Removable partial dentures are similar to a full set of dentures in many ways, but as the name implies, they are only a partial set of artificial teeth. Not everyone who needs dentures needs to have a full set, and partial dentures allow the patient to keep some or most of their healthy teeth. Below, we explain why someone may need partial removable dentures, and how to care for your set.
The Need For Partial Dentures
There are three main reasons why a person may need a partial set of removable dentures. Those three reasons are:
- Natural tooth decay caused by factors like old age, poor oral hygiene, or wear and tear on the teeth.
- Trauma to the teeth.
- Oral cancer.
Regardless of your reason for needing partial dentures, the process begins by the doctor examining your teeth and removing any teeth that are going to be replaced. A mold is then created, and using this mold a set of dentures will be created. They’ll look a lot like a normal set of dentures you might see, with teeth and pink gums, but they may only have teeth in certain areas or on one side of the mold depending on what is being replaced.
The molds are designed so that they can attach to teeth that remain in the mouth so that they don’t move around when talking or eating. Some molds have clasps to attach to the teeth, while others use precision attachments for an even better fit. Your dentist can talk to you about your options and explain any cost differences between molds.
In the beginning, wearing a partial mold may feel a bit weird, but you’ll get used to it. Most patients will gladly trade the new sensation in order to regain a healthy looking smile or to hide the effects or trauma or cancer. Inserting and removing the implant will get easier as you get more practice, and make sure you are following your dentist’s instructions for how long you should wear them. If something is very uncomfortable or painful, bring this to the attention of your dentist so the mold can be adjusted. Do not try to alter your mold on your own.
Caring For Your Partial Dentures
You should be able to find a denture cleaner at the grocery store or pharmacy, but you can also ask your dentist for recommendations. Odds are they’ll recommend a specific brand or one with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Carefully clean your dentures over a soft surface or water-filled sink in case you drop the dentures, as this will help to prevent damage.
Don’t just assume that toothpaste is a good dentures cleaner, as they can sometimes be too harsh. Again, ask your dentist or follow the instructions on your cleaning kit. Some types of hand soaps may be delicate enough to clean your dentures, but most household cleaners are too abrasive, so again, use caution when picking out a denture cleaner. Only use soft-bristled brushes, and rinse the set off when cleaning is complete.
Finally, dentures can actually shift or change shape if they are not kept moist, so don’t just set them on the counter when sleeping or when they are not in use. Keep them in a soaking solution or water, whatever is recommended by your dentist.
Minnesota Dental Clinic
Partial dentures can help to restore your smile after cancer or trauma to the mouth damages teeth, but you need to make sure you are properly caring for your set. For more information on how to care for your set, or if you are interested in being evaluated for partial dentures, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.