Very often during a new patient examination I hear, “I just want all my teeth gone and get dentures.” While dentures can be an indispensable aid in completing daily tasks, such as speaking, eating and re-gaining confidence in public, they have extensive limitations and require realistic expectations.
Patients who need all or some of their teeth removed, will need moderate to extensive dental surgery that may require removal or shaping of the underlying bone. Consequently, healing of gum tissue usually takes around six weeks, but full healing of your bone can take six months!
Since your oral foundation is constantly changing during the healing phase, “transitional dentures” are worn. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to eat with transitional dentures, they do not look very esthetic, and they do not fit as well as permanent dentures. They do keep your lips and chin from sinking in and help you to get you used to wearing and speaking with dentures. After you are properly healed after six months, the permanent denture fabrication process can begin.
Permanent denture fabrication takes four or five appointments, including initial impressions, bite registration, esthetic try-in and denture delivery. You typically then need a minimum of two appointments for adjustments.
In addition, dentures cause long-term bone resorption and usually only last 5-10 years before a new set or reline (replacing the inner surface of the denture) must be done.