What Are Complete and Partial Dentures?
Complete and partial dentures are removable restorations made of prosthetic teeth, designed to replace missing teeth, and restore the appearance and some of the function of your smile. They’re designed to match your remaining teeth, helping your smile look natural.
Complete dentures are removable dental prosthetics designed to replace all natural teeth in one or both arches (upper or lower). They consist of a flesh-colored acrylic or resin base supporting artificial teeth, with upper dentures often covering the palate. In contrast, lower dentures have a horseshoe shape for tongue accommodation.
Partial dentures, also removable, are crafted to replace one or more missing teeth while preserving remaining natural teeth. They include a framework, usually made of metal or acrylic, attached to natural teeth for support, and artificial teeth to fill in the gaps.
Benefits of Complete and Partial Dentures
Dentures, whether complete or partial, offer a host of advantages for individuals dealing with missing teeth:
- Comprehensive Tooth Replacement: Full dentures and partial dentures provide a comprehensive solution, replacing missing teeth in either the entire upper or lower arch (complete dentures) or filling gaps while preserving natural teeth (partial dentures).
- Aesthetic Restoration: Both complete dentures and partial dentures are designed to replicate the appearance of natural teeth and gums, enhancing smiles and contributing to facial aesthetics.
- Improved Speech: Dentures can enhance speech clarity, addressing pronunciation issues that may arise from missing teeth.
- Enhanced Chewing Ability: While an adjustment period is typical, dentures significantly improve chewing function, allowing individuals to enjoy a more varied and nutritious diet.
- Support for Facial Structure: Dentures support facial muscles, preventing a sunken appearance that can occur with tooth loss and contributing to a more youthful facial structure.
- Boost in Confidence: The functional and aesthetic benefits of dentures positively impact self-esteem and confidence, restoring the ability to smile with ease.
- Preservation of Natural Teeth: In the case of partial dentures, the appliance helps preserve the remaining teeth by providing support and preventing shifting.
- Prevention of Dental Shifting: Both complete dentures and partial dentures prevent remaining natural teeth from shifting into the spaces created by missing teeth, maintaining proper bite alignment.
- Customization Options: Patients have the opportunity to customize dentures, selecting the shade, shape, and size of artificial teeth to achieve a personalized and natural look.
- Cost-Effective Solutions: Dentures are often a cost-effective solution for tooth replacement, providing functional and aesthetic benefits without the need for more extensive dental procedures.
The Complete and Partial Denture Process
Your denture journey begins with a personalized consultation at Advanced Restorative Dentistry in Honolulu. Our skilled Honolulu general dentist, Dr. Nishime assesses your oral health. The goal is to discuss the extent of tooth loss and collaborate with you to determine the most suitable denture option—complete or removable partial denture. Your preferences, concerns, and expectations shape the foundation of a tailored treatment plan designed just for you.
Designing Your Personalized Dentures
Following your consultation, we enter the design phase. For complete dentures, precise impressions of any remaining natural teeth, your gums, palate, and surrounding structures are taken to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. If you’re considering partial dentures, impressions of your remaining natural teeth and adjacent areas are included. Together with your Honolulu denture provider, you select the shape, size, and color of artificial teeth, ensuring a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Preparation for Optimal Fit
If tooth extractions are necessary, the preparation phase involves carefully removing any remaining natural teeth to make way for complete dentures or create space for the partial denture framework. This step is crucial for ensuring the proper fit and alignment of your final dentures. For partial dentures, extraction may not be necessary.
Expert Fabrication at Advanced Restorative Dentistry
Once the design and preparation steps are complete, our skilled technicians at our dental laboratory craft your custom dentures using the impressions and specifications provided by your dentist. Quality materials such as acrylic, resin, and, in the case of partial dentures, metal, are used to ensure durability and a natural look.
Fitting Your Dentures
Your next visit involves a fitting appointment. Your Honolulu dentist assesses the fit, comfort, and aesthetics of your dentures. Any necessary adjustments are made to address bite alignment, pressure points, or overall comfort. This step ensures your dentures function well and provide a natural appearance.
Finalization and Care Guidance
After adjustments are complete, your final dentures are ready for you. At Advanced Restorative Dentistry, we take the time to finalize your dentures, making sure they meet your expectations. If you’re getting complete dentures, we ensure they adhere properly, and for partial dentures, we carefully fit them onto supporting teeth. You’ll receive clear care instructions, including guidance on cleaning routines and lifestyle adjustments.
Ongoing Follow-Up Care
Regular follow-up appointments are scheduled to track your denture adaptation and address any concerns you may have. We’re here to make any necessary adjustments and provide ongoing guidance to ensure the longevity and optimal function of your dentures.
Complete and Partial Denture Aftercare
Maintaining proper care for your complete or partial dentures is essential to ensure their longevity, functionality, and overall oral health. Here are key aftercare guidelines to follow:
- Brushing: Brush your dentures daily with a soft-bristle brush and non-abrasive denture cleaner or mild soap. Avoid regular toothpaste, as it may be too abrasive and damage the denture material.
- Soaking: Remove your dentures at night and soak them in a denture-cleaning solution or warm water. This helps to prevent bacterial growth and keeps your dentures clean.
- Brush Natural Teeth: If you have partial dentures, continue to brush and floss your remaining natural teeth daily. This supports the health of your natural teeth and maintains oral hygiene.
- Avoid Dropping: When handling your dentures, do so over a soft surface or a filled sink with water. This minimizes the risk of damage if they accidentally slip from your hands.
- Careful Rinsing: After eating, rinse your dentures to remove loose food particles. Handle them carefully to avoid bending or damaging the clasps on partial dentures.
- Professional Cleanings: Schedule regular check-ups and professional cleanings with your dentist, such as those provided by Advanced Restorative Dentistry in Honolulu. Professional cleaning helps to remove stubborn deposits and ensures the proper fit of your dentures.
- Adjustments: If you experience any discomfort, sore spots, or changes in fit, contact your Honolulu denture provider promptly. Professional adjustments may be needed to maintain comfort and functionality.
- Avoid Hot Water: Avoid using hot water to clean or soak your dentures, as it can cause warping or damage to the material.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using harsh chemicals or bleach on your dentures, as they can erode the material and affect their appearance.
- Avoid Abrasive Materials: Steer clear of abrasive materials or stiff brushes that can scratch or damage the surface of your dentures.
- Dry Storage: When not wearing your dentures, store them in a dry container. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or a hot environment, as this can affect their shape.
- Immediate Action: In case of any damage or breakage, contact your Honolulu dentist at Advanced Restorative Dentistry promptly. Avoid attempting to repair dentures yourself, as this can lead to further damage.