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According to the American Dental Association
Removable Partial Dentures
In this section:
• What a removable partial denture is and how it works
• Tips for getting used to your partial denture and how to care for it
• Why it’s important to keep up with your oral health routine with a partial denture
• What to do when your partial denture needs to be adjusted or replaced
If you have missing teeth, a removable partial denture is one way to replace them. These are a few of the advantages of a removable partial denture:
• It can be easier for you to chew food.
• You can speak better if your speech has changed due to missing teeth.
• Your cheeks and lips will be supported so your face does not sag and make you look older.
Other reasons to replace missing teeth
When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in your other jaw may also shift into the space. This can affect your bite and place more stress and wear on your teeth and jaws. You may find it harder to clean teeth that have shifted, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. This is why it’s important to replace missing teeth.
When teeth are lost and not replaced, the face looks older. The lips appear thin and flattened. The chin moves forward and upward and appears pointed.
How partial dentures work
A removable partial denture usually has replacement teeth attached to a metal or acrylic (plastic) base that matches the color of your gums. Partial dentures often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth and can easily be taken out of your mouth for cleaning or storing while you sleep.
Your dentist may also recommend crowns, or “caps,” on your natural teeth to improve the way a removable partial denture fits your mouth.
Your new removable partial denture
It takes practice to put in and take out a removable partial denture. It may feel a bit odd or tight for the first few weeks. But in time, you will get used to it. Never force the denture into place by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps or damage your teeth. Your dentist will show you how to place and remove it.
You should not wear your removable partial denture 24 hours a day
Your dentist may tell you to take out the partial denture at bedtime and put it back in when you wake up. Usually your dentist will make follow-up appointments to look for pressure points or sore spots. They will also adjust your partial denture so that it fits comfortably.
Eating and speaking
When you replace missing teeth, eating is much easier. But, it takes practice.
• Begin by eating soft foods cut into small pieces.
• Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep the pressure even.
• Do not chew gum or eat very sticky or hard foods.
If you have missing teeth, wearing a removable partial denture can help you speak more clearly. If you find that some words are hard to say at first, try reading out loud in front of a mirror. With time and practice, you should be able to speak well.
Placement of a removable partial denture
This ADA educational message displayed by permission.
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