Post-Operative Instructions: Immediate Denture

Keep your denture in place for the first 24 hours after surgery (including while sleeping), unless there is excessive bleeding or soreness. Your denture acts as a bandage to help control bleeding and limit swelling.

Starting tomorrow, or as instructed by your dentist, gently remove the denture twice a day and rinse your mouth with salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water). Cleanse the denture by gently brushing with toothpaste or a denture cleanser and rinsing under water. Replace immediately, as swelling may occur and you may be unable to reinsert the denture. Your dentist will instruct you when to begin removing your denture at night and storing in water (usually a week or more after insertion).

The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction of 1 or 2 teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may normally occur:
  • Minor bleeding can last up to 2–3 days. Biting pressure on the denture will promote clotting and decrease bleeding. Do not chew with the denture, as this can create a pumping action that can increase bleeding. Avoiding rinsing, spitting, smoking, or the use of a straw for the first 24 hours. If heavy bleeding continues, remove the denture and bite on folded gauze pads firmly for 1–2 hours.
  • Swelling usually reaches a maximum in 2–3 days. For the first 1–2 days, ice applied to the outside of the face over the areas of extraction can help reduce swelling. Sleeping with the head elevated can minimize swelling.
  • Discoloration around the eyes, face, or neck may occur.
  • A sore throat may sometimes develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This should subside in 2–3 days.
  • Stretching of the corners of the mouth can cause drying and cracking. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline®.
When immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots usually develop. Your bite often feels imperfect. Increased saliva production, speech difficulties, a feeling of gagging and trouble swallowing are not uncommon. You may experience some of these problems. They can all be overcome as you get used to the new dentures and as your dentist adjusts them to fit your mouth. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 1–3 days after surgery to begin making the necessary adjustments, relieve sore spots, and even the bite.

Pain and Infection

Take your medications as directed on the package. If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medications and contact our office. Do not drive or operate mechanical equipment after taking prescription pain medication.


Although you have replaced extracted teeth with a denture, you will not be able to eat regular foods until healing has occurred and further adjustments are performed by your dentist. A liquid to soft food diet is recommended the day of surgery. For the rest of the first week, limit your diet to soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids.


Sipping small amounts of a carbonated drink will often terminate nausea. Follow this with mild tea or clear soup and then easily digestible foods such as toast or crackers. Over-the-counter Dramamine® can be taken to reduce the nausea. If nausea continues, contact our office.


Smokers are advised not to smoke for 3 days following surgery.


Avoid overexertion and get adequate rest. Avoid sports, exercise, and strenuous activity for at least 2–3 days.

Post-Op Visits

Please return to our office as scheduled for post-op surgical care. If you are experiencing problems or have questions, please contact our office or answering service at (520) 214-8749.
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