Full & Partial Dentures – FAQs

Q1. Which Dentures Are More Comfortable?

A denture does not require surgery like dental implants do, so they are a much less invasive option. It must be functional as well as comfortable. Deciding the most comfortable option for you depends on your dental condition, and your financial priorities may be a factor as well. Here are some different scenarios to help you decide.

  • Replacing one or two teeth– You can replace one or two missing teeth with a bridge, particularly an implant bridge between two closely located teeth. If you prefer a denture, a flexible denture or a snap-on denture may be a good choice for you. Flexible dentures are long lasting and comfortably hug the gum contours without bruising. Location of the teeth also must be considered.
    • Molars – molars  take a greater chewing load and a flexible denture may not always be suitable. A bridge would be a better choice.
    • Upper front teeth or bottom teeth– Upper front teeth or bottom front teeth take less stress than the back teeth by the molars. Their appearance is important and partials with well matched colors will function well, look great, and are comfortable.
    • One or two back molars– If you want to replace a wisdom tooth, you should  do without it. Your chewing abilities and smile will not be affected. If two or more other back molars are impacted, the best choice is an implant supported denture. A partial denture may also be suitable.
  • Replacing a large number of teeth– If many teeth need to be replaced, a flexible partial or an implant supported denture should be considered.
  • A complete or full denture– When most or all of the teeth need to be replaced, a full or complete denture is required. The full denture can be flexible or implant supported.


Q2. What is the Best Choice for Partial Dentures?

If one or two teeth need replacement, a partial denture is a good choice.  If these teeth are molars, the best choice to be an  implant supported denture. This is due to the fact they are able to support chewing stress, help avoid bone loss, feel more natural, and many eating limitations are eliminated.  Other teeth can be replaced by either a flexible partial or an implant denture. Remember that implants need enough healthy bone in the area. This is because the implant is supported directly by the jaw bone, similar to a normal root. Also keep in mind that implants take three to six months to reach their full support strength.


Q3. Why Are Dentures Kept in Water?

Conventional dentures are made of acrylic and must be stored in water or a soaking solution when they are not being worn. Without this, the acrylic will dry up and warp. A warped denture will no longer fit properly.  When the denture is worn it is kept wet by saliva.


Q4. How Are Dentures Supposed to Fit?

Partial Denture Palos Verdes CAPartial dentures are supported by the nearby teeth where the denture is attached via metallic clasps or snaps. Flexible partials don’t have clasps but are attached using invisible fine plastic tentacles. Complete or full dentures are attached using the suction between the wet gum and the inner surface of the denture. The palate can be used as a suction surface with upper complete dentures as well. If a denture becomes loose or no longer fits snugly, an adhesive can be used as a temporary alternative while the new denture is being prepared.


Q5. Dentures with An Overbite

If you have an underbite, overbite, or crossbite, a properly prepared denture can fix a minor fault in your bite. However, a perfectly fitting denture may also develop a bite fault over time. There is no need to live with this issue and your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause and correct the situation.


Q6. When Are Dentures Suggested?

Teeth can be lost due to disease or an accident. But if a tooth is extracted it is also recommended that a replacement be placed to restore chewing function and appearance. One or two teeth will usually be replaced with a bridge, but a large number of missing teeth can require a denture. It is always best to schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss the options available to you.


Q7. Why Dentures Can Be Painful?

New dentures will sometimes cause discomfort in the initial days because the gums are still sore. This pain will subside as the gums heal. They can also cause discomfort as a foreign body until one is used to wearing them. It may also be painful when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth or they do not fit well. A damaged or warped denture will also hurt. As the jaw-bone shrinks with time, they can also start to become loose. In all cases, it is best to talk to one of our skilled dentists who will take a corrective action, often by relining the denture.


Q8. What are Partial Dentures Made of?

In modern dentistry, partials are made with acrylic. They have a gum colored base and teeth matching the colors of the existing teeth.  Metallic clasps are typically used, but gum colored acrylic clasps are also a possibility. Acrylic is rigid, and will dry up if they are not kept in water or a soaking solution. Acrylic dentures need to be relined after some time. Nylon, a newer, flexible material is closest to natural gum texture and appearance, and has a good grip. With these, the clasps are replaced with fine tentacles which grip the adjacent teeth invisibly.


Q9. How Dentures Are Created and Fitted?

Getting your denture fitted is a simple, step-by-step process.

Step #1: Your dentist at Rolling Hills Dental will visually examine your mouth and use digital x-rays to be sure that there are no dental issues that will make dentures unsuitable for you.

Step #2: A size and color for the denture teeth will be chosen.

Step #3: Impressions of the teeth is taken and delivered to the laboratory. Or, a digital impression is taken with an intraoral camera and software.

