Removable Partial Dentures
An important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing, the remaining ones can change position, drifting into the surrounding space. Teeth that are out of position can damage tissues in the mouth. In addition, it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between crooked teeth. As a result, you run the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to the loss of additional teeth. In situations where only some teeth are missing we can also use a Removable Partial Denture.
A removable partial denture fills in the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. It is usually used when the space without teeth is too large for a bridge (fixed replacement of missing tooth/ teeth) or there are no teeth on either side of the gap or for economic reasons. The partial denture locks into place with its metal clasps. A denture helps you to properly chew food, a difficult task when you have missing teeth. In addition, a denture may improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks. There are two types of these: ones made fully of plastic (acrylic) or ones having a metal framework for rigidity and the teeth are the same kind used in full dentures. The latter ones are called CAST partial dentures and are much better but expensive.
FAQ ABOUT REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES
How do you wear a removable partial denture?
Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible. Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments.
How long will it take to get used to wearing a denture?
For the first few weeks, your new partial denture may feel awkward or bulky. However, your mouth will eventually become accustomed to wearing it. Inserting and removing the denture will require some practice. Follow all instructions. Your denture should fit into place with relative ease. Never force the partial denture into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
How long should I wear the denture?
We will give you specific instruction about how long the denture should be worn and when it should be removed. Initially, you may be asked to wear your partial denture all the time. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify those denture parts that may need adjustment. If the denture puts too much pressure on a particular area, that spot will become sore. Then we need to adjust the denture to fit more comfortably. After making adjustments, we will normally recommend that you take the denture out of your mouth before going to bed and replace it in the morning.
Will it be difficult to eat with a partial denture?
Replacing missing teeth should make eating a more pleasant experience. Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on the denture. Avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. You may want to avoid chewing gum while you adjust to the denture.
Will the denture change how I speak?
It can be difficult to speak clearly when you are missing teeth. Consequently, wearing a partial denture may help. If you find it difficult to pronounce certain words with your new denture, practice reading out loud. Repeat the words that give you trouble. With time, you will become accustomed to speaking properly with your denture.
How do I take care of my denture?
Handling a denture requires care. Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing your denture helps prevent the appliance from becoming permanently stained. Rinse the denture under water after meals to remove loose food debris. Brush regularly after each meal, or at least before bed. Brush with water, soap, or a mildly abrasive toothpaste, or denture paste. Scouring powders or other abrasive cleaners should not be used because they scratch the denture. Scratches make the denture more susceptible to collecting debris, plaque and stain. You can use a denture brush or a regular soft toothbrush to clean the denture, but use a separate brush for cleaning any natural teeth you have. It's best to use a brush that is designed for cleaning dentures. A denture brush has bristles that are arranged to fit the shape of the denture. A regular, soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture. Clean your dentures by thoroughly rinsing off loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply the denture cleaner. Brush all denture surfaces gently to avoid damaging the plastic or bending the attachments. Make sure you reach all areas of the denture. When brushing the appliance do not hold it firmly or with pressure as this can break the denture. Clean the denture over a sink half filled with water and place a towel in the sink to act as a cushion in case the denture should drop. Do not soak or rinse the denture in hot water, this can distort the shape and fit of the denture. Never scrape the denture with sharp instruments in an attempt to remove hard deposits. Instead, take it to a dental professional for them to remove the deposits.
We can recommend a denture cleaner. Some people use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean their dentures, which are both acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many types of toothpaste are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures. The denture can be soaked in a solvent or a detergent with a chemical action that removes or loosens light stains and deposits. Rinse the denture with water afterwards. Chemical immersions can be done daily or several times a week. Ultrasonic cleaning is done during a dental appointment to remove heavy stain and calculus (tartar). The most effective way to keep your dentures clean is by daily brushing, in combination with soaking the dentures in a chemical solution.
Your gums are important too:
Not only do your dentures need maintenance, but care also needs to be given to the tissues under your denture. The gums should be cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth. This removes the plaque and debris on the gums. It also massages and stimulates circulation of tissues. Massage your gums by placing the thumb and index finger over the ridge and use a "press-and-release" stroke.
Will my denture need adjusting?
Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, resulting in loose-fitting dentures. Dentures that do not fit properly should be adjusted. Loose dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, you need to see us immediately. In many cases, necessary adjustments or repairs can be made. Dentures may have to be replace over a period of time.