What Are Temporary Dentures?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Temporary dentures are used for people who have had teeth extracted and are waiting for their permanent dentures. During the waiting period, they help to fill the space left by missing teeth. Not only is this more comfortable for the patient, it also allows people to avoid embarrassment that may develop when they smile or talk and others notice the empty spaces in their gums. In most cases, temporary dentures can be made before teeth are even extracted so an individual can use them immediately after an extraction.

Temporary partial dentures.
Temporary partial dentures.

When a person has teeth extracted, he typically has to wait a significant period of time for his permanent dentures. This is due to the fact that there are x-rays, impressions, and fittings to be performed before a person's permanent dentures are ready. In many cases, a person may have to wait up to a few weeks before his dentures are ready. This is just too long for some people, and many people spend the waiting period using temporary dentures instead.

Dentures are prosthetic teeth worn by those who have lost their natural teeth.
Dentures are prosthetic teeth worn by those who have lost their natural teeth.

Temporary dentures are used not only for aesthetic appeal, but also for functional reasons. Usually, these types of dentures allow a person to continue to eat normally rather than having to use his gums to chew food. People are usually advised to avoid hard and sticky foods, however, as they may damage the dentures.

A dental impression is made to create dentures.
A dental impression is made to create dentures.

Typically, temporary dentures can be placed in a patient's mouth immediately after he has an extraction. This means he does not have to leave the dentist's office and spend even a day with missing teeth. When the extraction isn't done on an emergency basis, a dentist usually has time to make a mold for the temporary teeth and have them ready for the patient at the time of extraction. The length of time it takes to get the dentures ready may vary, but usually they can be prepared and delivered to the patient's dental office within about two weeks.

X-rays are among the tests and procedures needed to fit temporary dentures.
X-rays are among the tests and procedures needed to fit temporary dentures.

A person may wonder whether temporary dentures will make his mouth more uncomfortable after an extraction or interfere with the healing process. This is a valid concern, as the gums may be swollen and tender after natural teeth are removed. Many people, however, assert that they were not more uncomfortable when using temporary dentures than when they went without them. In fact, some people state that using the temporary version helps to keep swelling to a minimum.

Patients often have to wait up to a few weeks before dentures are ready.
Patients often have to wait up to a few weeks before dentures are ready.
Dentures may be worn if a patient's teeth begin to fall out.
Dentures may be worn if a patient's teeth begin to fall out.
Dentures must be fitted by dental professionals.
Dentures must be fitted by dental professionals.
Wearing ill-fitting dentures can increase air intake and cause flatulence.
Wearing ill-fitting dentures can increase air intake and cause flatulence.
Temporary dentures can be created before the teeth are extracted.
Temporary dentures can be created before the teeth are extracted.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I had to have all of my lower teeth extracted a month and half ago because they were loose due to significant bone loss. I left the day of surgery with temporary dentures.

I cannot eat, speak clearly or keep the dentures in because they are too big, I think, for my mouth. I've tried to eat Jello with the temporary dentures in and could not even eat that. I have been told by several dentist assistants that temporary dentures are for cosmetic purposes only and are not meant to be functional, i.e., eating, speaking, etc. I have not seen or spoken to the dentist since he performed the surgery and every time I go into the dental office to try and get something done to the dentures so that I can eat and speak, I always see an assistant, never the dentist himself.

The temporary dentures have been repadded each time I go in, which only serves to make the dentures bigger and sit up on my gums higher.

If anyone out there has any suggestions, please, please let me know. Most of what I eat is oatmeal, soup, mashed potatoes, and Spaghetti-Os. I am so hungry!!


In Michigan, Medicare dental patients are the most abused people around - the multiple office Michigan Community Dental Clinics has 28 offices for low income people.

While it is great that some benefits are even available (some states do not give any. Surely those people will die early as dental care, we now know in 2015, is critical to overall health, and can impact things like heart and artery health, and heart disease, so those states are refusing to even implement coverage. The people or voters in these states should vote these bums out of office. as health insurance in life ( =got insurance coverage) and death ( =no insurance coverage) and they are saying basically, they want you to die!

Anyway, this is about temporary dentures, which use lower quality materials and are quickly molded to gums which are swollen and will change, so they are not great, but the alternative is worse (nothing, gums, totally embarrassing and one must eat soft food: eggs, yogurt, bananas, etc.) and the MCDC Dentist told me after pulling uppers, that they "did not believe in them." This is nothing but discrimination, or perhaps punishment for not taking care of your teeth (they apparently feel).

Further, entire dentures are on the way out as implants can now be placed, for uppers, immediately after the extraction of teeth and slows/stops the bone loss, which in the month after extraction, bone loss is massive.

