Understanding Partial Dentures

Preparing for partial dentures

How long should I wear the partial denture? How do I take care of my partial denture? Below we answer questions like this and other partial denture questions. Are we missing a question? Send us a message and let us know.

Why does my dentist recommend a partial denture?

It is important to maintain a healthy smile. You should replace any 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. 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.

A removable partial denture fills in the space created by missing teeth. It also helps you to properly chew food, which is a difficult task when you are missing teeth. Removable partial dentures consist of a metal framework with plastic teeth and gum areas. The framework includes metal clasps or other attachments such as precision attachments that hold the denture in place.

How long will it take to get used to wearing a partial 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. We will provide you with instructions on how to insert and remove the denture, and how to best take care of your new partial denture. 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 partial denture?

We will give you specific instructions about how long the partial denture should be worn and when it should be removed. Initially, we may ask you 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. We will adjust your denture to fit more comfortably. As a general rule it is recommended that you to take the denture out of your mouth before going to bed and replace it in the morning. We will discuss the correct plan for your circumstances.

Will it be difficult to eat with a partial denture?

Replacing missing teeth with a partial should make eating a more pleasurable experience. It is recommended to start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Try chewing on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on the denture. Avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. It is best to avoid chewing gum while you adjust to the denture.

How do I take care of my partial denture?

Handling a partial denture requires care. It’s a good idea to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water just in case you accidentally drop the denture. Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing your denture helps prevent the appliance from becoming stained. 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. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture.

Some people use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean their dentures, both are acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many toothpastes are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning your denture. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or soapy water. Your denturist can recommend the proper method for keeping your denture in good shape.

Over time, adjusting the partial 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 a loose-fitting denture. Your denturist should adjust partial dentures that do not fit properly. Loose partial dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. See our office promptly if your denture becomes loose.

Can I make minor adjustments/repairs to my partial denture?

A denturist constructs a partial denture to fit precisely to the shape of your mouth. Trying to adjust your partial on your own may seriously damage the partial or the remaining natural teeth. Using a do-it-yourself kit can damage the appliance. Glues sold over-the-counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture. If your denture no longer fits properly; if it breaks, cracks or chips; or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your denturist immediately. In many cases, our office can make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day.

Must I do anything special to take care of my mouth?

Brushing twice a day and flossing between your teeth daily help prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Take extra care when cleaning the teeth that fit under the denture’s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay. We will demonstrate how to properly brush and clean between teeth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is important too.

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