Updated: Nov 8
You just got your immediate dentures and it is an absolute bloody mess since you just finished your long dental extraction appointment. You want to take them out for a little while but is that forbidden? It is really not that comfortable with all of that swelling from the procedure.
Table of Contents:
How long can you leave immediate dentures out?
Right after receiving your immediate dentures, you cannot leave them out at all for the next 2-3 days. They must stay in at all times during the first 2-3 days because that is the most critical healing period. You only receive immediate dentures after having your teeth removed and their purpose is not only aesthetic but also to guide the healing process of your gums.
Purpose of the immediate dentures:
Acts as a bandage to control the swelling and bleeding.
Provide aesthetics by giving you teeth immediately after extractions.
Acts as a template for your gums to mold into the same shape as the denture.
Provides teeth for you to chew food with.
Should you remove immediate dentures at night when you go to sleep?
Once again, for the first 2-3 days you should not leave the immediate dentures out at all and that includes at night when you go to sleep. Those 72 hours are the most critical time period for healing and they act as a scaffolding for the gums to heal into.
Please sleep with them in. You won't accidentally swallow them in case you were wondering. They're a bit too big for you to accidentally swallow while you're sleeping anyway.
What happens if you leave immediate dentures out?
If you leave the immediate dentures out for an extended period of time during the first 3 days, you may not be able to put them back in again because your gums may swell uncontrollably causing them to not fit anymore. When you wear the dentures, it prevents your gums from swelling beyond the size and shape of your immediate dentures. It forces your gums to heal into the pre-existing shape of your dentures by controlling the swelling process. If you leave them off, it will heal to whatever shape your body feels like and they most likely will never fit anymore.
Just to reiterate one more time due to its importance. If you leave the immediate dentures out, they may not fit anymore so please do not remove them within the first 3 days!
When can you start sleeping without immediate dentures?
The good news is that you only need to be strict with keeping the dentures on for the first 3 days. After that time period passes, you may remove them as often as you like. In fact we encourage you to remove them after every meal so that you can rinse them out and also brush them. But you should still try to keep them in as much as possible otherwise to help guide the healing process.
You can start sleeping without the immediate dentures on after the 4 week period. At that time, your gums should have healed up enough so that they are comfortable to be exposed to the natural air. This will also give your gums a chance to breath because they do start to get irritated if you wear them all the time without giving them a break.
Ultimately, you will need some permanent dentures once your gums and bones have completely healed. Our LIC dentists recommend that you should switch to the permanent ones after about 6 months, which is sufficient healing time.
Around that time, you should start to notice that the immediate dentures are getting looser because as it heals, it actually starts to shrink. The permanent set is for you to get a better fit after all of the healing is completed.
Nonetheless, what you should try to do is to get the temporary dentures relined every 2-3 months. This is a procedure where your dentist will add more denture material to remold your mouth. It'll make it fit better and feel more comfortable with each reline. These relines are temporary in nature so you still do need the permanent ones made at the 6 month mark.
Hopefully that helps! Don't forget you still have to go in for your 6 month dental check ups and teeth cleanings even if you don't have teeth. Your dentist needs to check the condition of your dentures. Sometimes they may be broken, cracked, or damaged and you don't know about it.
They'll let you know if you should have it repaired. Although if you want a professional tip from us, we do recommend getting a SECOND set of dentures later on. A lot of patients lose them or break them and then they're without any teeth for weeks. That back up set can serve as an emergency replacement while you repair your primary set.