Is it easy to get used to Partial Dentures?
It’s going to take a bit of getting used to partial dentistures if you have never had one before. This is normal.
There will be a period of adjustment during which some rubbing and discomfort is to be expected whilst they bed in. Some minor modifications by your dentist are generally needed, this is totally normal. Anyone who has worn one before will tell you this. Even experienced wearers will need a period of adjustment when a replacement partial denture is made- the only difference is they now know what to expect and what it takes to get used to them. Most people are able to wear them effectively after a little perseverance.
How fast you adjust depends on a number of things, including:
How Long will it Take to get Used to my Partial Dentures?
Most people will be comfortable wearing them after a couple of weeks, though good control can take longer to master and will depend on some of the factors discussed above.
The first week expect soreness and rubbing in a couple of areas. This may make your gums a little red or result in a nasty little ulcer. Most dentists will arrange a follow up appointment a few days or a week later to see how you are getting on.
If you are suffering a lot before this time call up and try and get an appointment sooner. It is important to wear the dentures the day before going in to see your dentist as this will mark the gums in the areas that need adjusting and make it easier to identify the problem spots.
If you have had much soreness and ulcers as a result of the first week wearing them, then these are going to take a little time to heal and the best thing you can do to begin with, is leave the dentures out as much as possible to allow your gums to recover. Warm salt rinses or a chlorhexidine mouthwash can help to speed up your recovery.
When comfortable to do so, begin wearing them as much as possible and see how things go this time round. Another visit to the dentist for further adjustments is fairly common so don’t worry if you need to go back. It’s unfortunately part of the process!
Most of the time one or two denture adjustments, (or what we dentists refer to as ‘denture eases’) are necessary- some times none are needed and occasionally many!
When Should I Wear Them?
Once your partial denture is comfortable, wear it as much as you possibly can. The more you wear them, the more used to them you become, and the more at home and part of your mouth they will feel.
Please don't let granddad adjust them.
Please don’t adjust your dentures at home, you will severely affect the fit if you take too much off- they have been very carefully prepared to fit your mouth and you may end up doing more harm than good. If you do, don’t be surprised if they need to be remade.
If your denture breaks- see a dentist. Don’t use super glue to put it back together- that sort of glue is not meant to be in your mouth and makes it actually more difficult to repair the denture.
If your denture has metal clasps and is getting loose, don’t try and tighten the clasps yourself- you can easily snap them with too much pressure or over tighten them so you can’t get the denture out- this is a job for the dentist not a home handyman. You wont save money but will only to end up paying to have a whole new clasp attached.
What about Eating with my Dentures?
It can take a bit of practice and perseverance to learn to eat with your new dentures. To begin with try to have a softer diet; cutting food up into small pieces and chewing slowly to get used the dentures and develop the control necessary.
Sticky foods like toffees and steak, and hard foods such as chocolate, nuts and raw carrots should be avoided to begin with, but as you gain confidence you can widen the amounts of food you eat to keep a healthy balanced diet. The more missing teeth your denture is replacing, the more slowly you need to take things.
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Dr Cameron Farmer BDSc (Melb)