Have you been offered temporary dentures while your mouth heals from tooth extractions? Permanent dentures usually can't be fitted immediately after extractions, but this solution lets you walk out of the dental clinic without gaps in your teeth.
In this article, we'll answer your questions about same-day false teeth, including:
- What are immediate dentures?
- How much do temporary dentures cost in the UK?
- Can you get them on the NHS?
- What is the procedure like?
We hope this information helps you feel more confident deciding whether to get immediate dentures and lets you know what to expect when you get the treatment.
Table of contents
What are temporary dentures?
Temporary dentures, also known as ‘immediate dentures,' ‘dentures in a day,' and ‘same-day dentures', are a type of restorative dentistry that allows you to have a tooth extraction and get dentures the same day. That is to say, they are temporary teeth that can be worn immediately after extractions.
After getting your teeth extracted, you will have to wait several weeks or months for your mouth to heal before you can wear your normal dentures or have implants placed. This is because your mouth may change shape slightly after a tooth is removed.
The problem with this is that you would potentially have to walk around with a gappy smile for those weeks while you're waiting. This is not ideal if you are missing front teeth, and it can be especially hard on people who have a history of sensitive teeth and gums. The main problems with missing teeth are:
- Irritation to your gums
- More pressure when chewing on your existing teeth
- Difficulty eating
- Difficulty speaking
- Bone loss in your jaw (this can only be solved with implants)
‘Dentures in one day' present a solution to most of these problems, since you can wear them right out of the dentist's office. You won't have gaps in your teeth, and they will also help you get used to talking and eating for when you get your new denture.
Moreover, they are helpful to keep healthy the muscles and joints involved in your mouth movement and to maintain as much as possible the integrity of the remaining tissues after the extractions.
Temporary dentures vs permanent
There are a few differences when it comes to immediate dentures vs permanent dentures.
An immediate denture is made before you get your teeth extracted and is ready to be worn out of the office the same day you have the extraction surgery. This prosthesis lets patients have both their tooth extractions and dentures in the same day.
A temporary denture is meant to be worn until you are ready for permanent dentures or implant placement; usually for a couple of months after tooth removal. The process is explained as follows:
- Once the extraction surgery is completed, the immediate denture is inserted in your mouth with a tissue conditioning material that is placed in the denture base.
- The next day, this material is removed and replaced with a new one and the procedure is repeated every four to five days for approximately five to six weeks.
- Then your dentist will replace the tissue conditioner with a soft lining material.
- The soft liner will be changed monthly until your gums and jaw bone heal properly to receive a definitive denture.
Your long-term fake teeth are made from a mould taken after your teeth are extracted, and they can be worn after your mouth has healed. It's better to think of immediate and permanent dentures not so much as ‘either-or' but rather as ‘one then the other'.
So to sum up the differences:
- Temporary dentures are made before your teeth are extracted.
- They can be worn out of the office the same day your teeth are removed.
- They are usually only meant for temporary wear.
- Immediate dentures require frequent adjustments
- You may not be able to eat hard or chewy foods with your temporary dentures.
Something you should keep in mind is that no kind of denture is really the best option when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The best option is implants, which closely replicate the function of a natural tooth. The cost of teeth implants in the UK can be prohibitive, but there are ways to access cheaper dental implants.
Immediate denture aftercare
So what can you expect as you transition to your new dentures? To properly care for your temporary dentures after tooth removal you should follow your dentist's instructions. However, the following general instructions usually apply:
- Wear your new dentures for the first 24 hours
- From then on, remove them at night and for regular cleaning
- Don't rinse your mouth for at least 6 hours after extractions
- Avoid smoking after immediate dentures surgery and fitting
- Avoid hot liquids for the first 24 hours
- The next day, use a salt water rinse, which is naturally antibacterial
Your dentist will also give you instructions on how and when to remove immediate dentures for the first time following surgery. You may find it difficult or painful at first, but it will get easier over time as any swelling reduces.
Aside from any pain from the extraction, it's normal for your gums to feel sore for a few days as they adjust to wearing dentures. However, any temporary denture pain should subside within a few days, helped along by normal painkillers or any medication your dentist has prescribed. If your immediate dentures cause you a lot of pain, you should contact your dentist.
If you're having trouble with your teeth slipping out of place, an adhesive can help as a temporary measure. Check out our denture adhesives guide to learn about the best products to use.
A few weeks after having your new denture fitted, you may need to return for a temporary denture reline. This involves re-shaping the base of the denture to ensure it's a snug, comfortable fit.
Review of same-day dentures in the UK
In the video below, a lady named Julie documents how she is feeling the day after getting immediate partial dentures in the UK. She shows exactly what her temporary dentures look like, as well as her gums without teeth.
Julie explains that she created this series of videos documenting her experience because she noticed how few temporary denture reviews were available from British patients.
As you can see, she was not feeling great so soon after her treatment. If you follow her story on YouTube you'll find that she was never really happy with her dentures and ended up travelling abroad for full mouth implants a few months later. She was much happier with how these turned out.
