Immediate or Temporary Dentures
Have you been told you Need Dentures?
Anyone facing the prospect of immediate, or first dentures, will naturally be anxious about what they are facing. In this case, a decision between the patient and practitioner has been made. This decision has been made because either the patient’s teeth are irreparable, or the cost to repair their existing teeth is too high. Either way, the patient’s remaining teeth need to be extracted and replaced with a denture.
Following the practitioner’s guidance is always recommended, however, many dental practitioners will refer their patients to a surgeon who specializes in the extraction of problematic or difficult extractions. In many cases, these surgeons do not have a follow-up program. This means that, after the temporary denture has been fitted, the patient is sent out without any ongoing program to follow.
It is always a good idea to have some understanding of the process you are about to embark upon.
One thing must be very clear at this point. Once your teeth have been removed, you will become a denture wearer for the rest of your life. Many denture wearers will tell you that the journey from here on is long and unpleasant. Although the journey may be long (measured in years) it does not have to be unpleasant. Beautiful, natural-looking teeth and eating pork crackling with dentures is not for everyone - but it is most certainly achievable.
Warning! the journey you’re about to embark upon is both mechanical and psychological.
From a Mechanical Point of View:
There is very little you can do about the mechanical appearance of your first set of dentures. This is because, when the impressions for your new dentures are taken, your natural teeth are still in place, and therefore interfere with the impression and denture-making process. This means that the stone model, on which your new immediate or temporary denture is made, still has impressions of your remaining natural teeth on it when the technician starts their work.
Remember that we are discussing immediate dentures. This means that your teeth are removed, and your new temporary denture is put in position during the same appointment. This also means that the technician has to design and make your denture on a model which still has natural teeth. (See example below). In this case, the technician grinds away the stone teeth to where he or she thinks your gum will look like - after your teeth have been extracted. Once the grinding process is complete the technician goes ahead and makes a denture on this stone model.
Neither your dental practitioner nor his or her technician has a clear indication as to what your gums are going to look like after extraction. This means you can expect your first set of dentures to be slightly bulkier than what you would prefer!
Within 6 to 8 months, or as guided by your practitioner, you can think about a more permanent “natural-looking” denture. With your second or permanent denture, you have many more choices than you have with your first.
Over time, and as your gums shrink further, you’ll have more and more choices for a better and better looking, and fitting, denture.
From a Psychological Point of View:
As time passes, denture wearers come to accept their dentures as being a part of their normal lifestyle. If your dentures are correctly designed and manufactured, they can be virtually undetectable by your friends and family, as well as being comfortable to eat and speak with.
Many first-time denture wearers feel as though they have been abandoned by their dental practitioner after their dentures have been manufactured and issued to them. This is true, as I have experienced many thousands of cases of this abandonment.
Psychologically this is devastating for the unsuspecting new denture wearer. When the denture hurts, they are told to, "go away and persevere."
When it comes to immediate or temporary dentures, my strongest advice to you is to establish, and confirm, an ongoing relationship with your dental practitioner - before your teeth are extracted! The fact of the matter is that immediate, or temporary dentures can hurt your tender gums and, if not treated immediately, the aggravation of the denture against the gum will only increase, as the gums swell toward the impinging denture base.
Think about this. Your denture is already rubbing your gums causing pain. So, what will happen when you "go away" and "persevere"? Let me tell you what I have seen over my 35-year career. Your gum will swell because of the rubbing, causing you even more pain. No, perseverance is not the answer.
Make absolutely sure that your dental practitioner will welcome you back to their clinic after your dentures have been made, issued and paid for!
Pricing and Costs:
So, what about the price of immediate or temporary dentures? The total cost of a new temporary denture would be determined by the amount of work that has to be done in the mouth before the denture is fitted. In my Full Dentures e-book, I mention the advantages, and money-saving techniques, of requesting quality materials when getting new dentures, however, in the case of a temporary denture, it would be wise to opt for the lesser expensive materials, as this denture will most likely not be your favorite.
Quite often these dentures are relined many times over - in a very short period. The position of the teeth will also not be where you truly want them to be. Perhaps more prominent than you would like. This means many modifications may take place over 6 to 8 months, resulting in a denture that looks "secondhand" or "worn out" from all the technical changes that may need to be made. Sometimes this is unavoidable. If you have chosen more expensive materials, which are designed for dentures to last up to 10 years or longer, you will be paying unnecessary costs at the outset.