Lets face it, losing all your teeth is not fun. It can be psychologically and physically traumatizing, sending pangs of fear down your spine as you think about it. But you are not alone, according to US statistics there are over 35 million fully edentulous people in United States alone.
As we have not yet learned to re-grow our teeth for the third time, the most common solution to restore your smile and chewing function is to get dentures. Dentures are acrylic prosthetics that fit over the toothless gums. If they are quality dentures, they should fit comfortably, be functionable and undetectable in the mouth, meaning that no one will know you wear dentures besides you. Now if only it was so easy!
Typical healing time after a tooth extraction is about 8 month to a year, meaning that it will take close to a year before your gum is fully healed after surgery. Very few people i know are willing to wait so long before getting fitted for dentures after losing their teeth. We have busy lives that demand social interaction and a winning smile, especially in today’s world. That’s where immediate dentures come in.
An immediate denture is fabricated prior to your teeth extractions and is placed immediately post dental surgery. The major benefit is that you’re not without teeth for any period of time, it also acts like a sort of a bandaid and speeds up the healing process. The downside: major healing happens in the first three months, the gum will begin to become less puffy, bumpy and irritated, it will shrink in size; the denture, unfortunately will not and will start becoming uncomfortable. There is no one at fault as this is a natural healing process that will take place in your mouth.
One option is to use denture adhesives to support the denture in the mouth, this is the least expensive option though maybe not the most pleasant one. Alternatively, you can get a temporary liner in your immediate denture to help with retention during your healing process and to avoid the use of denture adhesives. On average a person will need three to four temporary liners (also called tissue conditioner) as they heal post dental surgery. As the gum heals and shrinks down, the liners will help to keep the denture in place.
Once your gums have fully healed you are again presented with options. You will know your gum is healed when it becomes smooth and even to the touch of your tongue. At this point, and especially if you opted out of the temporary liners, the denture will be swimming in your mouth; it will be oversized for your gum and quite uncomfortable. It is very important to have the denture fitted properly in order to avoid bone loss and resorption.
The cheapest option is to have your existing immediate denture relined (refitted to match your healed gum) or you can get new permanent dentures. Either of these procedures should end the suffering. The gums are no longer healing and changing and the denture should sit comfortably in the mouth. After this stage the denture will become a part of you and you should start forgetting about the process of replacing your real teeth.
This is never an easy thing to go through but the end result can be very beneficial. You will have your toothy smile, you will be able to chew and eat normally and you will no longer have to worry about losing your teeth. The first three months will be the hardest and then denture life will start getting easier as your confidence and acceptance will be restored.
A beautiful smile is.. A quality of life