If I Get Dentures, will I Get Teeth Right Away?

If I have all my teeth extracted, will I get the teeth removed and dentures put in on the same day? How does that work, am I asleep?

Cora M.

Dear Cora,

Image of Dentures

A lot what happens depends on the type of dentures you get. As for whether you’re asleep, that’s really up to you. There are several options available:

  • Local Anesthetic: Some patients prefer to stay awake for the whole procedure and just use a local so they don’t feel it.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: Most patients prefer this option. You take a pill that makes you very sleepy and you’ll rest throughout the entire procedure. Many patients find they don’t even remember having it.
  • IV Sedation: Not all sedation dentists have this available. Dr. Cha is one of the few who does and is DOCS certified, so you’ll know you’re in safe hands.

Immediate Dentures

If you elect to have immediate dentures placed you can have your teeth removed and walk out with a full set of dentures that day. While the obvious advantage is having your dentures that day, there are drawbacks. As the swelling goes down they’ll come loose and need re-fitting. Often you’ll need several re-fittings and sometimes a new denture will have to be made when healing is completed six month’s later.

Conventional Dentures

With these, your teeth are removed and you’ll wait about eight weeks for some of the swelling to go down before your dentures are made. This has the benefit of needing fewer re-fittings, feeling better from the start, and costing less.

An Alternative to Dentures

No matter which type of dentures you choose, they both have one major drawback— facial collapse. When your teeth are removed, your jawbone begins shrinking. The reason for that is the redistribution of the minerals. Your body recognizes there are not longer any tooth roots there and assumes the bone is no longer needed. It reabsorbs the minerals to use elsewhere throughout your body. Eventually, you lose so much jawbone, you don’t have enough left to keep your dentures in.

If you get dental implants, it protects you from losing that bone structure. It does that by implanting a prosthetic root into your jaw bone. Then tops it with a porcelain crown. Your body recognizes the root and leaves the minerals where they are. For added benefit, they’re much more secure and more like having your own natural teeth back again.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.

Dentist Refuses to Give Son Porcelain Veneers

I’m looking for options for my 10-year-old son. A neighborhood child chased my son with a dog. He was so terrified he ran too fast and tripped, chipping his front tooth. He’s really embarrassed to smile. I want to get a solid fix for him, like a porcelain veneer. Our dentist refuses. I suggested a crown. He refused that too. I need options. What CAN I do for my son?

Olivia N.

Dear Olivia,

I’m sorry your son had such a horrifying experience. Hopefully, the neighbor boy’s parents are taking some initiative in helping with this expense. I hope this experience hasn’t soured him on dogs.

There is a good reason for not giving your son either a porcelain veneer or crown, though I do understand you want a solid treatment.

Your son’s bite is still developing. If you did one of those other treatments, though fantastic for adults, you’d have to replace them every few years. That’s an unnecessary expense. Plus, with a crown, you’d be forced to ground down perfectly healthy tooth structure. Fortunately, there is a great solution.

A Conservative Repair for a Chipped Tooth

A smile with a chipped front tooth
Before Dental Bonding
A smile after a chipped tooth is repaired
After Dental Bonding

Traditionally, a chipped tooth is restored using dental bonding. This uses composite resin to fill in the chip and blend it naturally with his natural tooth structure. If it makes you feel better, this solution is the go-to for adults in this situation as well.

One word of caution. This is done free-hand. If your pediatric dentist isn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist, you’d be better served having a general dentist who is willing to treat children do the procedure who’s an experienced cosmetic dentist to ensure his restoration will look natural.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.