Because we often receive telephone calls at our Brandywine, Hockessin, Middletown, Newark, Wilmington, and Millsboro, DE dentist offices about dentures, we’d like to dedicate this blog post to the topic of partial and complete dentures.
Partial and complete dentures are used to replace few or several missing teeth. When many of your teeth are affected by advanced periodontal disease, decay or other problems, extracting them may be the only option. When diseased teeth are removed, infection is eliminated and the gums and supporting bone will be restored to a healthy state.
A removable partial denture is used when one or more teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. This type of denture consists of replacement teeth, which are attached to a gum-colored plastic base that is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place. A partial denture maintains tooth alignment by preventing the remaining teeth from shifting.
Complete dentures are used to replace all of the teeth. These dentures are made in about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed and the gums have begun to heal. Complete dentures are made of a plastic gum-colored base which supports a full set of artificial teeth made of porcelain or plastic. Complete dentures are held in place by forming a seal with the gums.
How Dentures are Made
The process of making dentures begins with us taking impressions of your mouth. We will then send the impressions to an off-site dental lab that will use them to make precise models of your mouth. The lab will then build the dentures based on these models.
An immediate denture can be made so you have something to wear immediately after your teeth are removed. This type of denture is made before the teeth are extracted and is put into place the same day your teeth are removed. This type of denture does not fit the bone and gum tissue as well as a conventional denture so it needs to be adjusted during the healing stage.
Adjusting to Dentures
It can take some time to get used to wearing dentures, as there is an adjustment period wherein you will learn how to eat, speak and care for your new partials or complete dentures. When you first get your new dentures, they may feel large in your mouth and you may even experience a slight gag reaction. However, after several days, these feelings should subside as you slowly make the adjustment to wearing dentures.
To get used to eating with your new dentures, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. As you become more accustomed to your dentures, you can add other foods until you return to a normal diet.
You may find it challenging to pronounce some words correctly after getting new dentures. If so, practice saying those words out loud. With a bit of practice and some time, you will be able to speak clearly with your new dentures.
Caring for Your Dentures
You need to care for your complete or partial dentures as carefully as you would your own natural teeth. You should take your dentures out every night and soak them in a special denture cleanser soaking solution or water. In the morning, before putting your dentures in, gently brush all surfaces of the dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse. It’s also important that your brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush each morning before putting your dentures in.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with us to find out if you’re a candidate for dentures, please contact our Brandywine office at (302) 477-4900, our Hockessin office at (302) 239-5917, our Middletown office at (302) 378-8600, our Newark office at (302) 737-6761, our Wilmington office at (302) 658-9511, or our Millsboro office at (302) 934-8005 to set up an appointment time. We look forward to seeing you soon!