Your teeth serve multiple functions in your mouth. They are critical for biting and chewing all of your favorite foods. They control the flow of air when you speak, enabling you to make specific words and sounds. They even give you a beautiful, confident smile. Tooth loss affects all of these functions and more. Not only do once simple things become more difficult, your smile suffers, and your confidence wanes. At Crossroads Family Dental, we can help to restore sections of consecutive missing teeth between healthy teeth with partial dentures.
What are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are a removable prosthetic device designed to replace sections of missing teeth between your healthy teeth. After all, if you have perfectly healthy teeth, there is no reason to extract them. The partial denture consists of acrylic resin teeth set into an acrylic gum-colored base. The base, which is made from a mold of your mouth, rests on your gums, which provide the support your prosthetic teeth need to perform their numerous functions. Partial dentures are also equipped with metal clasps, which hook on to your healthy teeth, providing additional support.
The process for getting partial dentures is similar to that of getting full dentures. If there are any unhealthy teeth in the mouth, they are removed first. An impression of your mouth is taken. This impression is sent to a lab, where your custom partial denture is designed and created. Once it is ready, we check it for fit, and you can go home with a set of fully functional, natural-looking replacement teeth.
Getting Used to Your Partial Dentures
While partial dentures do a great job of replacing your missing teeth, they will take a bit of time to get used to. At first, they will feel a little awkward, but you should grow accustomed to them in just a few weeks. Should they still be uncomfortable, or even painful, after a few weeks, they may need to be adjusted, so you should call us to schedule an appointment.
There are some things that you can do to help in the acclimation process. Start by eating soft foods, chewing evenly on both sides. Avoid eating anything hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy, at least until you have grown used to your new restorations. Otherwise you may end up with painful denture sores. You may also find it a bit difficult to speak at first, but practice will help you to adjust how you speak so that you sound more natural. Avoid forcing your dentures into place, as you may bend the metal clasps or harm your gums.
Taking Care of Your Partial Dentures
Partial dentures will require a bit of extra daily care. Before you go to bed at night, they need to be removed, thoroughly cleaned, and left to soak while you sleep. Before removing your partial dentures set a towel on the counter, or fill the sink with water. This provides cushioning if you accidentally drop your dentures. Remove your dentures and brush them gently with a soft bristled brush. Use denture paste or soap and water. Do not use toothpaste as the abrasives toothpaste contains can leave tiny scratches on the teeth, increasing the risk for bacterial growth. After you have brushed your dentures, leave them to soak in a glass of denture cleaning solution. Brush your natural teeth and your gums before going to bed. In the morning, brush your teeth and gums again, rinse your dentures, and set them into place in your mouth.
Partial dentures fill in the empty spaces between healthy teeth, restoring your smile, the functions of your mouth, and your overall quality of life. Call Crossroads Family Dental at (219) 440-2950 for more information and to schedule your consultation today.