Many patients need to have some teeth extracted before their complete dentures can be fitted. Complete dentures (which securely rest on your palate) can be more stable and more straightforward to design and manufacture than partial dentures. Those isolated remaining natural teeth aren't necessarily doing your bite any favours, and the best results can be achieved with a full bite restoration—involving complete dentures.
You will be fitted with immediate complete dentures as soon as your last teeth are extracted. These aren't (or at least, shouldn't) be your permanent dentures. Immediate complete dentures are intended to be temporary. But what's the purpose of temporary dentures?
Why Your Temporary Dentures Shouldn't Be Permanent
Temporary dentures allow you to eat normally (with caution, as these dentures won't fit as well as their permanent replacement). There's also the cosmetic aspect, as you'll leave the dental clinic with a complete smile. So why can't these dentures be your permanent set?
- The prosthetic teeth of temporary dentures are usually made of acrylic materials, and so won't look as natural as permanent dentures (which feature ceramic false teeth).
- Temporary dentures won't fit as well as your permanent set. The interior of your mouth undergoes rapid changes after tooth extraction. As your mouth heals, its contours change, and dentures fitted immediately after extraction will soon not fit as well as they should.
- The denture base plate may be slightly uncomfortable, especially at the rear. The rear edge of the plate may tickle your throat, and even trigger your gag reflex.
But temporary dentures still serve a valuable purpose.
How Temporary Dentures Can Help You
They're (quite literally) a band-aid solution. In addition to allowing you to eat, they protect the extraction site while it heals. This added protection allows for a more predictable healing process, which can be helpful in avoiding complications when it's time for your permanent dentures to be fitted. They can also be relined during their service period. This is when a new layer of resin is added to the base plate, allowing your dentures to fit better. Permanent dentures will need relining too, but this won't be a regular requirement.
After several months (the precise healing time varies), your mouth will be ready for your permanent complete dentures, and in terms of comfort and look, you'll find them to be far superior to your temporary set. It's a good idea to hold onto your temporary dentures, as they can still serve as an emergency replacement if something ever happened to your permanent set.
For more information about full dentures, contact a local dentist.