How to Manage Your Pain After Having Immediate Dentures Fitted
If you've decided to have immediate dentures fitted straight after having your teeth extracted, you don't have to worry about walking around without teeth until your gums heal. While this may give you a bright new smile on the spot, wearing dentures on top of a new extraction site may also cause you some discomfort and pain. What steps can you take to manage any pain you might have?
Take Pain Relief Before Your Anaesthetic Wears Off
The pain you feel after having immediate dentures fitted is sometimes caused by the extraction procedure rather than the dentures themselves. While you may feel fine during your surgery, you should remember that this is probably down to the anaesthetic you had before your teeth were extracted. Once this anaesthetic wears off, your gums may start to hurt.
Typically, your dentist will recommend that you take over-the-counter pain relief such as paracetamol or a medication containing ibuprofen for a day or so until your wound sites start to heal. Paracetamol is good for general pain relief; ibuprofen also helps reduce swelling. If your extractions were tricky, and your dentist feels that you may have unusual pain, you may be prescribed stronger painkillers.
It's a good idea to start taking pain relief before your anaesthesia wears off rather than when your mouth starts to hurt. This may help reduce the pain you'll ultimately get by taking the edge off before the pain takes hold.
Warning: Don't use aspirin unless your dentist tells you to. Aspirin can make extraction sites bleed more, which may make your healing time take longer.
Don't Take Your Dentures Out Too Soon
While your new dentures may feel plain weird when you first have them fitted, it's best not to mess with them. Typically, you'll be advised to leave them in for the first 24 hours after having them fitted after extractions. Your mouth may actually feel less painful when your teeth are in.
Dentures give your gums a layer of protection. They also help stop bleeding and minimise swelling by pressing against your gums. Bear in mind that your gums are likely to swell in the first few hours after your extraction and, if you don't have your dentures in, your gums may swell enough to make it hard for you to get the dentures back in comfortably or at all until the swelling goes down.
Your dentist may then recommend that you start to leave your dentures out for a few hours at a time, typically overnight. This gives your gums a break once they've settled down so they can continue healing.
Have Your Denture Fit Checked
Immediate dentures won't necessarily exactly fit the shape of your mouth. If you have dentures moulded while your teeth are still in place, your dentist has to estimate the fit. As your extraction sites heal and your gums adapt to losing their natural teeth, your mouth may change shape slightly.
If your dentures don't fit exactly, they may rub on your gums, making them painful and sore. Your dentist can fix this by relining the dentures to make them fit better. It's important to stick to follow-up fit-checking appointments if your dentist recommends them; if your dentures rub against your gums and become uncomfortable, you should make an appointment to have their fit checked and adjusted as necessary.
Bear in mind that the first few days of wearing dentures can be unsettling as well as painful. You may even feel a little emotional at losing your natural teeth and replacing them with false ones. Things typically improve once your extraction sites start healing and you can get used to wearing and using your dentures more normally.