What do temporary dentures cost in the UK?
Immediate dentures cost from around £450 per arch in the UK with a private dentist. The exact cost for you will depend on where you are treated, the number of teeth being replaced, and the material used for your dentures. You may also have to pay an extra fee for an express service, for example if you want the dentures back the same day.
Some dental practices advertise fixed prices for a new denture while others will only give a quotation following a consultation. If you have dental insurance, you'll probably find there is some coverage for teeth extractions and restorative procedures including dentures.
Can you get immediate dentures on the NHS?
Yes, in some cases you can get temporary dentures on the NHS. They are more likely to be recommended if you have had multiple teeth extracted. If there is just one tooth missing, your dentist may not deem a temporary false tooth to be medically necessary. You can check with your dentist to confirm this.
If treated as an NHS patient, immediate dentures along with any extractions will come under the Band 3 treatment cost which is £282.80 for England (read about other NHS dental charges). This applies whether you need to have one tooth extracted and replaced, or all of them.
What does tooth extraction and dentures the same day cost?
If you're visiting an NHS dentist, immediate dentures plus any extractions will cost £282.80. This is a fixed price regardless of whether you have a full or partial denture.
When it comes to private treatment, costs vary greatly depending on the number and type of teeth extracted. As a guide, you can expect to pay £50-£140 for a simple tooth extraction and £100-£300 for a surgical extraction. Then, you'll need to add on the cost of temporary dentures at £450-£1,000 per arch.
What do temporary dentures look like?
Immediate dentures look very similar to regular dentures. When you have them in your mouth, they should look like your natural teeth. The dentures will be colour-matched as accurately as possible to any remaining natural teeth.
They can be a full set of teeth, just a few or even just a single tooth. If your temporary denture is just a single tooth it is sometimes known as a dental flipper, which is just a small gum coloured place with one prosthetic tooth attached.
It's worth keeping in mind that a temporary appliance is usually not made to the same quality standards as a permanent one, simply because it is not supposed to last as long. Therefore, your immediate denture may look slightly less natural than the permanent one you eventually receive.
Pros and cons of same-day dentures
An immediate denture can make a big difference in the lives of those who have to get multiple teeth extracted. However, as with anything, they have pros and cons. The main disadvantage of temporary dentures is that since they're made in advance and put in your mouth as soon as your teeth are removed, the fit will not be exact.
This could lead to some discomfort and the need for frequent adjustments to make them fit better. That's one of the reasons why these are meant to only be used temporarily until your new teeth are ready. Have a look at the following table for a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of immediate dentures:
You don't have to go without teeth
Can be uncomfortable right after extraction
Protect your gums while they are healing
May not fit very well (a reline can address this)
Protect existing teeth by taking added pressure off them when chewing
Will most likely require frequent readjustment
Help you practice eating and talking with false teeth
Meant for temporary use
If you need to have teeth removed due to severe decay or gum disease, your dentist may recommend same-day dentures for the first few months of healing. These can be helpful in protecting sensitive teeth and gums and allowing you to get used to talking and eating with your new teeth. They can also be beneficial in maintaining overall oral health before you transition to a permanent set.
However, in most cases, these should only be worn until your mouth has healed enough to wear permanent dentures. These will be stronger, last longer, require fewer adjustments and overall be more comfortable.
Can you get a temporary partial denture?
Yes, temporary dentures are not just for people who have had all their natural teeth out. Even if you are missing only a few, a same-day partial denture can be beneficial.
Can you eat with temporary dentures?
Yes, you can eat with a same-day denture. In fact, one of the great things about them is that they help you get used to eating with dentures before you get your normal set of new teeth. Depending on how well they fit, you may need to avoid chewy and hard foods for some time.
Can I get same-day dentures?
Chances are that if you get many of or all of your teeth extracted, your dentist will indeed recommend a temporary complete denture until you are ready for a regular set. It's up to you and your dentist to decide if an immediate temporary denture is right for your situation.
How long does it take to make immediate dentures?
It generally takes a week or two to make an immediate denture, and potentially multiple visits to your dentist before they are made. You may have the option to pay a premium for faster service. However, since they are made before your tooth extraction, they'll be ready the very same day that you get your teeth out.
Are immediate dentures permanent?
Overall no, after multiple extractions the remaining mouth tissues suffer a remodelling process, due to these changes an immediate denture will not fit neatly in your mouth after some months. Therefore, unless your dentist tells you otherwise, your immediate denture is intended for temporary use.
They can be worn for the first few months after tooth extraction. They cover up any gaps in your smile, help you return to eating normally and help you get used to talking with your new teeth.
How long do you have to wait to get dentures after teeth are pulled?
With normal dentures, you will have to wait months and up to a year for your gums to perfectly heal. But with instant dentures, you can get them the same day your teeth are extracted.
British Society of Prosthodontics: Removable Prosthodontics. Consulted 15th October 2020.
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust: Looking after your immediate dentures. Consulted 15th October 2020.