Partials & Dentures
Removable Partial Dentures
If you have missing teeth, a removable partial denture is one way to replace them.
Partial dentures have several benefits. They can make it easier for you to chew food. They can also help you speak better if your speech has changed due to missing teeth. Removable partial dentures can also support cheeks and lips so the face does not sag and make you look older.
Other reasons to replace missing teeth
When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the other jaw may also shift up or down toward the space. This can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaws. You may find it harder to clean teeth that have shifted, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. That is why it is important to replace missing teeth.
How partial dentures work
Removable partial dentures usually have replacement teeth fixed to an acrylic base that matches the color of your gums. The acrylic base may cover a metal framework. Partial dentures often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth. This holds the denture in place. Your dentist may also recommend crowns, or “caps,” on some of your natural teeth. Crowns can improve the way a removable partial denture fits your mouth. Ask your dentist which kind of removable partial denture is right for you.
Partial denture above gum
Partial denture in place
Partial denture in mouth (rest seats on two teeth can be seen)
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.
When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.
Types of Dentures:
- Conventional. This full removable denture is made and placed in your mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take several months.
- Immediate. This removable denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. You don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed.
- Overdenture. Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after they have been prepared by your dentist. Implants can serve the same function, too.
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
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