Removable partial dentures are similar to a bridge; both are designed to replace just a few missing teeth. (Full dentures, on the other hand, are designed to replace all of your teeth.) Unlike a bridge, however, removable partial dentures can be easily removed for cleaning and readjustment. They attach to the surrounding teeth by precision attachments or metal clasps. You can learn to insert your removable partial dentures with ease while also maintaining good oral hygiene.
Start by folding a towel to pad the surface where you will be removing the partial; you also can stand over a sink filled with water. This is to protect against breakage, because the dentures are quite delicate and could break even if you drop them a short distance.
Before inserting your denture, be sure that you have cleaned the appliance with either denture-specific toothpaste or regular toothpaste. Thoroughly brushing your dentures every day is vital to removing plaque, food deposits and staining.
Brush your natural teeth, paying particular care to clean the teeth that fit under the clasps or attachments of the denture. If plaque gets trapped below these clasps, it will increase your risk of tooth decay.
If you choose, apply denture paste. Although using denture paste is not required, it can give you a snug fit and an increased feeling of confidence.
Place your removable partial dentures into place, ensuring that the precision attachment properly fits onto the crown of your surrounding teeth or that the metal clasps are properly in place.
- If your dentures are creating sore spots in your mouth, contact your dentist to see if they need to be adjusted for a better fit.
- Practice inserting your dentures. It can take some getting used to, but your dentist will give you thorough instructions.
- Precision attachments provide a tighter fit and no visible clasps. Talk to your dentist to see if this might be right for you.
- Take care of your remaining teeth. Brush twice daily, and floss in between teeth. If you were to lose all of your teeth, your jaw would decrease in bone density each year, even with dentures. This would make you look older.
- Taking good care of your dentures can extend the life of the appliance up to 25 years. Clean them daily and soak them in water overnight to prevent warping. Use a special denture brush or a soft toothbrush to brush your removable partial denture thoroughly.
- Don't try to force your denture into place by biting down. This might break or bend the clasps and damage the appliance. Your partial denture should be fairly easy to insert after some practice.