I think I am to the point where I need to get dentures. How does the procedure work? Will my dentist put me to sleep and pull out all my teeth and make the dentures all at one time?
Sylvia in California
If you are in need of dentures, your dentist will extract all of your teeth at one time. Most patients have the option of IV or oral sedation, but if you want to just have local anesthesia and be awake for the procedure, you can do that, too. Keep in mind that not all dentists are certified in IV and oral sedation, so if this is something you prefer, be sure your dentist offers it.
When it comes to dentures, you have several options. An immediate denture is the most common type of denture and it is placed right after your teeth are extracted so you can leave the office with a new smile. Another benefit of an immediate denture is that it helps reduce swelling and bleeding. They are, however, more expensive than conventional dentures because they take more time to make and you will need more follow-up visits for adjustments after initial placement.
Conventional dentures are placed about eight weeks after healing, but the advantage is that you will likely have a better fit then with an immediate denture. During the healing process your gum tissue shrinks and the immediate becomes loose, requiring a soft temporary reline material to be placed on the denture for refitting. After about six months, when your mouth is completely healed, you will need a more permanent reline or possibly a new denture.
Before you make any decisions, talk with your dentist or specialist and discuss all your options. Dentures don’t always stay put in the mouth, and that is a problem for some patients. There are options to make dentures more permanent, such as snap on dentures that snap onto dental implants. Be sure to learn as much as you can before determining the type of denture that is right for you.