Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.

Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Are There Alternatives to Dentures?

Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult your dentist for advice.

Some suggestions for proper denture care are:

•ALWAYS rinse your dentures inside and outside after each meal.
•ALWAYS clean inside and out with a soft denture brush and a mild soap before putting them in your mouth in the morning and after taking them out at night.
•ALWAYS put your dentures in water with or without denture cleanser at night. Follow cleanser instructions.
•ALWAYS clean your dentures over a soft surface or basin of water. This will help avoid breakage if dropped.
•ALWAYS massage your gums morning and night with a soft brush or cotton gauze.
•ALWAYS see your dentist for any denture adjustment.
•NEVER use scouring powders or strong detergents. These may damage the dentures.
•NEVER put dentures in hot water.
•NEVER let dentures dry out.
•NEVER use adhesives unless advised to do so by your dentist.