This type of restorative dentistry deals with the restoration and replacement of missing teeth. Dentures and partial dentures are two types of dental prostheses used when a number of teeth are missing. Full dentures or partials restore one’s smile as well as one’s ability to chew and talk more efficiently.
If all the teeth in the upper jaw or lower jaw are missing, a full denture may be used to replace the missing teeth. This set of false teeth is supported only by the soft tissues in the mouth and is removable for easy cleaning.
Although dentures are not as stable as one’s real teeth, they are certainly better than having no teeth at all. A denture that has been carefully constructed should look natural, fit properly, and function well.
Before a denture is constructed, a full dental exam and evaluation are essential. Impressions of the mouth will be made from which the technician will create a plaster cast model of the inside of your mouth. The plaster cast model is then used to start the construction of your denture.
Upon completion of the denture, your dentist will check the new prosthetic for proper fit and bite and make any necessary adjustments.
When you first begin wearing the new denture, you may notice some discomfort and/or the development of sore spots in your mouth. This is normal. However, you may need to return to your dentist so that the denture can be trimmed to prevent further irritation of the soft tissues.
The denture should be checked annually by your dentist for any defects and to ensure that it continues to fit and function properly. A number of factors will determine the longevity of the denture; but with good care, you can expect your denture to last at least 5 to 7 years statistically. We, though, have seen dentures last more then 20 years if they were originally fabricated with high-end dental materials.
An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants.
An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.
Implant-supported dentures usually are made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there. Usually, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is quite stable on its own and doesn’t need the extra support offered by implants. However, you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.
You should remove an implant-supported denture daily to clean the denture and gum area. Just as with regular dentures, you should not sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night. Some people prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed. Your dentist will consider your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options.
It is important to replace missing teeth to prevent remaining teeth from shifting positions. If you have several teeth missing in the upper or lower jaw, a partial denture could be the best solution.
A removable partial denture is both functional and aesthetic. The partial denture fills in the gaps where the teeth are missing, thus completing your smile. It also helps you chew food properly.
The partial denture attaches to your natural teeth with either metal clasps or precision attachments. Precision attachments are less noticeable than the metal clasps. However, partial dentures with precision attachments may be more expensive than those with metal clasps.
When you first begin wearing the partial denture, it may feel awkward to you or cause some discomfort. In time, your mouth will become accustomed to wearing this device. Inserting and removing the partial denture will likely take some practice, too. If the partial denture doesn’t fit into place with relative ease, let your dentist know. Some adjustment of the device may be required.
Cleaning full or partial dentures requires special caution. Because these prosthetics can break if dropped, handle them with care during the cleaning process. It’s best to hold the devices over a folded towel or a sink filled with water in case you accidentally drop them.
First, rinse the full or partial denture to remove any loose food particles. Then, use a brush specifically designed for dentures along with denture cleaner to keep the dentures from becoming permanently stained. (A regular soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable.) Brush gently to avoid damaging the denture.
Some people prefer to wash their dentures with hand soap or a mild dishwashing detergent. This is alright; however, avoid using abrasive cleansers that might damage the prosthetic devices.
Please ask us about additional care of your full or partial denture, and visit us regularly for checkups – this will maintain the longevity of the prosthesis that you have.