A removable denture is a prosthetic device that replaces two or more teeth. These replacement teeth are attached to a pink, gum-colored plastic or acrylic base that seats over your natural gum. Dentures have different mechanisms of retention. Full dentures replace an entire arch (14 teeth) and they use suction as its main retention mechanism. Partial dentures are smaller dentures that replace only a part of an arch. These use clasps or attachments to keep them in place. Removable devices are not a favorite among patients because they require a certain amount of adjustment. Nonetheless, a good-fitting denture can last many years if kept properly. Here is a list of points that will help set the right expectations.
- The primary purpose of dentures and partials is to provide a better eating experience. However, eating may be a new experience altogether. Start with softer food cut into smaller pieces and gradually move over to harder food.
- It is normal to feel strange about the dentures at first. They may feel bulky and they may affect your speech. Try reading aloud and enunciating with a mirror. This strangeness will go away as you become used to them.
- The quickest way to know if a denture needs an adjustment is by wearing it. If your denture puts pressure on one spot it will become sore. The dentist can adjust the denture until it fits comfortably. This can happen even years later, since the mouth is constantly changing.
- Avoid chewing gum while you are getting used to dentures. Avoid sticky and hard food when transitioning to dentures. Also chew on both sides in order to keep the chewing forces balanced.
- Dentures and partials might get warped if they are in very dry environments. Therefore, when removing the denture at night, store it in a glass of water or a cleaning solution specifically designed for that purpose.
- You can use conventional hand soap or dishwasher soap to clean the denture. Avoid toothpaste because it might be too abrasive.
- Do not clean under hot water as it can warp the prosthetic.
- You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the denture out of food particles. Remember to brush over all surfaces of the denture.
- To create a new denture or partial, we will do at least two try-ins first. This is because dentists design each denture based on your existing bone structure, gums, and skin color. They will also redesign your bite to make it as ideal as possible. For this reason, the turnaround time is at least one week.
In spite of everything, dentures and partials are a great way to replace your missing teeth immediately and without pain. Although they do represent a change in lifestyle, after a period of adjustment they can serve their purpose for a long time. At Costa Rica Dental Team, we use acrylic for full denture and flexible material for partials, as these have proven the best fitting. If you believe you need to extract all or most of your teeth but do not want to go through implant surgery, this might be your way to go. Contact us for more information!