Immediate dentures are a welcome treatment option for many patients. However, for many patients, the body will initially not respond so positively.
Thankfully, the body’s natural responses can be anticipated, adjusted to, and overcome with time, persistence and – most importantly – practice.
What is an immediate denture?
An immediate denture is a denture that 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 your recovery from oral surgery, protect your sensitive oral tissues, and ensure you don’t have to go several months or more with missing teeth.
The body’s initial responses
An immediate denture is 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, your body will initially 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. This is because your body will initially interpret your denture as food. It may take a while, but in time your body will stop reacting to your denture as a foreign body. At that time, your saliva production will return to normal levels.
As well, you may feel at first as if your mouth is trying to expel your denture. A new denture will impose on the usual positions of your facial muscles, and your cheeks, tongue, and lips will initially work to oppose your new denture so that they can 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.
Practice makes perfect
As you adjust to wearing a denture, be aware that chewing, talking, laughing, and even smiling may be difficult at first. The more practice you have in using your new denture, the quicker you will adapt and the less foreign your new denture will feel.
If you find yourself not wearing 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.
At first you may feel uncomfortable wearing your denture in public. If so, practice in private. Try eating in your office behind a closed door, reading a book out loud to yourself at home, or singing 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.
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!