A removable partial or complete denture is replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.
Removable partials and dentures have several benefits. They can make it easier for you to chew food. They can also help you speak better if your speech has changed due to missing teeth.
A removable prosthetic can also support cheeks and lips so the face does not sag.
Anyone who is missing one, several, or all of their teeth may benefit from a removable complete or partial denture.
It is important to have adequate bone levels and healthy supporting teeth to help hold the denture in place.
If adequate bone support is not there, a patient may consider having implants placed to help support the prosthetic.
The fabrication process of a removable appliance will take several appointments.
The first phase is the impression phase where upper and lower impressions are taken of the existing teeth and gum levels. The two to three appointments that follow is where specific data is gathered on how the teeth in the prosthetic will look and function.
This data includes shape, color, length, and how the teeth will function with any opposing teeth. Even once the final prosthetic is delivered, there may be follow up appointments necessary to fine tune the fit of the appliance.
A patient should expect for it to take 2-3 months from start to finish. This may seem like a long time but the fabrication process we use here at Hoek Dentistry is what ensures a great end product.
The only time this more lengthy and in-depth process is skipped is for the fabrication of an immediate denture. This usually occurs when the immediate denture or partial will be worn on a temporary basis while a patient is healing from extractions.
You do not want to begin the fabrication of a permanent prosthesis immediately following extractions due to the fact that there are many gum changes that happen during this time.
Typically the healing phase lasts about 6 weeks following extractions.
Is eating or speaking difficult?
It can be an adjustment to learn to speak or chew with a new denture or partial. Our best advice is to start with a soft diet and work your way up to foods that are more difficult to chew.
Reading aloud is a great way to get used to speaking with your new appliance. The more you practice these things the more rapidly your denture or partial will feel like a normal part of your mouth.
Are dentures worn during sleep?
No! It is recommended that patients remove the appliance to clean it, and their surrounding teeth and gums, and leave it out of the mouth each night. This essentially allows the gum tissue to “breath”.
Much like you would not want to sleep in shoes and socks, you do not want to sleep in a removable prosthetic.