Long-Term Care For Dentures And Partial Dentures

The difference between partial and full dentures should be pretty self-explanatory: Full dentures are designed to replace a complete set (upper, lower, or both) of teeth while partial dentures replace only some of them. Partial dentures rely on the support of the natural teeth around them to stay in place; this requires a certain level of dental health. Partial dentures may call for additional dental work to prepare the teeth around them for their new prosthetic neighbors.

Dentures of both types can become damaged in a variety of different ways. There are professional services that handle denture repairs quickly and expertly so that denture wearers don’t have to suffer without their prostheses any longer than they have to. Let’s take a closer look at how dentures are created and what needs to be done when they suffer damage.

Making Dentures

Having a set of partial dentures fitted will usually spread out over four or five visits to your dentist. The first step is taking x-rays to carefully examine your teeth and the tissue around them. Next, impressions of your remaining teeth is taken; your new dentures will be molded from this. An extra visit to reshape your existing teeth may be necessary after this. Your dentist will call you in again once your new dentures come in; this time they’ll be fitted and notes are taken for adjusting them. After they’re adjusted for a better fit, they’ll be turned over to you on your next visit. The entire process is usually wrapped up with a follow-up visit within a week so your dentist can find out if you’ve experienced any problems.

Learning To Live With Dentures

Most wearers have to spend some time getting used to the way their dentures feel. Initially, you may find them bulky or oddly placed, and it often feels like your tongue doesn’t have a place to rest. It will take some time (usually a matter of weeks) to regain your normal voice after you get dentures. You’ll also probably experience increased saliva production when your dentures are first installed. Finally, eating is going to be a strange experience until you adjust. Stick to soft foods while you’re getting used to your dentures. Most of these issues will resolve themselves over time.

Denture Lifespan

Like natural teeth, dentures will wear down over time. Once this wear affects your dentures’ function, you’ll need to see your dentist. A simple relining procedure can often be performed right in the dentist’s office. For most denture wearers, though, the mouth changes rapidly enough that it’s a good idea to have a whole new base created for them. This means going through the full fitting process again.

When Dentures Break

Although they’re designed to stand up to the rigors of biting and chewing, dentures are pretty fragile when they’re outside of your mouth. Knocking them off a high shelf or dropping them on the floor often damages them. Dentists are capable of repairing minor issues like chips and small cracks. When the damage is more extensive, though (e.g. frame fractures, missing teeth, multiple broken teeth), the answer is usually to send the dentures to a laboratory. Most dentist’s offices don’t have the specialized equipment required for advanced denture repair work. Although some dentists may handle repairs through the same labs that create new dentures, most have a handful of dental repair services that they prefer to work with.

Why Partial Repairs Need To Be Done Professionally

You shouldn’t try to repair damaged dentures on your own. The availability of denture repair glues and other products does NOT mean that home denture repair is safe or wise. Home repairs are almost always imprecise, and this leads to problems with the way your dentures fit. Home repairs are also notoriously short-lived. Take your dentures directly to your dentist if you damage them. He or she will either be able to handle the repairs in the office or recommend a repair lab that will do the job properly.