You have just had an immediate denture placed in your mouth. The following information will assist you to understand the sequence of events during the healing period:
- Teeth have been removed from your mouth. Stitches may have been placed to help the mouth heal. If so, they will dissolve by themselves, unless we tell you differently.
- Dentures have been placed to replace your missing teeth, gum tissue and bone. Today these dentures will feel large and bulky until your gums have healed and shrunken slightly, at which time we will make the dentures thinner and less bulky. The dentures may cause your speech to be altered for a few days. This will disappear soon.
- Do not take the dentures out of your mouth today. We will do so tomorrow. The new dentures serve as a bandage similar to a cast on a broken arm during initial healing. After the initial denture removal and adjustment, you may remove the dentures as needed for cleaning.
- Some discomfort is usually present when teeth are removed and immediate dentures are placed. The discomfort is due to one of two reasons:
- The trauma of removing teeth. This will heal rapidly and go away by itself.
- The denture may have a pressure spot. If so, it will be observed and removed by us as soon as you tell us about the discomfort. It will not go away by itself.
- If you have been given antibiotics, take them as directed until they are gone.
- Use the pain relieving pills only until the discomfort has gone.
- Your dentures may have been relined today with a soft material that makes them easier to wear and speeds healing. This material may be replaced during the initial six weeks or more healing period. It is not the final denture material. Be careful not to dislodge it when cleaning.
- As soon as convenient, place some ice cubes in a plastic bag and place the bag externally on the area where the teeth were removed. This will reduce swelling and bruising. However, some swelling and bruising may still occur for a short period of time.
- After six to eight weeks (minimum) your denture will be relined to refine its fit to the healing supporting tissues. At this time the denture will appear, fit, and function as it was intended. Before that time, it is not in its final state.
- Healing from tooth extractions continues for up to 18 months. Shrinkage of gums and bone may occur during that time, but it slows thereafter. You may elect to have a second reline of the denture 18 months after the initial surgery.
- Immediate dentures are a major change to your body. Do not worry if you are slow to adapt. Millions of others have been through this experience. We expect your eventual denture to serve you well for many years.