WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW IMMEDIATE DENTURE
Losing multiple teeth can be very difficult and challenging, but fortunately Immediate Dentures can be made to ease this transition. No denture will ever function as well as your natural teeth. Learning to wear a new denture takes a lot of effort and patience, but with time you can learn to use them well. The first few weeks will be a period of adjustment, especially due to the drastic changes and bony remodeling of your jawbone after multiple extractions. Your immediate dentures will need to be adjusted and you will need to adjust to your new dentures. The following suggestions will help to answer some questions that you may have during your adjustment period. These suggestions cover many common questions that arise. I have told you about some of these things that specifically relate to your dentures. There may also be other suggestions that I relate to you that are not covered here. If you have any additional questions, please write them down at the time you think of them, and I will discuss them with you at your adjustment appointment.
The First 48 Hours:
You will wear your dentures constantly for the first 48 hours, only removing them every 4-6 hours to clean. This is important for two reasons. First, they need to be cleaned to prevent the dried blood from permanently staining them. Second, if your dentures are removed too long, your jaw may swell and prevent proper seating. Your denture will act like a “band-aid” to help the bleeding and swelling. Seeping and minimal bleeding is normal for a few days. Please call our office immediately if profuse bleeding persists. Do not smoke or use tobacco for 48 hours. This will decrease the rate of healing and will increase the likelihood of developing “dry sockets.” It is beneficial to place ice packs on the sides of your face. Apply for 20 minutes and then leave them off for 20 minutes. This can be repeated for the first 24
hours, as it is during this period when any swelling will reach its peak. DO NOT USE ICE AFTER 24 HOURS.
Discomfort may follow as anesthesia wears off. Take pain medication (and antibiotics if given) as prescribed before anesthesia wears off. Before taking the pain pills prescribed for you, try to take a few sips of milk, milkshake, etc., when taking the pill to make it easier on your stomach. It is easier to keep your mouth from hurting than to make it stop, so take your pain medicine for the first 2 days as prescribed. Also, do not use any alcoholic beverages, operate a motor
vehicle, or perform tasks that require you to be fully alert. Reduce strenuous activity for 24 hours or longer. You must not do any rinsing, forceful spitting, drinking through a straw, or drink carbonated drinks for the first 24 hours following the surgery in order to help maintain the blood clot within the tooth sockets. Gently rinse with warm saltwater the day after surgery & do it after every time you eat for two to three days (½ teaspoon salt to 8 oz glass of warm water). We would like to adjust the dentures once the initial swelling has subsided in about 1 week.
Fit & Shrinkage:
The purpose of Immediate Dentures is to prevent you from going months without teeth. It is a transitional denture. The alveolar ridge (jawbone) exists only to hold teeth. Once the teeth are extracted they will begin to resorb (shrink). The majority of the shrinkage will occur in the first 2-6 months but will gradually continue throughout the rest of your life. Therefore, traditional dentures made 2-6 months after extractions will fit much better than an immediate. It is very common for patients to accept this shrinkage and instability of fit as a part of immediate dentures.
YOU CANNOT EXPECT IMMEDIATE DENTURES TO FIT WELL. They are designed to be of temporary nature and must be relined and adjusted occasionally as your bone changes. We design it based upon research which suggests the way your bone will change but it may vary from person to person. Included in the fee are multiple adjustments and a soft in-office reline (preferably done after 2 months).
Soreness will probably develop in your mouth during your period of adjustment. This soreness is expected and in most instances I depend on the type and location of sore spots to guide me in adjustment of your dentures. Wear your dentures constantly for the next 48 hours (including overnight until your adjustment only) and return in 2 days so that I may adjust your denture for you. NEVER TRY TO ADJUST YOUR DENTURES. The cause for your soreness may require one of many types of adjustments. Only a doctor can decide what adjustment is needed.
Do not expect your dentures to feel natural or comfortable at first. If this is your first set of dentures, you should readily realize that you have some adapting to do. If you have previously worn dentures, you must realize that your new dentures are different, and you will have to alter some old habits and learn some new ones. A feeling of fullness is perfectly natural. Your dentures will be imposing on the former positions of your face muscles. The muscles in your lips, cheeks and tongue will adjust. Your muscles will at first tend to displace your dentures, but you will learn new muscle
habits. Do not form habits of loosening your dentures with your tongue or lips. Do not bite in unnatural positions. This habit will only loosen your dentures and draw the attention of others.
It is very natural to want to show your new dentures to close friends. However, it is best that you do not invite criticism from your friends. If comments do arise, do not let them discourage you. I have attempted to duplicate your natural appearance and gain proper muscle support for your face and lips. If you have worn a previous denture, this may entail a considerable change. You and your friends will adjust to this change quickly. Try not to feel self-conscious. Try to forget that you are wearing dentures, and you will not draw attention to them.
Learning to chew well with dentures normally requires at least 6 to 8 weeks. You should begin by chewing relatively soft food that is cut into small pieces. Do not try to test your new dentures on difficult foods. Many people have made this mistake. Such foods as steak, peanuts, fresh vegetables and fresh bread should be avoided until after your period of adjustment, and even then they can be quite challenging. It has been shown that dentures, at best, are only 25% as efficient for eating as natural teeth. You will eventually learn to use your dentures quite well, but always remember there is a limit.
At first you may have some trouble speaking properly with you new dentures. Some of this trouble is caused by dentures and some of it by your psychological awareness of new dentures. Your tongue is a fantastically adaptable muscle and research has shown that it will adapt to almost any change in a week's time. You can gain confidence by practicing your speech reading aloud in front of a mirror.
Never place your dentures in extremely hot water. Brush your dentures thoroughly at least twice a day with a specially designed denture brush (a toothbrush will suffice if you forget your denture brush). Do not use toothpaste or any other abrasive substance. I recommend that you use a common liquid dish detergent when brushing your denture. Also, you will want to soak your dentures periodically in one of the commercial soak solutions using them as directed. You may also soak your dentures for 1/2 hours once each week in a solution of 3 ounces water, 1 teaspoon Calgon, and 2 teaspoons Clorox. The Calgon will remove mineral deposits that have formed from the salts in your saliva. The Clorox removes stains and is a disinfectant. While maintaining cleanliness is necessary for any prosthesis, it is very important that you should not soak a removable partial denture in Clorox solutions or any other cleaners containing a hypochlorite compound. This can causetarnish of the metal component.
Do not wear your dentures at night (except the initial 48 hours). Dental research has shown that constant day and night pressure on the soft tissues and bone beneath your dentures contributes significantly to the amount and degree of changes and shrinkage of these tissues. When your dentures are left out, they should be kept in water. Never allow your dentures to dry out. The plastic portion can distort if allowed to dry.
If you have any questions regarding these directions, or if you experience excessive bleeding or swelling, persistent and severe pain, fever, or any reaction to medications, please call our office immediately at (253) 475-7125. If after hours, Dr. Bui can be reached at (253) 576-7080.