Weighing the options of interim and immediate dentures

Q2 Word of Mouth newsletter 2024

Despite significant improvements in oral health care, there is still a large portion of the population that is without teeth. Because of this, full dentures remain a viable treatment option to consider. 

By letting your patients know about the implications of each treatment option, you can help manage the expectations, financial consequences and ultimately the overall success of these prosthetic treatments.

Immediate and interim denture differences

Both immediate and interim dentures are options that function to replace missing teeth. You can also adjust and reline both at follow-up visits to improve fit and function. However, the following information describes the key differences between them:

  • Immediate denture: A final prosthetic
  • Interim denture: A temporary prosthetic to use until you fabricate a final denture

Interim denture advantages and disadvantages

There are several advantages to interim dentures as they allow patients to:

  • Begin accommodating to the new prosthetic
  • Have initial function and aesthetics
  • Have more time to allow for adequate healing

There are also the following disadvantages to consider with interim dentures:

  • The associated cost or processing for two separate sets of dentures
  • The interim denture materials are less durable and will wear down faster over time since they are meant to be temporary
  • The patient’s benefits may not pay for the immediate denture if they use their benefit for an interim denture because of frequency limitations

Immediate denture advantages and disadvantages

The advantage of an immediate denture is that it’s final and doesn’t require the patient to endure the denture fabrication process a second time. 

The disadvantage is that immediate dentures often require more adjustments, relines and/or rebases than a conventional denture that you would fabricate after an interim. This is because the bone and gingiva continue to remodel and heal under a less ideally adapted surface.

Whether to proceed with an interim or immediate denture will depend on each patient’s clinical situation, understanding and clinical need, as well as your best clinical judgment. 


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