Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

What to Expect When Getting Dentures After a Tooth Extraction

For many people who need them, dentures are not an immediately viable tooth replacement option because the tooth in question is still there. What's the usual process when the extraction of a dead or irreparably damaged tooth has to take place before your dentures can be fitted?

The Extraction

Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure, but it's still an invasive procedure requiring adequate preparation and recovery time. Anaesthetic is required, otherwise the trauma of having a tooth removed (along with its root system) will be rather painful. Some discomfort is to be expected, but this should be mercifully brief, and will only begin once the initial anaesthetic wears off. Any subsequent discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief. There will be some bleeding at the extraction site, and your dentist might provide you with sterile gauze to bite down on to control the bleeding, or you can obtain your own. The dental socket will quickly clot and the tissues will begin to heal.

The Healing

This healing is mandatory before your dentures can proceed, even though you would probably prefer for the whole affair to be finalised as quickly as possible. But since dentures are fabricated to fit the precise contours of your mouth, those contours cannot be determined until the site of the extraction has completely healed. Once the tooth has been extracted and the dental socket begins to heal, the mucosa at the site will noticeably change. The damaged tissue will heal, eventually becoming healthy pink gum tissue. The healing process can take several months, but your dentist will be able to give you a more specific timeframe, as it can vary from patient-to-patient.

The Dentures

Once the site has healed, the contours of your mouth become more clearly-defined, allowing your dentist to proceed. Depending on whether you're receiving full or partial dentures, your dentist must make a mold of the applicable area. The mold might cover your entire upper or lower dental arch, or merely a section of the arch. You will bite down on the impression tray, which is then filled with a low-viscosity molding agent. This then creates an exact measurement of your healthy mouth, giving your dentist the dimensions of the denture to be made.

Failure to allow adequate healing after an extraction is redundant when you need dentures. Without this healing, the manufactured dentures will not reflect the standard contours of your mouth.