Getting your Dentures: The Process
- The types of treatments needed before dentures can be placed and the amount of time those treatments take will vary depending upon a person’s overall oral health, the number and location of missing teeth, and the type of denture selected to replace those teeth. These treatments can include:
- Impressions or molds of the contour of the mouth, used as a model for the denture
- Extractions to remove any unhealthy teeth
- Implant surgery for those receiving implant overdentures
- Adjustments to achieve the best fit and level of comfort once dentures are placed.
Individuals who require extractions or implant surgery will need to wait several weeks for the mouth to heal before dentures can be placed. For some people, a temporary or “immediate” denture can be placed in the mouth on the same day extractions are performed, and worn until the permanent denture is fitted.
What to Expect: Getting Used to Your Dentures
It takes some time to get used to the feeling of dentures in your mouth, after which you should be able to comfortably eat, speak, and smile. The following is normal when complete dentures are initially placed in the mouth:
- A feeling of fullness in the mouth, face, lips, and/or cheeks, which will subside quickly.
- Temporary minor changes in speech sounds, which will be more apparent to you than to others.
- Tip: Speaking slowly and enunciating precisely helps the tongue and facial muscles adapt more quickly.
- Changes in chewing patterns while getting used to the jaw movements required for chewing with dentures, which may take several weeks.
- Tip: Start with small pieces of soft food, gradually increasing the food’s firmness, and chew food on both sides of the mouth simultaneously with only your back teeth. A small amount of denture adhesive may help to stabilize your dentures.