Removable partial dentures can be a great help to people who have lost some of their natural teeth. Some partial dentures are attached to the adjoining teeth by metal clasps. Others are fitted into adjoining teeth with precision attachments. Your dentist will help you select the type that is best for you.
If you have a removable partial denture or are about to get one, you've taken a necessary and important step toward maintaining your oral health.
Wearing a partial denture can help your remaining teeth stay in position. When there are spaces between natural teeth, the teeth may drift or tip, placing unnatural stress in the tissues of the mouth. Teeth that are tipped or out of position are often hard to clean and are therefore at greater risk of tooth decay and periodontal diseases, which can cause additional tooth loss.
Chewing is easier and more comfortable if teeth are replaced. If teeth are missing, you may chew food on only one side of your mouth, placing to much stress on that side. This can eventually lead to further problems with the gums and other issues in the mouth.
Wearing a partial denture can also benefit your speech and appearance. You need your teeth to make many sounds properly. They also help maintain the natural shape of your face by supporting your lips and cheeks.
Your partial dentures may feel bulky at first because your mouth must become adjusted to the presence of a foreign object. After the tissues adapt, the sensation of bulkiness should disappear. When you first get your denture, practice inserting and removing it. Follow the instructions your dentist has given you. Remember that the denture was designed to fit into your mouth easily. Never force it into position by biting down on it, which may bend or break the clasps.
After making any necessary adjustments, your dentist will probably recommend that you remove your denture while you are sleeping. This gives the mouth tissue a chance to rest and helps maintain oral health.
It may be difficult for you to pronounce certain sounds when you first start wearing a removable partial denture. This is because your mouth, especially your tongue, is not yet accustomed to the appliance. Sometimes speaking causes the muscles of the tongue, cheeks, and lips to move the denture. With practice, however, you will soon learn how to keep it in place while using these muscles to speak. Your speech will probably improve daily, and you can help speed the process by reading aloud.
Be careful when handling your partial denture. Most damage to dentures occurs when they are out of the mouth. When cleaning or inserting your denture, hold it securely over a towel or a basin half-filled with water. This will protect it in case you drop it.
For a healthy mouth and fresh breath, you must remove plaque and food deposits from dentures daily. This also helps keep the denture from becoming permanently stained.
Before cleaning your denture, take it out of your mouth and rinse it well to remove any loose food particles. Next, apply your favorite denture cleaner to a moistened brush and clean all surfaces of the denture. Brush thoroughly but carefully. Scrubbing too hard can damage the plastic parts of the denture or bend its metal clasps.
Even if your partial denture is undamaged and feels comfortable, you should see your dentist at least once a year to protect your oral health. During these visits, you will receive a complete oral examination. Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer and examine your gum ridges, tongue, and the joints of your jaw. If you suffer from dry mouth, technically called xerostomia, artificial saliva may be prescribed. Your dentist will also look for signs of general diseases, including diabetes, that can show up in the mouth. When necessary, your natural teeth will be cleaned and your partial denture will be refitted.
Most people can wear a removable partial denture successfully - it just takes a bit of time to become adjusted. With a little effort, the remaining natural teeth can last a lifetime.