By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
When most people think of dentures, they think of a prosthetic that replaces the entire upper or lower set of teeth (or both). But when you only have a few teeth missing, and your remaining teeth are healthy, partial dentures can be an effective solution to bridge the gap.
Partial dentures help fill in your smile, improve speech, and make chewing more comfortable, among other benefits. If you’re considering partial dentures, you likely have many questions. The purpose of this blog is to help answer as many of those questions as possible.
Here’s a snapshot of what to expect with partial dentures, as well as tips for taking good care of them.
What Are Partial Dentures and How Do They Work?
Partial dentures are a type of prosthetic restorative that fills in gaps left by sections of missing teeth. They function similarly to full dentures, but for a smaller portion of your mouth.
When you get partial dentures, they will be matched to the shape and color of your teeth and gums. The dentures sit on a base that rests on your gums, which is typically made of acrylic. The artificial teeth themselves are typically made of porcelain or acrylic. Finally, a set of fasteners that grasp the adjoining teeth will hold the partial dentures in place. These connectors can be made from metal or plastic.
Partial dentures are removable. Unlike a dental bridge, partial dentures usually don’t require much change to the surrounding teeth to hold them in place.
Creating your partial dentures is a simple, painless process:
- Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert will take impressions of your teeth and measure your jaw.
- They’ll then have a partial denture framework made, which they’ll use to double-check the fit and make necessary adjustments.
- Once the framework fits well, they will ask for a try-in version of your partial denture and that will be checked again before the final partial denture is made.
- Then you’ll get your final partial denture and you can start wearing it right away.
This process can take several appointments over multiple weeks (or in some cases months). Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert can give you a more detailed timeline of how long it will take to get your partial dentures, depending on your personal situation.
How to Care for Partial Dentures
Caring for your partial dentures isn’t difficult and won’t take a lot of extra work. But there are a few things you should do to keep them in top shape as long as possible.
Putting Them In
Putting your new dentures in properly will take some practice. It may be difficult at first, and they may feel bulky or uncomfortable. Over time, you’ll adjust to them and they’ll feel more comfortable in your mouth.
Never force your dentures into place when inserting them. If you bite down on them when they’re in the wrong position, you could break something.
Partial dentures are easy to clean. Simply brush them at least twice daily (or after each meal, whenever possible).
However, don’t use your regular toothpaste and toothbrush to clean your dentures. Instead, use a soft-bristled denture brush and a denture cleaner. Regular toothpaste or other cleaners can be too harsh and cause damage to the plastic of your dentures. And since dentures can break, it’s best to clean them over a bowl of water or a towel in case you drop them.
In addition to cleaning your dentures properly, you’ll also want to pay special attention to the gums and natural teeth on either side of the partial dentures to ensure they stay healthy.
You should wear your new dentures at all times, except at night. Take your dentures out at night because your dentures need a break from all their hard work (and so does your mouth!).
Before you go to bed, remove your partial dentures, clean them, and then soak them in cold water or a denture cleaning solution overnight. It is important to keep dentures moist at all times, so never skip this step.
Are Partial Dentures Right for You?
Now that you know what to expect with partial dentures, you might have a better idea of whether they would be a good solution for your missing teeth. Of course, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert will be more than happy to help you make this determination as well.
Simply schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert to discuss the available options to meet your dental needs and determine if partial dentures are the right choice for you.