Why Follow-up Appointments for Immediate Dentures Are So Important?

For those who may not know what immediate/surgical dentures are, they are dentures that are made for someone who is getting some or all of their remaining teeth pulled and the dentures are put in right away to control swelling and bleeding.

 

This also prevents the patient from walking around toothless while healing. When immediate dentures are the treatment of choice, there are many follow-up appointments once the teeth are extracted. With immediate dentures, the process of post-treatment is approximately one year long! Once patients get their dentures and are generally satisfied, there are a few questions that may run through their mind.

  • Your teeth feel great, why should you go back?

  • You can chew anything, why visit the denturist?

  • You don't have teeth anymore, what's the point in going in for a checkup?

  • What's in it for you?

Often, people are surprised by how long the treatment lasts for immediate dentures. With immediate dentures, there is massive amount of change occurring in the mouth. Once the teeth are extracted, the upper and lower jawbones begin to shrink.

 

During the first month, huge amounts of changes are occurring, the dentures will begin to loosen, and sore spots will appear. To compensate for the change, we place a soft, temporary liner material inside the denture to make it fit again. This soft material is only temporary and will collect significant amounts of bacteria in the mouth if it is not replaced when it should be. There will be, on an average, 1-5 times where this soft material will be placed due to the constant changing bone. This material will deteriorate over time and will no longer be useful if it is left for over three months!

 

About nine months to a year, from the original extraction date, a permanent reline will be done. A reline is when the underside of the denture is filled with more acrylic to fill-in where the bone has shrunk. During this year of change from when the date dentures are placed in the mouth, there will be large amount of changes occurring on the gums and the bones underneath. It is crucial to follow all of the steps of the immediate dentures because if the dentures are ill-fitting, it can cause irreversible damage to the bone and the soft structures that are supporting an ill-fitting denture.

 

Getting used to eating, speaking, and functioning with a new set of dentures can be awkward, strange and uncomfortable and therefore, it is important to keep close contact with your denturist to get help when you need it. However, the more you wear the dentures, the easier it will be to function with them. Dentures need to be replaced every 5 years and relined every 1-2 years. If this is not maintained, the bone that is supporting the dentures is compromised and will make it harder to wear dentures in the future.

 

Without having any natural teeth left, it is important that you see your denturist once a year to make sure that your dentures are still functioning as best as they can be, and to make sure that your oral health is still maintained. Very often, cancers and other diseases can first appear in the mouth; therefore, it is important that you have a dental health professional check the tissues regularly.

-          Madison Kowalchuk-Kanary

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