What are partial dentures?
Partial dentures are basically a removable plate that contains one or more teeth on it, to replace those you are missing. In order to have a partial denture you need to have at least one natural tooth remaining otherwise you will need a full or complete denture. Thus a partial denture can technically have anything from 1 tooth to a maximum of 13 teeth on it, though in reality we rarely do more than 11.
Why do I need partial dentures?
Missing teeth can cause various problems, some short term, some more long term. Immediate issues come from chewing and problems eating, speaking and with the embarrassment of missing teeth, especially if they are at the front. Down the track the lack of stability can cause teeth to move, tilt,and over-erupt causing changes in your bite and resulting in sensitivity and areas that are more difficult to clean. Partial dentures are one solution for fixing missing teeth and preventing these things from arising. Your other options are a dental bridge or an implant.
What problems should I expect with my partial dentures?
Partial dentures take a bit of getting used to but no where near as much as full dentures because the natural teeth that remain aid stability and feedback to the brain about your chewing etc. Still you might find it uncomfortable for a couple weeks and need a few little adjustments by us along the way. To get used to your new partial dentures, begin eating softer foods, chewing slowly with both sides of the mouth. Build up to more solid food cut up into small pieces and then gradually larger pieces. The speed at which you will adapt will depend both on:
- The type of partial denture you have
- If you have worn one before
- The number of teeth missing
- How old you are
- Your personality and mindset
Take extra care when eating or drinking any hot, hard, or crunchy foods till you are used to having them in your mouth. If front teeth are being replaced you may also find it hard pronouncing certain words for the first couple of weeks, but you will rapidly adapt so don’t worry. If your dentures are causing you pain, moving or sore then make an appointment for us to check them out and adjust them if necessary.
How should I take care of my partial dentures?
If you have partial dentures then you have natural teeth remaining and it’s very important to look after these. Anything you put in your mouth traps more plaque than usual so extra care is needed when it comes to hygiene. These teeth are crucial to holding in your plate so you want to keep them as long as possible.The more teeth you need on the partial the less grip they have and the more unstable they become. As such brushing, flossing and using the little interproximal brushes to keep them clean is very important and you need to take the time to do this. Always use a fluoride toothpaste and take any cleaning advice from your dentist seriously and put it into practice… We are actually trying to help! Taking care of your partial dentures:
- If you’re not wearing your partial dentures, put them in a glass or container with water to prevent them from drying out or a ziplock bag with a splash of water in.
- Always store them in the same place so you know where they are.
- Rinse your dentures before putting them in; the water will help you with the suction.
- Your chemist and local super market will offer some specialized cleansers for dentures you can try if you like. Make sure it is for the right type of denture.
- Make sure to clean both sides of your partial denture; the inside and outside.
- Clean them over the sink with some water in, so if you drop them, they won’t break or bend
- Make routine checkups with your dentist to check your teeth, gums and dentures since changes and wear occur over time. See them sooner rather than later if you start to develop problems.
- If your dentures develop a crack or get chipped, don’t attempt DIY dentistry which can damage the partial dentures, call for an appointment instead.
- To clean them, brush them with a soft toothbrush and a little soap.