Partial dentures are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and consist of a denture base which closely resembles the color of your gums and denture teeth, which are attached to a supporting framework. The partial denture then attaches to the existing teeth via a clasp or some other retentive device.
Making a partial denture requires about six weeks to eight weeks; however, this can vary from one patient to another. It also could depend on the type of denture and the technique your dentist or the laboratory technician uses.
The first step in making a partial denture is preparation of the teeth. During this phase, your dentist may prepare the teeth that the partial denture will use for support.
Next, your dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and records your bite. The impressions are then sent to the dental laboratory.
One or two more visits may be necessary before you partial denture is delivered to you. At the subsequent visits, your dentist will evaluate your bite, test your speech, and check the appearance and function of the partial denture teeth and gums. After the final satisfactory fit and appearance are achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory for final fabrication.
While every effort is made to make a good and functional partial denture it may require a few adjustment visits and a little time for you and your partial denture to adapt to each other. The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your partial denture is a process. In some cases it takes weeks to get used to a partial denture. A new partial denture can also alter your eating and speaking habits and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable.
There are newly developed techniques in making partial dentures. One such advance is a partial denture that uses special material called Valplast and is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This kind of partial does not use metal as its base and has hooks that are made of a flexible, plastic material.
If you are scheduled to have a tooth pulled before getting your partial denture then your dentist may advise you to get a temporary partial denture or a stayplate while your gums and their supporting bone are healing. A stayplate is a temporary replacement until another form of treatment, such as, an implant, bridge, or a partial denture can be made. A stayplate will replace the missing tooth or teeth and can help you with your chewing and speaking until a more permanent solution is achieved. A stayplate will also help maintain your appearance when in public and keep your existing teeth from shifting in your mouth and creating bigger problems.
If you have any additional questions, please consult your dentist.