Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame that is connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be properly cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures, always keep them moist when they’re not in use, and be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.
Like a bridge, partial dentures rest on surrounding teeth to fill in the gaps where one or more teeth are missing. But unlike a bridge, partial dentures are fully removable by the wearer. Partials are affordable alternatives to other types of dental prosthetics and are custom-made to blend in with each patient’s natural teeth. It takes a little time to adapt to new partials, but many people find that they reclaim much of their original function and aesthetics with partial dentures in place.
Did you know?
Partial dentures require gentle care and frequent cleaning. Once you get your new partial dentures, you’ll need to:
- Keep them moist at all times by soaking them in a denture solution when not in use
- Gently brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled tooth brush
- Be careful not to drop your partial dentures, as they may break
- Avoid exposing your partial to hot temperatures that could cause warping
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for partial dentures?
You may be a candidate for partial dentures if you have one or more missing teeth, and the space they once filled is surrounded by other teeth or permanent restorations. To find out more about whether partial dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist.
What should I expect when being fit for partial dentures?
If you decide to get a partial denture, you’ll need to visit your dentist to have metal clasps attached to your surrounding teeth and an impression made of the area your partial will fill. The impression will be sent to a dental lab, where a technician will fabricate a custom denture that includes a gum-colored base that will fit securely over your gums. A metal framework will be used to attach your new partial to the clasps on your natural teeth to ensure a secure fit.
Will I need to follow any special oral health instructions after receiving my partials?
Yes. Good oral health is still important – even if you have a few missing teeth. In addition to caring for your new dental prosthetic, you’ll also need to brush your gums and tongue twice daily to stimulate circulation and remove bacteria that could cause gum disease. Continue seeing your dentist twice yearly for exams and cleanings, and be sure to bring your partial dentures along to each visit. After a few years, you may find that your partial needs to be rebased to better fit the changes to the bone structure in your mouth.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures are preferred by many dental patients who are missing all of their teeth but want a more stable prosthetic replacement option than traditional dentures provide. Unlike regular dentures, which rest on the gums unsupported, an implant supported denture is anchored in place by titanium rods surgically embedded into the jaw bone. This prevents the dentures from slipping or becoming loose during wear. Many patients find that implant supported dentures in provide greater comfort, easier chewing, and better communication capabilities than are available via traditional dentures.
There are two types of implant supported dentures – ball retained and bar retained. Ball retained dentures are secured by ‘ball and socket’ joint attachments connected to each individual implant. A bar retained denture uses attachments connected to a bar that runs along the curvature of the jaw bone. This bar is held in place by between 2 and 5 implants, requiring fewer implants overall than ball-retained dentures do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for implant supported dentures?
You may be a candidate for an implant supported denture if you are missing all of your upper or lower teeth and have enough jawbone to support artificial tooth roots. If you don’t have sufficient bone structure, your provider may recommend undergoing a grafting procedure to help build up the jaw in preparation for implants. You’ll need to consult with an implant specialist to ensure that an implant supported denture is right for you.
What should I expect if I undergo an implant procedure?
Getting implant supported dentures is a multi-step process that generally requires 2 in-office surgeries performed several months apart. During the first visit, implants will be secured within their designated locations inside the jaw. They will then be left to heal over a period of 6 to 9 months. You may be fitted for temporary dentures to wear during this time. At the conclusion of your waiting period, you’ll return to your provider’s office to have the implants re-exposed and either an abutment or bar secured to them. Lastly, you’ll be fitted for your final dentures, which will contain connective hardware for easy attachment.
How will I need to care for my implant supported dentures?
Although implant-supported dentures are designed to remain in place without slipping, they must be removed each night for cleaning. You’ll also need to carefully brush around each attachment and soak them nightly.