Removable Partial Dentures

Introduction – Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures consist of artificial replacement teeth which are attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases; connected by metal framework.

Removable partial dentures attach to the natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called as precision attachments. Precision attachments usually look more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible. Presence of crowns on the natural teeth can improve the fit of a removable partial denture. Therefore, some dentists prefer crowning for attachments with these dentures. Dentures with precision attachments are more costly than those with metal clasps. The dentist usually decides about which type is right for a particular patient.

Eating is uncomfortable with the dentures initially, but with practice it gets better.
Making process: the making process for the removable partial denture is similar to any denture. First, the dentist examines the jaw and takes various measurements related to distance between the jaws, their dimensions, apposition and position of remaining teeth. From these measurements, a model, plastic or wax pattern of exact dimensions is made depending on protocol. This model serves as a precursor of the final denture.  The final denture is made in the dental lab. Fine adjustments are done if necessary.

Feel of the dentures: Initially, for a period of few weeks, the denture feels odd or loose. Slowly, the muscles of the cheeks and tongue learn to adjust with the dentures and keep them in place. Insertion and removal of dentures is also learned over time. Also, some problems like having something alien inside the mouth, excess secretion of saliva and irritation in the mouth also persist in the initial phase of denture use.

Look with the dentures: almost all users are concerned with this issue. Generally, there is no gross change in the appearance as the dentures resemble the natural teeth. In contrast to the popular belief, dentures may even improve the smile and fill out the disturbed facial features due to loss of teeth.

Eating with the dentures:

Eating is uncomfortable with the dentures initially, but with practice it gets better. Diet should be started with soft foods cut into small pieces. Slowly other foods are added. Foods which are hard or sticky should be avoided. Also, caution should be exercised while eating extreme hot or cold foods, sharp edged bones or shells. Avoid toothpicks while wearing the dentures.

Speech with the dentures:

There may be difficulty in pronouncing certain words with the dentures. But, with practice and time, the wearer becomes proficient in speaking the difficult words properly. Dentures can slip while coughing, laughing or smiling. It can be repositioned by gently biting down and swallowing.

Wearing time:

Initially, the dentures should be worn all the time, including sleeping hours till the wearer gets adjusted to them. After this period, dentures should be removed before going to bed. This allows rest to the gum tissues and also gives time for normal cleansing of oral tissues by the tongue and saliva.

Care of the removable partial dentures:

  1. It is important that the dentures should be kept free from the plaque and tartar, like natural teeth. This helps to prevent permanent staining and bad breath.
  2. A denture brush or one of the many commercial cleaning products available can be used at least once a day to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces of the dentures.
  3. A soft bristled toothbrush should be used to brush the remaining teeth as well as to clean the tongue, palate, and gums. This removes the plaque and keeps the breath fresh. The cleaning also massages the gums and stimulates circulation, keeping the natural teeth and soft tissues healthy.
  4. Tough stains and tartar can be removed by soaking the dentures in white vinegar for several hours. After cleaning, the dentures should always be rinsed in water before placing them in the mouth again.
  5. A diluted bleach solution can be used to soak the denture for removing tough stains. This is done if the denture doesn’t have any metal part. Never soak the dentures in a cleaning agent for more than 15 minutes if they have any metal parts.
  6. Whenever the dentures are out of the mouth, they should be stored in water.
  7. The gums also need a period of rest for remaining healthy, so the dentures should not be worn to bed at night.
  8. A dental visit should be paid regularly for examinations to ensure that the dentures fit properly and the mouth is healthy. The dentist should be informed quickly if there are any changes noticed in the bite or fitting.

- Link of interest: Twitter Removable Partial Dentures – Dental Treatment.


This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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