While immediate dentures are a welcome treatment option for many patients, your body will initially not respond so enthusiastically. Thankfully, these responses can be anticipated, adjusted to, and overcome with time, persistence, and practice.
An immediate denture is inserted into the mouth immediately following the extraction of one or more teeth. Because of the post-extraction placement, immediate dentures will speed up recovery, protect sensitive oral tissues, and ensure you don’t have to go several months or more with missing teeth.
An immediate denture is also something new that you introduce to your body. And as anyone who has ever worn a retainer, mouth guard, or night guard can tell you, in the first few days or even weeks your body will treat your new denture as a foreign item and try some unique tricks to get rid of it.
You may first notice that your saliva production increases, as your body will initially interpret your new denture as food. It may take a while, but in time your body will stop reacting to your denture as a foreign body and your saliva production will return to normal levels.
As well, because your new denture will impose on the usual positions of your facial muscles, your cheeks, tongue, and lips will initially work to oppose your new denture and return to their former positions. With time and practice, you will learn new muscle habits and your mouth and face will adjust and work cohesively with your denture.
During this period of adjustment, chewing, talking, laughing, and even smiling may be difficult. The more practice you have in using your new denture, the quicker you will adapt and the less foreign your new denture will feel.
At first, you may feel uncomfortable with certain activities when in front of others. Try practicing in private – eat in your office behind a closed door, read a book out loud to yourself at home, or sing in your car. The more practice you make time for, the faster your body will accept your new denture and the more natural it will feel.
You will have a lower chance of adjusting to your immediate denture if you don’t it regularly. If you find you do not wear your denture because of trouble speaking or eating, that is usually a sign you need more practice. If, however, you don’t wear your denture because it causes discomfort, schedule an appointment with your Denturist as soon as possible to have the problem identified and corrected.
In time and with practice, you will find that your speaking, eating, and smiling will once again feel natural. Happy adjusting – we know you can do it!