Should your complete dentures be intermediate or conventional?

Posted on: 21 February 2023


Full or complete dentures may be necessary if you have had your teeth removed because of decay or an accident. There are two types of full dentures: intermediate and conventional. Here is a quick guide to each of them.  

Intermediate dentures

Intermediate dentures are sometimes called temporary dentures. As the name implies, they are not intended to be a permanent solution. They can be fitted as soon as your teeth have been extracted, as they can be made in advance. They can be made very fast and so can give you a set of dentures that you can use before your mouth is fully healed. This can save you from the embarrassment and inconvenience of having to appear in public without teeth. Intermediate dentures also give you a chance to get used to wearing dentures much sooner — you may have to learn to adjust your speech, for example, which you can start to do as soon as your temporary dentures are fitted.

You should always consider them a temporary solution, however. As your bones and gums will tend to change shape and shrink as they heal, you will find that the dentures do not fit perfectly and will have to be realigned several times. Failing to do this could result in damage to the gums. You will also be limited in what you can eat and drink while wearing intermediate dentures, as they are not designed to be as heavy-duty as conventional dentures and can easily be damaged.

Conventional dentures

Conventional dentures are permanent dentures that will be fitted after the gums have started healing. Their disadvantage is that you will have to wait until they can be fitted — probably for several months. Your mouth will need to be measured up after the teeth have been extracted and the gums have healed, and the dentures cannot be made until then. Once they have been made, however, they will be far superior to intermediate dentures. They should fit your mouth exactly and should not need frequent realigning. You will be able to use them with all kinds of foods and they will last for years. You will also have time to customise the teeth more carefully and may have options on the size and shade of the teeth.

In summary, complete intermediate dentures are a good temporary solution to give you a set of teeth before your gums have healed, whereas conventional dentures are the permanent solution. Your dentist will be happy to give further advice on the subject.