Partial dentures are false, removable teeth that are fitted over the gums. They are used to replace missing teeth and are made with a plate of either acrylic, metal or nylon.
Dentures can come either as a full set [complete dentures] or as a partial set [partial dentures] that fills in the gaps where only few teeth are missing. Partial dentures are usually made with clasps that clip onto your natural teeth around the gap of the missing teeth. These clasps are made to be easily clipped in and out. One of the benefits of getting partial dentures is that they are a bespoke option of denture available for back teeth as well as front teeth, giving a great degree of flexibility.
How Do Partial Dentures Work?
Partial dentures are used not only utilised for aesthetic purposes, but also to help prevent issues with speech and eating caused by a person’s teeth and palate. You may therefore need dentures if you have missing teeth and are struggling to speak properly, or have difficulties eating food. Some people also opt for dentures when they feel it will improve their appearance, helping to bring back their confidence.
By filling the literal spaces in people’s teeth, in a ‘targeted’ manner, partial dentures are an ideal solution for many people. As well as those who don’t want tooth implants, which can be a lot more costly and potentially painful, partial dentures are a wonderful solution for those who may not be eligible for implants even if they do wish to have them. Moreover, these types of dentures available in the UK are very different to the old-fashioned dentures of the past.
Dentures are resilient and long-lasting. You should not have to replace partial dentures for years. However, this is only provided that you take proper care of them.
What Happens If Partial Dentures Stop Fitting?
If your partial dentures become uncomfortable, slip in your mouth, or even click, you should speak to your dentist or denture technician right away. Wearing poorly fitted dentures can not only be uncomfortable, but can also lead to infections, and difficulties when eating and speaking.
If your partial dentures stop fitting because of a shrunk jawbone, you may have to use denture adhesive to help secure them in place. However, it is important to speak to your dentist or denture technician before trying to fix the problem, as they can properly advise you on the best course of action to take.
How Are Partial Dentures Fitted?
Partial dentures are made to cover gaps where only a few teeth are missing, rather than providing and fitting a full set of dentures. They are typically made using the following plate materials:
The false teeth are subsequently attached to the denture plate. The number of false teeth on the plate will typically correspond with the number of teeth that are missing from or that need the necessary attention inside your mouth.
The plates of your partial dentures can come, in a range of different materials. Plastic partial dentures are the least costly types; however, if not carefully and properly designed, they can cause damage to the surrounding teeth.
Metal Partial Dentures
Metal partial dentures are stronger and lighter to wear than those with a plastic plate. They can also come with a cover that is the same colour as your gums, which can give the dentures a more natural look. Whilst metal partial dentures can be preferable over plastic plate equivalents, they can be more costly, so it is important to be led by your dentist or denture lab technician who will be well-placed to advise you on which partial dentures to ultimately choose.
When getting partial dentures, your dentist or technician will take various measurements from your mouth and will order or build and fit the dentures based off these measurements. You can also go straight to a qualified dental technician who can provide the dentures to you directly. However, these dentures can often only be provided after a visit to your dentist to discuss the dentures.
How Do I Eat With Partial Dentures?
You should usually only eat soft, small pieces of food when you are first fitted with any partial dentures. This food should also be chewed slowly and with both sides of the mouth. Things to commonly avoid with partial dentures include:
- Chewing gum
- Sticky food
- Hard food
- Food with sharp edges
Over time, once you have adjusted to your dentures, you can then start to build up to different types of food, and eventually get back to a normal diet and eating all the usual foods and drinks you like.
How Do I Look After My Partial Dentures?
Your dentist will advise you on how to look after partial dentures. They may feel odd at first, but this will only be at the beginning and you will soon get used to them. Some people will have to wear their partial dentures constantly at first, even during the night, however your dentist will provide you with details of this when and if at all necessary.
Removing Partial Dentures
If you want (and are permitted) to remove your partial dentures during the night, they should be kept in water or an appropriate overnight cleaning solution as advised by your dentist or technician. Taking out your dentures at night can be beneficial for your gums, as it gives them some time to rest. When taking out partial dentures, it is important to keep them moist to prevent them from drying out and subsequently changing shape.
You should also clean your partial dentures regularly, removing plaque which will help in preventing them from causing any oral diseases or bad breath. Partial dentures should be cleaned with toothpaste and also soaked in a denture cleaning solution.
It is important to follow the instructions provided on the packet of any suitable cleaning solution you use on your dentures.
As well as denture care, it’s also important to take care of your remaining teeth and oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth, as well as your gums and tongue, twice a day and as recommended by professionals. By keeping up with your oral hygiene, you can help to prevent disease and other dental-related issues from occurring.