So, future 2015 forward thinking policy makers should be directing the funds that were used to make dentures over to implants, all on four or six Implants. And with the amazing materials available now, you can look as good as great upper teeth, as a doctor in Las Vegas is now doing all on four implants, but it is about $20k, 20 times a denture. The plus is they should last for life if done right. So, the future is here, and as usual, it is expensive, but the alternative, the denture is on its way out, and if I only could afford it, I'd walk in there right now.

Bottom line people: teach your kids right now to brush the full two minutes twice a day, and certainly before bed. Floss to get any food particles out from between teeth and under the tops of the gums!!

Losing my teeth was like losing an arm or a leg. I could not believe it happened to me, mainly because when I was a child I was brought to a Dentist-Butcher who just did not care and scarred me for life, resulting in my upper teeth being gone when I was 52. Do not let it happen to you. Brush, floss and fight for these darn political people to make dental care like health care, as well as making these greedy dentists run out of the country if they try to charge people $50k for dentures (some people need oral surgery, or other dental procedures, so why is this not covered by health insurance? Ask them.

Sure the dentists went to school, but they do not have to be greedy bums and make people in the US, with median incomes of $30-$40k year, have to pay a years wages to get their teeth fixed.

The best things low income, or regular people can do is vote. It is the most important right you have and many, many people died so we could vote, so get your butt to the polls when it is time and get the Voter participation rate to around 99% -- until we do, people will suffer! And shame on those Republican governors who refuse to let their population sign up for affordable health insurance coverage.

Rich people know, without health insurance, your life will not be very long (generally speaking) and included in this, We must make dental care part of health Insurance, as it is not a "luxury" to have good dental health!


How bad does it hurt after having several top teeth extracted, to put in temporary dentures? I'm having it done today and don't know what to expect.


My mom had to have temporary dentures after her teeth were pulled at an early age. She was just born with bad teeth, or at least that is what the dentist said. They were gorgeous and white, but just plain flat soft.

She was eating a regular hamburger and just broke a tooth off. Another time, she broke one off eating some pudding.

The dentist did say that part of this was where she had had severe morning sickness during pregnancy as well. The baby got all of the nourishment while she went without. (That was my older sister, not me.)

Regardless, by the time she was ready to get her permanent dentures she couldn’t wait. You see, her gums had lost all of the swelling from her teeth being pulled and the dentures didn’t fit well anymore.

I believe she had to wait about six months to be fitted for her permanent ones.


My poor father in law had to have all of his teeth extracted.

He found a place in his local area that could pull them all, give him his temporary dentures and then his permanent dentures later. He had to pay the entire cost upfront, which was over five thousand dollars.

Well, he had all of his teeth removed and got his temporary dentures. They then sent him a bill because they decided to go up on the price after he had had the procedure done and after he had already paid. He fought that and won.

But then when he went to make an appointment for his permanent dentures, the place had not only closed down completely but apparently had fallen off the edge of the earth as well.

He was lucky because he had used his credit card to pay the bill. He was given back his money, but had he used cash he would have just been out of a few grand.

So, never pay cash for these kinds of high end procedures and don’t pay it all upfront if you can help it.


@JessicaLynn - It would be great if people could get immediate dentures, but it sounds like the technology just isn't there yet. The process is just too involved it seems.

I guess it's a good thing that dentists take their time making the dentures though. My grandmother had some problems with her permanent dentures not fitting correctly and she was pretty miserable! Any dental work that isn't quite right can be very painful.


I'm not that familiar with dentures so for whatever reason I didn't think it took that long for a permanent set of dentures to be made. I can't imagine walking around with no teeth for a month or more! I could see how that would be uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Although, I guess I should have known you can't get dentures in a day! When you get a crown done the crown doesn't get made instantly. They give you a temporary crown to wear while you wait for the permanent one to be completed. Like dentures, this takes about a month. I guess the process is probably pretty similar.


If you are going to be supporting someone who is heading in to get permanent dentures and must wear temporary ones for a while, what are some of the best foods for them to have?

I know that the temporary dentures are designed so that people can continue to eat somewhat normally but it seems to me that after you first get them in you would have some pain issues and perhaps problems from tooth extractions.

For those that have any experience with temporary dentures do you think that a person should stick to really soft food for the first week or so, or should it be for longer?


My mother had to use temporary dentures while she was waiting to get her permanent ones and she really felt that they helped to keep her from feeling self-conscious and embarrassed during outings. She had been struggling with unsightly teeth for her entire life so for her, even getting in temporary dentures was a blessing as they gifted her with an instant perfect smile.

As for aftercare she found that the temporary dentures did indeed help to keep the swelling down. She also told me that they were easy to take care of and good training for the more permanent dentures she received. Since her permanent dentures took more than a month to be completed she was really happy with the temporary set.

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