Dentures are prosthetic teeth that replace missing natural teeth. You may need them if you’ve lost teeth due to decay, an oral injury, or periodontal disease (advanced gum disease). All of these oral conditions can cause weakened, broken, or missing teeth.
Dentures are considered a long-term solution, and there are several different types to choose from. Some dentures are removable, while others are permanent (fixed into place).
Your general dentist or prosthodontist can talk to you about the best dentures for your oral health needs. The five different types of dentures include the following:
Let’s focus on immediate dentures, which are also called provisional prostheses.
Immediate dentures can give you a more complete smile while you’re waiting for your gums to heal. This way, you never have to go out into public without teeth. And you’ll have an easier time adjusting to your new dentures once you are ready for them. You already have the experience of learning speech patterns with your immediate dentures.
Here’s what you should know about immediate dentures:
Immediate dentures, also known as temporary dentures, are necessary for some patients. If you have had any teeth removed, your gums will need to heal before the dentist can give you a new set of dentures. The purpose of them is to provide a set of teeth for eating, speaking, and smiling until a permanent pair can be fabricated. In the meantime, they will use full or partial immediate dentures.
These go in on the first day, immediately following your surgery. They’ll stay in throughout your healing period. This generally takes about six months, but it may take shorter or longer for some people.
Immediate dentures are not for everyone. Your dentist may advise you against immediate dentures if you have certain health conditions or oral health problems. Talk to your dentist about whether or not immediate dentures are right for you. There may be other options available to you.
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It typically takes about four to five visits to the dentist’s office for the fabrication phase of immediate dentures. This includes any preliminary surgeries you may need.
If you need a complete immediate denture set, your back teeth will likely be extracted six to eight weeks before this phase. This way you can heal in time for a better-fitting immediate denture set.
The process for putting immediate dentures is not complicated, but it does take time:
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Temporary dentures are just that: temporary. They are only used while your mouth heals from getting teeth removed. Once you heal, you’ll be given permanent dentures. Permanent dentures should last you many years.
Immediate dentures are a great interim solution following a tooth extraction. Until you can have your conventional dentures put in, immediate dentures will complete your smile. They’ll help you chew better and minimize any potential facial distortion during your healing process, too. Plus, immediate dentures act as Band-Aids that protect your gum tissues and reduce bleeding.
Most people who have immediate dentures put in are satisfied with them. Approximately 85 percent of patients get used to them and can eat well.
Immediate dentures are not a permanent solution. You will still need to transition to your new teeth after you heal.
Another disadvantage to immediate dentures is that you cannot try them on first. You won’t be able to see how they look until your teeth are extracted. Because you can’t try them on, they may not fit as comfortably as the new set of conventional dentures. However, conventional dentures fit to the patient’s mouth. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to customize them.
Of course, the use of immediate dentures adds to the cost as well.
Immediate dentures may not be immediately comfortable. With all dentures, it can take time to adjust. You may experience some difficulty chewing and speaking for the first few days. You may also experience some soreness and sore spots.
Without dental insurance, dentures can cost well over $4,000. With immediate dentures, that price tag can go up. Additional time is needed to construct them, and you’ll probably need follow-up visits for adjustments and re-fittings.
Fortunately, many dental plans do indeed cover immediate dentures. Dental insurance can cover all of or some of both partial and full immediate dentures. Insurance can make your immediate dentures and conventional dentures both more affordable.
For example, through Guardian Direct, both Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plans and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans provide denture coverage for dentures. While the network of providers available and the cap on annual maximums and other benefits vary, you’ll have some cost savings.
Reach out to your dental insurance provider to make sure that immediate dentures are covered for you.
Caputi, Sergio, et al. “Immediate Denture Fabrication: a Clinical Report.” Annali Di Stomatologia, CIC Edizioni Internationali, 4 Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3935354/.
“Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?” Guardian Direct, www.guardiandirect.com/resources/articles/does-dental-insurance-cover-dentures.
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