Step #4: A try-in prosthesis will be checked for proper bite, fitting, and smile. Minor adjustments may be necessary.

Step #5: The final denture is made by the lab and delivered to your dentist. In the next appointment, the dentist fits it and checks if they fit properly. Minor adjustments may be made by the dentist.


Q10. What Can I Eat With Dentures?

These dental prostheses restore your oral abilities and your smile. These teeth are not natural and you cannot expect to use them like your natural teeth. You should be careful with what you eat with your them to avoid damage. Here are two short lists of items you should be careful eating  and others you should completely avoid.

  • Foods to be careful with:
    • Dehydrating Foods– Dehydration is bad for the acrylic in the dentures and can dry out your mouth.  Caffeine can dry out a mouth as well as liquor. If you want to partake, be sure to drink other non-diuretic beverages.
    • Raw fruits and vegetables: Carrots, apples, and corn-on-the-cob might be a problem for denture wearers. Biting into hard foods puts a lot of pressure on the front teeth and can dislodge the dentures. We don’t want to discourage you from eating healthy raw foods, consider a smoothy with blended veggies and fruits instead. If you love corn-on-the-cob, consider cutting it away from the cob and enjoying it that way!
  • Foods to Avoid Completely:
    • Nuts & Seeds: These can cause physical damage, and little pieces can get lodged under your partial. Ouch!
    • Popcorn: Again, little pieces can become lodged underneath your denture. Try air-puffed veggie crisps. Delicious and will satisfy your urge for a crunchy snack.
    • Hard-to-Chew Foods: Try to avoid  underdone steaks and dried fruit. Biting into tough foods can destabilize the teeth, possibly dislodging them. And the additional pressure can create sore spots under the dentures. If you are eating these types of foods, cut them up into smaller pieces to make chewing and swallowing easier.
    • Hard or sticky candy– Anything sticky or hard can dislodge your teeth.

In general, try to eat soft foods, cut them into bite-sized pieces or thin strips and chew on both sides of your mouth. Also try to chew more slowly.

Having dentures doesn’t mean not having the foods that you love! Here are some meal suggestions:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, yogurt, omelettes and a smoothie.

Lunch: Chicken or tuna salad, hummus  (non-sticky spread), ground beef and pulled pork.

Snacks: Fresh blueberries, steamed veggies, muffins, seedless olives.

Dinner: Seafood, chili, crab cakes, baked potatoes, corn “off the cob”.

Dessert: Ice cream, frozen yogurt, cake and pudding.


Q11. When Do Dentures Need To Be Relined?

Dentures will sometimes need to be relined, especially when they start to hurt while being worn. This is due to the jaw-bone shrinking (resorption) during a natural process begun by the lack of teeth in their sockets. (Implants avoid this resorption). As the gum starts to shrink, the rigid acrylic denture becomes loose, and is then unusable. If your denture stops fitting, consult your dentist right away.


Q12. Seniors with Dentures; After 60

Complete Dentures Palos Verdes CAIt is normal for seniors to wear a full or partial denture at sixty or even before. With age, one’s physical and dental health begins to deteriorate. Most significantly, the body’s resistance against disease also decreases. Many seniors suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and can not take care of their oral hygiene like they used to. Generally, a good quarter of seniors suffer from gum disease, which can result in tooth loss. Thus, many seniors are interested in full or complete dentures to replace their teeth. Since many seniors have weak and deficient jaw bones from osteoporosis, implant bridges will not be suitable and conventional or flexible dentures will be a better option.


Q13. Caring for Dentures

Taking good care of dentures will prolong their life, and make things easier for you.  The following tips will help.

  • Eating exposes the dentures to food particles. Always take them out and rinse them after eating.
  • They are made of acrylic; so they are quite brittle. If you drop them by accident, they may break or crack. In either situation, they can not be used or repaired. They should be handled with care, preferably over a towel.
  • Clean your mouth after you remove them. Anything left in the mouth will stay under the denture and can cause infection.
  • Brush them at least once daily to keep them clean.
  • When you remove them at night, they must be kept in soaking solution or clean water. By not doing this, they will dry up and warp.
  • Always rinse them off before putting them back in your mouth, particularly if they have been soaking in a solution.


Q14. Does Insurance Cover Dentures?

Various insurance plans will cover dentures. The extent to which they are covered depends on your insurance plan. Check with your insurer or our front office staff before you decide to get dentures or any other treatment or procedure. Each situation and insurance is different. We can check if we are able to accept your insurance plan towards cost of denture, and to what extent.


Check out our denture care center for more information or make an appointment with our dental office in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA so we can find the best solution for your case. Our office is located near by Bristol Farms. Our dental care specialists will ensure that your questions are answered and you are confident in your decision.