Immediate dentures are those that are inserted directly after you have had teeth extracted. Either full or partial dentures may be placed in this way, however the former are more commonly delivered in such a manner. Although this may seem like an uncomfortable proposition (and it may be to a certain extent), there are many advantages to immediate denture placement.
If you are faced with the loss of a single or multiple teeth and will be replacing those teeth with removable full or partial dentures, immediate placement may be an option for you. If your bite is stable (meaning you bring your teeth together into a certain position consistently that will allow enough space between your upper and lower arches to position dentures), immediate dentures can generally be made for you. Keep in mind that a significant amount of shrinkage usually occurs in your jawbones after tooth loss that can leave the resulting ridge of gum tissue markedly reduced from its original size and shape when your teeth were extracted. Most of this deficit develops in the first three to four months after extraction and at that time your immediate denture should be relined to compensate for the decrease.
This patient's remaining teeth were hopeless, so a denture was first made beore his teeth were removed and the denture placed.
Chief among the advantages to immediate denture placement are the ability to reproduce your bite as it currently exists in the case of full dentures and the avoidance of being without a single tooth or all of your teeth while the post extraction healing process concludes. Replicating your existing bite, especially in the case of full dentures, will always be easier for you to function with than having a new bite created for you by a dentist when non-immediate (read traditional) dentures are made once your teeth have been lost. If your front teeth have not been too damaged by decay, their shape and shade may be duplicated in the denture teeth as well if you so desire. Being without a tooth or multiple teeth during the healing period can be esthetically compromising and can drastically limit your dietary options for a prolonged period of time.
To fabricate an immediate denture, Dr. McArdle takes impressions of your upper and lower arches and then a bite registration. You help him select the shape and shade of denture teeth desired and then the impressions are poured up in stone to make models. At the laboratory, the models are related to each other with the bite registration in a manner that simulates how you come together in your bite and then mounted on an instrument called an articulator that simulates the hinge action of your jaw joints. The teeth to be extracted are ground off the models in the closest approximation of what your residual ridge tissue will be like right after your extractions and the denture is made on these modified models.
There are disadvantages to immediate denture treatment. Wearing dentures over fresh extraction sites will generate more discomfort than letting these sites heal and making traditional dentures on intact ridges, though this can vary greatly among different patients. In almost all cases more adjustments are needed after the dentures are in use due to this discomfort than would be for traditional dentures. As mentioned previously, immediate denture placement will in most cases require a reline three to four months later which is an extra expense and immediate dentures themselves are more expensive than traditional ones due to the extra post insertion adjustments needed. If you are considering immediate denture placement, please ask Dr. McArdle if this option is appropriate for you.