If you are missing one or more of your teeth and are looking for a less invasive and less expensive treatment option than dental implants, removable partial dentures might be right for you. Our team of professionals at Central Dental Specialists is happy to discuss if removable partial dentures are well suited for your particular needs.
What Are Removable Partial Dentures?
Removable partial dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic or resin base that fits in your gums. They often contain a metal framework and clasps that are secured to your remaining natural teeth, if they are healthy enough. The base of the denture matches the color of your real gums, while the replacement teeth are custom-made to match your existing teeth in shape, size, and color. We might also recommend putting crowns on your existing teeth to help improve the fit of your partial denture.
Advantages of Removable Partial Dentures
Like all other reconstructive treatments for people with missing teeth, removable partial dentures will prevent your existing teeth from shifting position over time. This is crucial, as shifting can cause bite issues, jaw pain, tooth decay, gum disease, and further tooth loss. Removable partial dentures improve the look of your smile and allow you to chew and speak with more ease than if you did not replace your missing teeth.
Removable partial dentures are also a significantly less expensive and less invasive option than dental implants, as they do not require surgery. They are usually simple to repair and adjust, so they can be a long-term form of treatment if you care for them appropriately and have them refitted and replaced as needed. Or if you decide to get dental implant surgery at a later date, removable partial dentures are a good temporary treatment option.
Removable partial dentures are not as stable and long-lasting as dental implants, and they require more maintenance. As your jaw changes shape over time, your dentures will stop fitting properly and you will most likely need to have them readjusted and replaced every few years. You are supposed to remove your dentures at night for cleaning, which some people find embarrassing or inconvenient. Finally, dentures might be difficult to get used to and they can cause pressure on your gums, which can be painful and sometimes leads to sores.
Caring for Your Removable Partial Dentures
When you receive your dentures, we will give you specific instructions on how long to wear them for each day and how to clean them. They might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but eventually you will get used to them. We may suggest eating only soft foods while you are getting accustomed to your new dentures.
We will recommend a denture cleaner (not toothpaste) and a specialized brush, although a soft-bristled toothbrush also works. You should remove your dentures at night to clean off any food particles and buildup from the day, then place them in soaking solution or water overnight while you sleep. Make sure to thoroughly brush and floss your natural teeth after removing your dentures, especially the “abutment” teeth that attach to your denture clasps, as it is easy for these teeth to accumulate plaque.
It is important not to forcefully bite down to try to get your dentures to fit better, as this could break the metal clasps. We recommend standing over a towel during cleaning in case you drop your dentures, as they can break easily. If your denture breaks or chips, call our office immediately rather than trying to repair it yourself.
To learn more information about removable partial dentures and set up a consultation with our professionals, call Central Dental Specialists at (781) 438-6618 today.