What is a partial denture?
A partial denture is a prosthesis used when a person is missing one or more teeth and wants to replace them so they can function properly. For example, if a person is missing two teeth on the upper left and two teeth on the upper right, they may be a great candidate for a partial denture. Partial dentures are removable, meaning they can be taken out and cleaned. This is advantageous because it allows for easier access to clean the teeth that are remaining. Partial dentures are an affordable way to replace several missing teeth at the same time.
What is a complete denture?
A complete denture is a prosthesis used when a person is missing all of their teeth on the upper or lower arch. Some patients may only need a full denture for the top or for the bottom, while other patients may need dentures for both arches.
Why would one need full or partial dentures?
Age, trauma, illness, or poor oral hygiene can lead to many dental problems, including loss of teeth. Tooth loss negatively affects the natural functions of one’s oral cavity. When teeth are lost, eating becomes more difficult. In addition, bone loss occurs which can lead to changes in one’s facial appearance.
Full and/or partial dentures can replace missing teeth and restore much of the functionality that was lost when teeth were lost. In addition, it can improve one’s facial appearance by replacing missing teeth but also by making the lips and cheeks appear more full and natural.
How do complete dentures stay in place?
Upper complete dentures stay in place by resting in the space between the bone and the cheeks on either side and by suction in the palate. Saliva in the mouth gets between the palate and the inside of the denture and creates a suction effect, helping the denture to stay in place. Lower complete dentures often do not stay in place quite as well due to the lack of a palate on the lower arch and the movements of the tongue. However, if made properly, lower dentures can allow for a patient to function well.
Despite advancements in denture fabrication in recent years, sometimes patients will need to wear adhesives to ensure that dentures stay in place well when eating and functioning. Well-made dentures tend to stay in place well, but sometimes, when significant bone has been lost or other anatomical problems arise, a patient may need denture adhesive to ensure their denture fits and functions more comfortably.
How do partial dentures stay in place?
Partial dentures stay in place via clasps around the natural teeth. Currently, there are several different types of clasps one can choose from. These include different types of metal clasps or Valplast (a nylon-like material) clasps.
How long does it take to get used to full or partial dentures?
At Rominger Family Dentistry, we tell all of our patients who get new full or partial dentures that it often takes at least 30 days to get used to them. A full or partial denture is a completely new prosthesis and it takes time for the oral tissues to get used to this.
These prostheses can change one’s speech at first, but this problem often goes away after just a short while of wearing them. In addition, it is very common for these prostheses to cause sore spots where they rub too heavily during function.
We advise all of our patients to return as often as necessary for adjustments so that the prosthesis will fit comfortably. Our office does not charge for any adjustments during the first six months after delivery of the prosthesis.