Sometimes you just have to make due. You make the best of the situation based on what you have to work with. For some patients, many years can pass between dental visits and the news they receive at these visits can be bad. In some cases, this news is when the dentist has to tell their patient that nothing can be done to save a tooth or teeth. The teeth then must be pulled and their #1 concern is always the same: will I have to go without my teeth? Luckily, answer is no, you don’t.
This was a patient of mine who first came into my office because all of their remaining teeth were wiggling. After looking the teeth in question, it was determined that none of the teeth could be saved.
After the teeth were removed and the immediate denture was placed, the results were great. The patient’s situation significantly improved after the move to a permanent denture.
Immediate dentures are placed right after the teeth are pulled and allow the patient to leave the office with something to chew and smile with. The process is relatively simple.
Once a tooth or teeth are determined to be a hopeless cause, impressions are taken with the teeth in the mouth. These impressions are used to make casts, or models, of the teeth, which are then sent to a dental lab.
The lab is then instructed by the dentist which teeth are to be removed. The lab uses instruments to remove the teeth from the casts, simulating the tooth being pulled. A denture is then made in these empty spaces and then returned to the dental office and to the patient.
On the day of the procedure:
The dentist removes the teeth and the denture is place in the mouth immediately afterwards. This immediate insertion provides three distinct advantages:
- the patient leaves with something to fill the spaces
- bleeding is controlled by the denture, and
- inflammation of the mouth is minimized with the denture in place
The important thing for the patient now is to wear the denture for a full 24 hours without taking it out. The dentist will then need to see the patient back in 24 hours for a denture check so that it can be adjusted for sore spots and the healing can be inspected. The bleeding should have stopped long before the 24 hour mark. After the 24 hour check is the one week follow-up. By that time, most of the swelling is gone and the denture may need further adjustment.
Another frequent question that gets asked: is this denture permanent? The answer is no. Just like with the muscles of your body can shrink from lack of use, the bone in your mouth shrinks if there are no teeth. This process of losing bone is slow process, but is somewhat stable after 6 months. This is why a second denture should be made at six months.
If you have dental problems where you think that you might not be able to save the teeth, please give us a call to schedule a consultation. This is the first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile. You may contact our office by phone or complete the appointment request form below.