Immediate Dentures Post-Operative Care Instructions

Dentures are teeth substitutes and only have 20-25%of the chewing efficiency of real teeth. They often replace large amounts of lost gum tissues, bone and teeth, often requiring a period of adjustment.

  • *Do not take your denture out for 24 hours. This will help control bleeding and swelling. After 24 hours remove your denture to clean it, rinse out your mouth and replace the denture. After the first 48 hours, remove denture at night to sleep.

Further instructions can be found on this page, however, you can always call with any post-op denture related questions.

What Medications Can I take With My Immediate Dentures?

Ibuprofen (i.e., Advil, Motrin) 400-800mg every 4-6 hours usually will provide sufficient pain relief. Be sure to take this with food. Additional pain medications will be prescribed if needed. Antibiotics may be prescribed for the infection. All of these medications should be taken as directed unless an allergic reaction develops (i.e., rash, itching, unusual swelling). If an allergic reaction develops, stop taking the medication and call; if the reaction is severe (i.e., difficulty breathing), go to the nearest Emergency Room. NO ALCOHOLIC beverages should be consumed while taking these medications. Take all your medications prescribed as directed. Pain medication may take up to an hour to take effect and may only work 3-4 hours. It is important to try and keep ahead of the anticipated pain. To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach. If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Women of childbearing age should know of the possible reduced effectiveness of oral contraceptives during antibiotic therapy and are advised to use an additional form of contraception during short-term antibiotic use.

How To Treat Bleeding And Swelling?

Slight bleeding can last up to 2-3 days. Biting pressure on the denture will promote clotting and decrease bleeding. Do not “chew” the denture as this can create a pumping action which can increase bleeding.

  • For the first 36 hours, apply an ice pack to the affected side for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Do this as many times as possible during the waking hours. Avoid heat tot he outside of the affected side.
  • Sip on cold beverages or crushed ice the first 24 hours after your extractions. This will help reduce pain and limit swelling.
  • If stitches have been placed, they will need to be removed in 7-10 days. Sometimes resorbable sutures are used-these dissolve in one to two weeks.
  • When eating with a new denture start out with softer foods and use small portions.

How Do I Clean My Dentures?

Starting tomorrow, carefully remove your denture twice a day and clean with water, mild soap or denture cleaner. With the denture out, rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water) and gently reinsert your denture. Over time dentures acquire stains and odor just like regular teeth. They can be cleaned daily with a denture brush and a mild soap or water. Periodic denture soaks are also very useful (ex: Polident). Brush your gums with a regular toothbrush once per day to toughen and clean them.

  • No denture is indestructible! More often than not, dentures are broken when dropped while cleaning. So our first word of advice–as you clean your denture, fill the sink with water or lay a washcloth down on the counter to cushion any accidents.
  • When not wearing your denture, store in a clearly labeled, sealable container in water to increase the life and prevent shrinkage of the appliance. Containers can keep pets from destroying/chewing the appliance and prevent loss or misuse.

What To Do About Sore Spots In My Mouth Because Of Dentures?

It is not unusual for your mouth to have a few “sore spots” after wearing the denture for 24 hours. These areas can be relieved easily at follow-up appointments. If a severe sore spot develops which prevents wearing the denture and an appointment is made for adjustment, please wear the denture for 24 hours prior to the appointment. This will greatly aid in pinpointing the exact location of the soreness, making adjustments significantly easier and more predictable.

How Long Is the Adjustment Period When First Getting Dentures?

An immediate denture may provide instant satisfaction but is not the ideal way to go about getting teeth. We are taking impressions of your mouth/gums prior to extractions and making your denture on estimates of how we think your gums will heal. Tooth removal changes the structure and shape of the underlying bone where your new denture will sit. Different people adapt at different rates. It may take months to learn to eat or speak naturally with your new prosthesis. the new bite may feel awkward and bulky for several weeks or months. Dentures cover areas of your mouth that are normally bare and there for things can taste different. The upper denture is held in primarily by suction and the lower denture has very little to no retention, relying on muscle and tongue control to hold it in place. This might alter your speech and chewing ability and require that your tongue and lips adapt accordingly. For the first few days, you should wear your dentures for as long as possible. Removing the dentures for more than several minutes at a time may allow gum tissue around extracted tooth sockets to swell, blocking re-insertions of the dentures. Practice inserting and removing the denture when several days have passed since extractions. Beginning 1 week after your extractions, thoroughly massage your gums with finger pressure several times a day. This helps firm up the gums and makes your denture more comfortable.

Home Care and Follow-up

  • After the initial week of healing, do not wear your dentures to bed. It is important to allow your gum tissues and jaw bones to rest at least 4-8 hours a day in order to prevent further tissue irritation, infection, and future bone shrinkage.
  • With immediate dentures/extractions, there is a relatively fast loss of the bone that once held the natural teeth in place. By the end of three weeks, enough bone has been lost that there is a LOT of space between parts of the denture and the healing gums. This leads to rapidly increasing looseness and sore spots which must be adjusted, sometimes frequently. Due to shrinkage of the gums and bone after your extractions, a soft reline of your new denture will be needed within a few weeks to 1 month. These are simple ways to tighten the denture against the gums and make the denture more comfortable until enough healing has taken place to do a permanent “hard” reline (at an additional charge) at the end of 6 months. The “hard” reline is a separate procedure and the cost is NOT included in the original price of the immediate denture. The hard reline marks the official transition of the immediate denture into a standard denture. If doing 2 denture technique this is the time that would be completed in place of a hard reline. Also at an additional fee.

Annual checkups will allow your dentist to readjust/reline your dentures to restore their fit and inspect the appliance for cracks or damage (once healing is complete, bone and gums are still lost at a rate of .08cm per year). Wearing ill-fitting dentures for too long without refitting can cause severe bone loss and very serious oral disease.