The process of getting dentures.
If you’ve reached a point where your dentist has explained that dentures are your best option, it’s really good to know what happens next.
Tooth extraction and healing
Before anything can happen with dentures your dentist will need to evaluate your current dental condition and decide the best course of treatment. If you have remaining teeth, your dentist will advise you on the next steps and extractions. The time it’ll take for your gums to heal can vary; it really depends on how many teeth you’re having removed.
If you are preparing for lower dentures we strongly recommend considering at least two implants to attach to the denture for better stability. Patients who do not pursue implants have far more problems with dentures fitting to loosely due to the lack of retention. Loose fitting dentures leads to more sore spots, trouble with chewing and patients feeling uncomfortable.
Immediate or same day dentures
Your dentist may choose to make immediate dentures depending on your mouth. After teeth are extracted, the soft, sensitive parts of your mouth will be sore and they can take a little while to heal and settle down. During this stage you may even experience bone spicules or protrusions that need to be smoothed down or removed. Immediate or same day dentures can be worn while the healing takes place.
The shape of your mouth will change and shrink as the tissues heal. Because of this many people report their immediate denture becoming loose after a period of time. Also, new sore areas may arise due to the changes in your mouth. If needed, we can reline the immediate denture periodically to improve your comfort level. A typical patient can expect to wait 6 months for adequate healing to occur before the final, more accurate set of dentures can be made. Most of the time there will be such a difference in the shape of your mouth before and after extractions that making a new set of dentures after healing will be advisable.
Having to have teeth extracted and dentures made to replace them can be upsetting, but it’s a very common procedure which millions of people undertake every year. So even though it can be a tough transition and takes some adjustment, this is a real turning point and a chance for you to look forward to the positives of new teeth.
Taking an Impression of your mouth
In order to start the denture process, your dentist will take a preliminary impression of your mouth. On subsequent visits, more impressions with finer details will be made. This gives your dentist an exact copy of your mouth that he/she can build your dentures from.
Time to choose your new teeth
Think of picking your dentures as like trying on new clothes. You’ll want them to look just like your natural teeth but some will suit you better than others. With help from your dentist you can decide which tooth shapes, sizes and shades fit your mouth and look right for you. If there’s anything you really didn’t like about your natural teeth, you may be able to improve them by telling your dentist at this stage.
It always helps if you can have a family member or friend to decide with you as a second opinion and a different view can be really useful. Once you and your dentist are happy with the look of the teeth you’ve chosen, your final dentures can be completed.
The initial fitting
This is when your new dentures will first be tried in your mouth and you’ll then wear them until your next visit. Your dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure they fit as well and as comfortably as they possibly can. You may be asked to come back for additional appointments so that any sore areas can be adjusted.
Regular dental exams
Once you’ve got your dentures and they start to become part of your everyday life it’s important to keep visiting your dentist regularly so you can make sure your oral health is in the best possible shape.
Your dentist can also make sure that you’re getting the very best out of your dentures and that they continue to fit you perfectly.