Partial dentures are natural-looking, removable dental appliances that help restore the function and form of your jaw. They replace one or more missing teeth, and can fit better when used with a denture adhesive. They rest on a metal framework the dentist attaches to your regular teeth. They’re a good alternative to a dental bridge since they are not cemented.
Benefits of Partial Dentures
There are several benefits of partial dentures. You can chew your food easier with them. They help you speak better since you’ll be filling in those missing teeth. They also help to support your lips and cheeks so your face doesn’t sag, making you look older.
Partial dentures also:
- Reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
- Help maintain your face’s shape.
- Ease jaw stress, especially when eating.
- Prevents your teeth from shifting around in your mouth.
- Used on the upper or lower jaw.
They’re a less-invasive treatment that isn’t as expensive as other methods of replacing missing teeth.
Daily Use of Partial Dentures
Your new partials may feel a little bulky or awkward in the beginning. This is normal, and you’ll get used to them after a while. Partial dentures require regular brushing, like your natural teeth, to remove built-up plaque and food. They are delicate, unlike your natural teeth, therefore may break easily, so it’s essential you take care when handling them.
Other dental care tips for your partial dentures include:
- Using a specifically designed toothbrush made for cleaning dentures.
- Avoiding bleach or household cleaners to clean your partials.
- Soaking your partials in denture cleanser when you’re not wearing them.
Consult with your dental specialist if you’re unsure what denture cleanser you should use to clean your partials.
With time, it should get easier to eat with your new dentures. Begin with soft foods that you cut into smaller pieces. Don’t eat sticky or extremely hard foods. Don’t chew gum while you’re still going through the adjustment period.
Typically, you can find a local dentist or orthodontist to provide you with partial dentures. Your dentist will begin with an initial consultation and examination. They’ll ask about your medical history, expectations and your needs. They’ll examine your mouth. They’ll likely give you a screening for oral cancer and look for any issues with your teeth, gums and soft tissues.
They’ll take impressions to create special trays for better secondary impressions later on. Depending on what you need, your dentist will then begin designing your partial dentures for you. Partial dentures could have a metal framework with clasps for connecting to your teeth, or other connectors you’ll find are more natural looking. Your dentist may use precision attachments to attach your partial denture to your natural teeth. These are more aesthetic.
You may require crowns on some of your natural teeth to assist with fitting your removable partial denture. Precision attachments typically will cost more than clasps. Your dentist will sit down with you and discuss all options first.
Once you receive your partial dentures, you may need to practice inserting and removing them before you get used to them. Other things you need to do include:
- Follow your dentist’s instructions.
- Don’t ever bite down to force your denture into place.
- Follow instructions on how long to wear your denture and when to remove it.
You may need to wear your partial denture all the time at first which is the fastest way to see if you need any adjustments. Although this may get a little uncomfortable at first.
Your dentist can adjust your partial if it’s putting too much pressure on a certain area, making it sore. Once your dentist makes adjustments, they will likely have you take your partial denture out at bedtime and put it back in the next morning.
For metal version partial dentures, the cost is usually lower than $2,500 per jaw, according to one dentist. You’ll find the non-metal dentures are often less expensive. Your dental specialist will eventually have to reline your partial dentures as you begin losing bone under your denture. This occurs usually every five years and costs around a couple hundred dollars.
Your dentist will evaluate your needs to see if partial dentures are a good option for you. If you have a number of teeth missing, you may require a partial whereas bridges tend to work better for smaller gaps. This is something you can discuss with your dentist.