Dentures & Partial Dentures

There are two types of removable dentures to replace missing teeth: full and partial dentures. Both types are made in a dental lab, based on a mold (impression) of your mouth.

Partial Dentures

A partial denture is also called a “removable partial denture” or “RPD”. It is made up of one or more false teeth, usually has a metal framework and is held in place by clasps that fit onto nearby teeth. You can take the partial denture out yourself, for cleaning and at night. A partial denture may be used when nearby teeth are not strong enough to hold a bridge, or when more than just a few teeth are missing on both sides. You can also have implants placed to hold a partial in place or to replace your partial completely.

Full Dentures

A full denture is also called a “complete denture” or a “FUD, FLD” It is used when all of your natural teeth are missing due to advanced decay. A complete denture can be placed on top of your gums or used with implants for increased stability. The implants help to retain bone while holding your denture in place by snapping on to the denture.

Although removing diseased teeth is the quick and easy solution, the following are disadvantages that are present with each denture.

  • You will give up 4/5th of your normal chewing power
  • You will have a diminished sense of taste and temperature
  • You will need periodic relines to make up for lost bone and eventually a new denture
  • You will get food debris under your partial or complete denture
  • Without implants you may need to use a denture adhesive to help hold them in your mouth
  • Bacterial contamination in the plastic can give you bad breath
  • You will have more difficulties biting into anything with your front teeth
  • Your speech will change (slurring)
  • Your denture can be lost and or broken
  • Replacements are expensive
  • Partial denture clasps may hold food against your teeth and cause decay
  • Partial denture metal frameworks are bulky
  • You may develop mouth sores
  • Some patients are never able to tolerate dentures after removal

How to care for dentures

Step 1: Keep your denture clean. Plaque will still build up on a denture just like it does on natural teeth. Unless plaque is removed from your partial denture, it can spread to your natural teeth and gums causing gum disease and cavities. Plaque build up on your false teeth can cause denture odour and mouth irritation. Even with a full denture you can still get gum disease.

Step 2: Remove your dentures every night so the gum tissue can breath. This prevents a fungus from forming. You must brush your gums and any remaining teeth to remove plaque to avoid gum disease and decay

Step 3: Soak your denture overnight. It can be soaked in a special cleaner (we recommend smile again), in warm water or in a half and half mix of warm water and vinegar. If your denture has metal clasps, soak it in warm water only or Smile again denture cleaner. Brush and rinse your denture well before you put it back in. Store your denture in its denture bath in water with a small amount of mouth wash added as an antibacterial agent (unless you use smile again which has an antibacterial agent).

Step 4: See your dentist regularly. Your mouth is always changing, so your denture will need adjusting form time to time to make sure it fits well. If your denture does not fit well it can cause sores, which can lead to other health related problems. If you have a partial denture, regular checkups are important to make sure that your natural teeth and gums are healthy.

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