Complete and Partial Dentures are the most basic replacement for one or more missing teeth. They usually replace all missing teeth in an arch and restore your full smile; thus improving your appearance and health. You will be enable eat and speak much better.
A Partial Denture is used when there are some remaining natural teeth which can be used as anchors. The anchor teeth must be periodontally sound and free of decay. Usually it is advisable to complete all other dental treatment prior to commencing fabrication of Partial Dentures.
Types of partial dentures
There are three basic types of Partial Dentures:
- Traditional rigid partial: this is a great option when replacing multiple teeth, especially when replacing posterior teeth where there is no tooth remaining at the back to support the denture. The metal framework gives it strength and the clasps can be easily adjusted if necessary. The teeth and gums are made out of acrylic. In some cases this type of partial can be fabricated entirely from rigid acrylic to save cost (this reduces longevity and requires more overall bulk for adequate strength).
- Flexible partial: this is a good option when replacing less teeth and there are more teeth present to support the denture. The partial does not contain any metal and can flex and bend as it is used. It is a more esthetically pleasing partial. However, the clasps are a little more difficult to adjust and cannot be tightened.
- Combination metal and flexible partial: this uses a metal framework for strength and flexible clasps for esthetics. This is a good option for someone who needs the framework for strength but does not want the appearance of metal clasps.
Usually it is possible to add an additional tooth to a Traditional or Combination Partial Denture if an existing tooth is lost; Flexible Partials are usually more difficult to repair. All Partial Dentures should be replaced once they become worn or deformed.
In cases where there are no remaining teeth in an arch or the teeth have to be removed due to poor periodontal health (mobility) or are otherwise unrestorable, complete dentures are the most basic option to restore your smile.
There are two basic types of Complete Dentures:
- Conventional full dentures are used when the underlying gums are fully healed and stable. Usually they are a replacement for loose or worn-out existing dentures.
- Immediate complete dentures are placed as soon as all the remaining teeth are extracted, which means you will not have to be without teeth during the healing phase. Immediate Denture usually will require one or more soft liners during the healing phase and a hard reline after 10 to 12 months to accommodate changes in gum architecture.
Creating a well fitted and beautiful denture will usually take between 3 and 5 appointments and can usually be completed within 30 days. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth” because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.
A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, preferably with a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures, using either a denture cleanser or toothpastes. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers, including abrasives toothpastes, because they may scratch the surface of the denture. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to become warped. If you wear a partial denture be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.
Should a denture be worn at night?
While you may be advised to wear your denture almost constantly during the first two weeks- even while you sleep-under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove it at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of the gums.
Continue seeing your dentist regularly
It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As of aging, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, please consult Dr. Preis.
Are there any alternatives to dentures?
Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has little or no teeth. Strategically placed supports, or implants, can now be used to affix permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for dentures. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the “feel” of real teeth and are much more durable. Dental implants are becoming the alternative of choice to dentures.
In cases where the aesthetics are of uttermost importance, there is an unfavorable tooth configuration, or dentures cannot be stabilized, use of traditional implants or “Mini” implants is a great way to surmount these obstacles. Implant supported dentures fell more like your own teeth!
Make sure to call us for Dr. Preis’ advice.