Dentures and partials are removable artificial teeth. They are used to replace missing teeth to help an individual return to their normal lifestyle, improve the look of their smile, and maintain their oral health.
Differences Between Full and Partial Dentures
Full dentures replace an entire set of teeth. Top dentures have a flesh colored base that fits over the gums and covers the palate. Bottom dentures have a flesh colored base as well, but are contoured to allow natural movement of the tongue.
Partial dentures are used when only some of the teeth are missing. Partials are replacement teeth that are attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, connected by metal framework.
How They Are Made
We custom-make partials and dentures here in our own lab. The first step is a consultation about color and shape options for your dentures. Next an impression of your mouth will be made to ensure your dentures fit perfectly. The process generally requires two or three appointments to complete.
An extraction may be necessary before you can receive dentures. For more information, see the minor oral surgery page.
Adjusting to Your New Dentures
Adjusting to your new partials or dentures may take several weeks. Because the muscles of your mouth are adjusting to holding the new dentures in place, they may feel loose or there may be some discomfort. You may also experience excess saliva and the feeling that your tongue does not have enough room. These issues are normal and should not last long.
How to Care For and Maintain Dentures
Dentures and partials need to be brushed twice daily with a soft-bristled brush to remove food and plaque and prevent staining. Rinse your dentures after each meal. When they are not being worn, dentures need to be stored in a cleaning solution or water to prevent them from drying out. Dentures and partials are breakable, so be sure to handle them carefully.
Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush each morning before you putting your dentures in to remove plaque and to stimulate circulation.
As with your natural teeth, you'll want to schedule a cleaning and check-up every six months for a deep cleaning of your dentures and to check for signs of other oral diseases.
Due to normal wear and changes in your mouth from aging, your dentures will need to be adjusted or remade over time. Generally, full dentures last five to seven years. Properly caring for your teeth and keeping your six month appointments will increase the lifespan of your dentures.