Whether you’ve lost one or more of your permanent teeth to infection, excessive decay, advanced gum disease, or trauma, you know just how much those empty spaces can affect your daily life. In addition to making it harder for you to chew your food, missing teeth can sap your confidence in social settings. At his state-of-the-art practice in Nashville, Tennessee, dentist Dr. Adam Cottrill practices prosthodontics and offers comprehensive restorative solutions, including removable partial dentures. If you’re missing teeth and you’d like to know more about removable partial dentures, call or book your appointment online today.
Removable partial dentures are a dental appliance that replaces a group of missing teeth across your upper or lower jaw. Although they attach to your natural teeth to stay firmly in place, partial dentures are designed to be taken out for regular at-home cleanings.
Partial dentures are more stable than conventional, or complete, dentures, which are used to replace an entire set of top teeth, bottom teeth, or both. That’s because partial dentures receive support from adjacent natural teeth, which also help the appliance retain its shape long-term.
Removable partial dentures are best made with cast metal frames and acrylic bases with hard plastic artificial teeth replacements. They can be made to fit solidly and feel completely stable.
Precision partial dentures are made with hidden attachments, while less expensive partial dentures are made with wire clasps that attach to anchor teeth. These wire clasps may be visible on patients who have high or low lip-lines when they smile.
As a dentist that practices prosthodontics, Dr. Cottrill knows how to make partial dentures so they fit perfectly. This is essential, as partial appliances that aren’t well-made can damage your teeth, gums, and underlying bone.
As the areas of bone beneath the base of a removable partial denture shrinks naturally over time, the appliance will begin settling and its base will start moving. This movement is usually so gradual that you can’t tell it’s happening. As a result, the partial denture will begin to pull on the supporting anchor teeth, often causing them to loosen in the process.
For this reason, after about five years of removable partial denture use, most patients need new bases that compensate for any structural changes that have occurred in their jawbone.
Also, because removable partial denture teeth wear out faster than natural teeth or crowns, it’s important to replace them as needed.
Most often, the appliance’s metal frame will continue to fit for five, 10, or even 15 years, and the teeth and bases can be replaced at a lesser cost when necessary.
Cleaning your dentures properly every day will help keep them in the best condition so they’ll last a long time. Always rinse your dentures before brushing them to remove any loose food, and use a soft-bristled brush and a non-abrasive paste specifically made for dentures to remove remaining particles and prevent discoloration.