Do Patients Want To Go Without Their Teeth?
We all were probably taught the “ideal” way to transition to dentures – extract all of the teeth and allow the gums to heal for 6-8 weeks before taking impressions for permanent dentures. The second best choice is to remove the posterior teeth and allow healing for 6-8 weeks. Then take impressions for immediate dentures, extracting the 12 anterior teeth at delivery.
In today’s appearance-conscious society, how many of your patients are willing to go without some or all of their teeth for 6-8 weeks? Believe it or not, some people are willing to go without their teeth if they believe it will benefit them in the long run. As clinicians it is important to offer all of the options and not allow our own biases to get in the way of other people’s choices.
A patient who is willing to go without their teeth can make the construction of dentures much easier for all involved – the patient, the dental professional, and the denture laboratory. After all, you are starting without mobile or decayed teeth in the way.
When Patients Have Their Natural Teeth
But what about those who don’t want to be without their teeth or don’t anyone to know they have transitioned from their natural teeth to dentures? Immediate dentures enable the patient to continue to engage in their everyday life without the embarrassment of being edentulous for a period of time. When it comes to making immediate dentures, communication with everyone involved is paramount. Establishing realistic expectations and treatment outcomes is key when it comes to working with an immediate denture patient. After all, it is a life-changing experience for them.