Top 7 Questions for First Time Removable Partial Denture Wearers
Can I Use a Denture Cleaner? Yes, you can. Go to your local pharmacy or grocery store and you can find an assortment of cleaning products. It should say so on the packaging, but most any item that is sufficient for a full denture should work for a partial denture as well.
Can I use a Denture Brush? Yes! As a matter of fact, this is the only type of brush that you should use on a partial denture. Never use a toothbrush. A partial denture is not teeth! The teeth on a partial denture are typically made of acrylic, which wears out much faster and easier than enamel your natural teeth are made of. Under no circumstance should you use a toothbrush or toothpaste on a partial denture.
Do I have to take it off when I sleep? What about when I eat? It isn’t 100% necessary to remove a partial denture while sleeping, although most, including myself, would recommend it. If it somehow became dislodged during sleep, it could potentially become a choking hazard. I have known many patients to wear them for years while they sleep with no problems whatsoever. It’s something to be evaluated with you and your dentist on a case by case basis. As far as eating, if you can’t eat with your partial denture in, there is a problem with the “fit”.
My partial feels like it doesn’t fit. What can I do?
“Doesn’t fit” could ultimately mean one of four things. One reason a partial denture may not fit is that it is in need of a critical adjustment that only your dentist can perform. Another reason a partial denture may not fit is that it was poorly made. In this case, your dentist may choose to have a different dental lab make the partial or go with a different material or design. The third reason your partial denture might not fit is if you are just not a great candidate for a partial denture in the first place due to “anatomical considerations”. This means that perhaps you are missing too many teeth or don’t have enough bone support to hold it in.
The fourth “fit” problem is when the partial denture is well made, the patient has enough teeth and no anatomical reason that the appliance will not work, but the patient is just not accepting or able to tolerate the appliance in their mouth. Many patients fall into this category. For these patients, dental implants are typically the only solution.(Learn More About the San Antonio Dental Implant Experts Here)
What food or drink can discolor it? Coffee? I have many patients that wear partial dentures that drink a lot of tea and coffee. If it stains natural teeth, it will more than likely stain the acrylic teeth on your partial denture. I tell patients that these things are bound to happen and that we will clean the teeth when they come in for regular check ups. Sometimes the staining will get beyond repair and the acrylic parts of the partial denture may need to be replaced at the dental laboratory.
Can I eat normal foods? Anything I should avoid? Yes, eat whatever you like! Every patient seems to be different in this category. Remember that it takes time, practice, and patients for a removable partial denture to work. Don’t expect it to be easy to function with it from Day 1. It may take several months before you feel completely comfortable with it.
Before I make a removable partial denture for any patient, I try to make sure their expectations are set appropriately. It is what it is, as they say. I took a course at the TDA Meeting a few years ago and the speaker, Dr. Christopher Hooper from Virginia Beach, VA, referred to a denture as a “removable body part”. That’s what it is if you get down to it. It’s not attached to you like teeth or implants, so there’s only so much you can expect from it. Having said that, many patients do extremely well with them and are extremely satisfied. For patients that are not satisfied or just can’t get used to them, implants are the best option.