Partial dentures need an adjustment period. For some people it can take some effort to mentally adjust to having these dentures.
You might also take time to get into the new habit of proper dental hygiene.
Your dentist has helped you overcome this period and also give you tips for how to cope with partial dentures.
Discuss some of the most common questions you might have when getting adjusted to new dentures.
1 Why Should You Replace Your Missing Teeth?
Your appearance is one of the main reasons for replacing your missing teeth. Another reason is that the gap left by a missing tooth can put more strain on the teeth at either side. Hence tooth replacement becomes necessary.
A gap or missing teeth means your ‘bite’ is also affected. Because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap. Thus changing the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
As a result food can get stuck in the gap which causes tooth decay and gum disease.
2 How are Your Missing Teeth Replaced?
Your dentist decides on the procedure depending on the number of missing teeth you have. The condition of your teeth also affects the decision.
There are three ways to replace your missing teeth. The first option is with a removable false tooth called a partial denture.
The second option is with a fixed dental bridge. Your dentist uses a bridge when there are fewer teeth to replace. Or when you have missing teeth on one side of the mouth.
The third way is by the use of dental implants. This is where your dentist places an artificial root into the bone of the jaw. Above which a crown or bridge is placed.
3 What is a Partial Denture?
Partial denture is a plate with one or more false teeth placed on it. It can be made of all plastic or a mixture of plastic and metal. Both these types may have clips on them to help keep the denture in place in your mouth. Depending on the placement some of these clips are visible when you smile.
Whereas a complete denture is a removable replacement for your teeth and bone – lost in an entire dental arch. Complete dentures are relatively economical, easy to fabricate and provide a level of esthetics and function acceptable to many people.
4 How Long Does it Take to Get Used to Partial Dentures?
Initially your new dentures will feel unusual. If you have new hardware in your mouth, be it braces or a retainer, they need an adjustment period. Most patients learn how to manage with dentures within a few weeks.
Some of the things you’ll need to get used to are the way the dentures feel in your mouth. How to take them in and out and how to clean your dentures. You also have to learn how to eat and talk as your mouth feels different.
The first week you have your dentures it will be the strangest for you. Some patients get adjusted after three weeks. While others might not get completely adjusted until six weeks.
Once you learn how to survive with dentures you will automatically stop thinking about them.
5 How Can You Make Your Partial Dentures More Comfortable?
When you visit your dentist, always talk about your dentures and their fitting. Your dentist will give you suggestions for ways to overcome any discomfort you might be feeling.
It is true that the first few weeks may feel odd to you. But there are ways you can make your dentures more comfortable.
You could use an adhesive to keep your artificial teeth from sliding in your mouth. You can try to experiment with different adhesives available in the market.
It is also a good option to discuss with your dentist. Since your dentist knows what brands might work best with the specific materials used in your dentures.
You must also keep realistic expectations. Remember your dentures are going to fill the gaps in your teeth. They will also keep your teeth from moving.
People will not know that you have lost a tooth. But it will not feel like a natural tooth. You have to accept all these facts. Only then can you accept the way the partial denture feels in your mouth.
To make your dentures feel comfortable, it’s important to properly clean them and keep them in good condition. Proper handling of your dentures will keep them from becoming misshapen and uncomfortable.
6 Is it Hard to Eat with Partial Dentures?
At first, your partial denture will feel a little awkward. You might be used to the missing teeth. And having a foreign object in their place would feel unnatural during the first few weeks. Slowly over time, you will be more and more used to wearing it.
When you first get your dentures, try to eat soft food for the first few days or few weeks. This way, you will get used to the chewing process.
As you become more confident eating with dentures you can start eating more chewy foods. Chewy and hard foods will take maximum time to get used to.
However, as you learn how to cope with dentures, you will feel more natural when you eat.
Once you get used to keeping dentures in your mouth, eating with them will not be difficult. Eating with dentures is more difficult if you have full dentures than with dentures. With full dentures you actually need chew food on both sides of your mouth simultaneously.
7 Can You Wear Partial Dentures All the Time?
Technically you can wear your dentures all the time. This is a good dental health practice. It is best for your gums and teeth that you remove the dentures at night while you sleep.
When you wear your dentures all the time, there are chances of bacteria and fungi growing under the dentures. This is bad for your dental health.
It could lead to problems like irritation, bad breath, and gum disease. They could put pressure on your gums for a long period and can be bad for your bones.
Hence it is best to take out your dentures at night and give them a rest. This is good for your long term dental health.
But initially your dentist might recommend you to wear your dentures as much as possible. So that your dentist can make small adjustments to make it fit is as comfortable as possible.
8 What are the Problems Faced With Partial Dentures?
Snap in dentures do not have any metal and are lightweight. They are more comfortable than dentures. Because they do not feel tight around your teeth and do not move around in your mouth. Some people also face issues with removable partial dentures.
You might also experience upper denture problems. Upper denture problems are common both in case of full dentures or dentures. They can affect your speech, your chewing and TMJ functioning.
Many ask if you can chew gum with dentures? Yes, if you have these types of fittings you can chew regular gums as you did before.
A properly fitted denture will not have these problems. If you have any issues your dentist will evaluate your current dentures and make recommendations to fix them.
9 What is the Difference Between a Plastic Partial Denture and Metal Denture?
Plastic partial dentures are less expensive to prepare. They must be designed very carefully as they can damage the teeth they fit against.
Whereas metal partial dentures are often made from an alloy of chromium and cobalt. Hence they are much stronger and durable. The design of these metal framework makes it easier to add artificial teeth.
They are lighter to wear and can easily be supported by your remaining teeth. Although the base is metal, they have gum-coloured plastic and natural-looking teeth fixed to them. This is why metal dentures are more expensive than plastic ones.
10 How To Care for Your Denture?
Your dentures might break if you drop them. Always clean your denture in a bowl of water or a folded towel to avoid dropping.
To clean your dentures, the thumb rule is – brush and soak every day. Brush your dentures first, to help remove any food particles. You can use a non-abrasive denture cleaner but not a toothpaste.
Be careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves on the surface of your denture.
Ensure that you brush all the surfaces of the dentures. Including the surface that fits against your gums. This is all the more important if you use any kind of denture fixative.
You can use a denture cleaning solution to soak your dentures. This will help remove any plaque and stubborn stains that its surface. It will also help to disinfect your dentures, leaving them feeling fresher. These are dental care tips you should follow at home.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. As part of dental care
If you notice any kind of build-up of stains or scale, then you can get it cleaned by your dental team.
11 What is the Alternative to a Partial Denture?
The main alternatives are a fixed bridge or a dental implant. A dental bridge is made by putting crowns on the teeth at either side of the gap.
Then the two dental crowns are joined together by placing a false tooth in between. This is all made in the lab and the pieces are cemented using special adhesives. The bridge once fixed cannot be removed.
Your other option is an adhesive bridge. This comes with ‘wings’ that are bonded to the back of your supporting teeth. Very little drilling is needed to fit them in place.