Dentures and Partials
Dentures are removable appliances which are used when all of your teeth require extraction or are already missing in the upper or lower arches. Dentures are used to restore chewing function, provide support for lips and cheeks and restore your smile.
A Partial Denture is a removable appliance which is utilized when you are missing some but not all teeth in the upper or lower arch. Partial dentures often have a clasp, which attaches to natural teeth, to help keep the partial in place.
Instructions for Immediate Denture Patients
You will be given an appointment for the day after your teeth were removed and your new dentures were inserted. Do not remove your dentures the first day, even though you may want to clean them. The following day they will be removed, cleaned, and adjusted at your 24 hour follow up appointment.
Take your dentures out after meals and at bedtime lf and clean them carefully. The best cleaner is plain soap, something like Ivory Liquid soap. Do not use a toothpaste, but denture cream is okay. Use a denture brush to clean them. Do not scrub them too hard, but try to work the bristles into the small crevices and hard to clean areas.
After the first 24 hours (during which the denture should not be removed) you may want rinse your mouth with warm water (1 cup water, with 1/4 teaspoon of salt) to reduce the swelling. Rinse with salt water while you have your dentures out to clean them. Do not swallow he salt water. As your mouth becomes less sore, massage your gums with a wet washcloth wrapped around your finger.
A healthy diet is important during the first few days of healing even though your mouth is sore. Milk shakes, ice cream, scrambled eggs, soups, and other soft easy to chew foods are good, but do not worry about causing injury to gums. Eat whatever does not cause excessive pain. Learning to chew with dentures takes time. Try taking small portions of food at first.
Several denture adjustments are usually necessary during the first few weeks. Feel free to contact the office to schedule adjustment appointments as necessary. The first three days can be the most uncomfortable. After that, each day brings improvement, so don not get discouraged.
After initial healing, your dentures will become loose as your gums continue to heal. After 2-3 months we will evaluate your healing for either a new denture or refitting of your current denture depending on your rate of healing.
Instructions for Removable Partial Denture Patients
The partial denture you have received is meant to help restore support to your teeth and jaw, to increase your chewing ability, and to improve your appearance. Your attention is called to certain point to assist you in learning good habits in the care of your denture as well as your own natural teeth. This is your responsibility.
Learning to Use Your Partial Denture
Practice seating and removing your partial while facing a mirror. Never "bite" it into place, rather use your fingers to seat it. The clasps are easily bent and fractured if you force the partial to place. A bulky feeling is common to most types of partials. It takes about ten days for your body to get used to its presence. Difficulty in speaking certain sounds can be overcome by reading aloud and practicing the difficult words. After 24 hours, we want to examine your mouth and attend to any problems you may be having. Usually, a sore spot can be seen before you feel it.
Cleaning Your Natural Teeth
Decay, bone disease, and gum disease are all caused by bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria can be controlled in many ways. We can avoid what the bacteria live on, which are sweets. We also have found that we can prevent these bacteria from settling on your teeth and, of course, on your new partial. All we have to do is disturb these bacteria after every meal. Daily flossing of your natural teeth is the best insurance against their early loss and possible need of a new partial. A good habit to form is to floss while you watch TV or while reading the daily paper. The key is that it must be something you do every 24 hours without fail. Always remove your partial while flossing your teeth.
Cleaning Your Partial Denture
Daily use of facial soap and a brush is best for your partial. Hold the partial on one side only to avoid bending the frame. A full strength white vinegar soak for fifteen minutes once per week will help the daily soap and brush cleanup. Discard the vinegar after each use. Bacteria (and plague) can live on the partial also so they must be disturbed once every 24 hours.
Remove the partial when retiring and place it in a container of water. Rarely should a partial denture be worn during sleep. Your dentist will advise you on this, if yours is a type that should be kept in the mouth. If you have a complete upper and lower partial, always remove the upper to prevent damage to the ridge (gums).
Occasionally, the dentist is not available to treat a sore area in your mouth. A warm salt water rinse (l/4 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water) can help sooth the sore tissues until you can see your dentist.
You should have a checkup every six months to preserve what you have invested in time and money. For any partial denture problem that exists beyond four days you should contact the office. Never place a drug store type reline in your partial denture or attempt to use glue to repair a broken partial. This may prevent a successful professional repair and longer use of your appliance. If your denture breaks into several pieces, attempt to bring all the pieces to us. We may be able to have a laboratory repair the partial. If you have a spare partial bring it alone to your appointment because sometimes we need to keep the broken partial for a day or more. To prevent breakage of the partial always wash it above a basin of fill water or a thick towel to cushion the fall if you drip it.