July 17, 2021

Difference between temporary and permanent partial dentures

Temporary vs Permanent Partial Dentures

Temporary dentures are commonly known as immediate dentures. They are removable and can be worn up until the day that you receive your permanent dentures. In the U.S. alone, approximately 35 million people are living with missing teeth. 90% of those people wear dentures. While these types of issues can cause embarrassment, you can still get back to having a healthy smile with the right assistance. However, you need to figure out which option is best for you and keep in mind that there are many benefits of removable partial dentures.

What are the differences between the two?

Temporary dentures: Prior to having oral surgery or any other dental procedure, temporary dentures are often used. The main responsibility of temporary dentures is to secure a spot for implants. They also prevent your teeth from crowding and shifting. These dentures are called “temporary” for a reason. They will eventually need to be replaced with dentures that are permanent eventually and do not always give patients the most accurate fit. However, after receiving your permanent dentures, your temporary partials can always be kept as a backup. 

Permanent dentures: If you want to opt in for a more custom fit and overall comfort, then you will have to wait until you receive your permanent dentures. These are created to be worn for years to come, unless your mouth experiences some major changes. You can expect to visit your dentist pretty frequently to be able to achieve the perfect fit for your mouth. While they can be a bit on the expensive side, they will provide you with comfort and durability. Permanent dentures are also considered much healthier since there is less room for bacteria to thrive. 

Which one is better?

Temporary dentures are most commonly used by people who have just had a tooth extraction, but are used by many other people as well. It is not easy to know how your mouth will look exactly following your surgery since temporary dentures are made prior to your surgery. These types of dentures can result in irritation, infection, and even gum disease. 

On the other hand, permanent dentures do not come with all the extra health risks. Permanent dentures are affixed to your gums, after they have completely healed of course. This allows for the perfect fit. The best rule of thumb for permanent dentures is to practice exceptional oral hygiene and follow instructions accordingly to care for them. By doing so, you will not have to worry about infection, irritation or even decay. Permanent dentures that are properly taken care of will not shift or rub on the gums. Unless you experience major changes in your mouth, your dentures can last a lifetime.

Choosing the Right Option

There are many benefits of removable partial dentures. Each one also presents cons. Let us examine what those are:

Pros of Temporary Dentures:

  • Cheaper than permanent dentures
  • Are available for just one or two teeth or can come in a full set
  • Allow your gums and mouth to maintain its shape prior to and following oral surgery

Cons of Temporary Dentures:

  • Temporary dentures are just what they are intended for “temporary”
  • Do not fit as well as permanent dentures
  • Can result in buildup of bacteria, foul breath, discomfort, and problems drinking, chewing, or talking

Pros of Permanent dentures:

  • Provide a custom fit for your mouth along with comfort
  • Can last a lifetime with the right care
  • Gives a more natural look
  • Can be cleaned easily and are removable

Cons of permanent dentures:

  • Cost more than temporary dentures
  • More frequent visits to obtain the perfect fit

Things to Keep in Mind

A few things to keep in mind about temporary dentures:

  • Your dentures should be kept in for no less than 48 hours continuously. You should expect gum swelling and mild discomfort during this first period. 
  • Remember to eat a liquid diet for the first couple of days. You can also eat foods that are very soft such as baby foods or even mashed potatoes.
  • Chew to help control the bleeding.
  • Be sure to rinse your mouth with cold water the first day following surgery.
  • You may need to have your teeth adjustment as your mouth begins to heal.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments.

Always take the time to consult with your regular dental provider if you are considering dentures. Make sure that you discuss the options you have that are right for you to obtain good health and oral hygiene. While there are many benefits of removable partial dentures, remember that dental care is not a one-size-fits-all.