study in BMC Oral Health notes an alternative method of creating an immediate denture using intraoral scanners, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing technology. Temporary dentures are made from a range of materials, most often resins.

Cleaning and Care

Food particles and plaque can build up on a temporary denture and leave stains if you don't brush it once per day and soak it at night, according to the Mayo Clinic. To brush the denture, hold it over a towel or basin half-filled with water to avoid breakage if you drop it. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, non-abrasive denture cleanser and water. Note that toothpaste may scratch your denture. Additionally, avoid hot water and solutions containing bleach, as they can damage the denture.

Ask your dentist for guidance on how to soak your denture overnight. Make sure to rinse your denture thoroughly before returning it to your mouth. You should also continue to clean your mouth, tongue and gums in the morning before inserting your denture.

Pros and Cons of a Temporary Denture

A temporary denture can save you from the aesthetic concerns and inconveniences of living without teeth, but it isn't the best choice for everyone. Your bone changes shape after the removal of natural teeth, which means that a temporary denture can become loose and uncomfortable, according to Dental Health Services Victoria. If the denture is loose, denture adhesive may be recommended and additional visits to the dentist may be needed before you receive your permanent, perfectly fitting denture.

Losing your natural teeth is a sensitive experience, but a temporary denture can boost your confidence. By bridging the gap until your permanent dentures are ready, immediate dentures ensure you never have to go a day without teeth. If you have any questions about dentures or want to learn more about the options available to you, speak with your dentist.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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