Missing a few teeth can detract your smile. Specialty dentures can be a suitable option to replace your missing teeth and restore the confidence that having a perfect smile brings. Technological advancements have resulted in dentures that are lightweight and mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, which gives them an upper hand over other forms of cosmetic dentistry.

Anyone seeking specialty dentures in Carson, CA as the means to restore a perfect smile should seek help from an experienced dentist. Read on and learn more about specialty dentures and how they can help you regain your perfect smell.

Overview of Specialty Dentures

Specialty dentures, also known as partial dentures, are types of dentures used to replace missing teeth that don’t need complete dentures. Specialty dentures are used to repair dental gaps by replacing several missing teeth at once without having surgery. The procedure used to build specialty dentures is similar to the one used in a dental bridge. It involves X-rays, making of a mold, and manufacturing according to the exact needs.

There are several types of specialty dentures that you should know about. These types of dentures vary according to their make and material. These types are as follows:

Cast Metal Removable Partial Dentures

The cast metal removable partial denture is the most common type of removable partial denture. It’s made of high-quality replacement teeth that are placed on a rigid metallic frame. Dentists can make this type of denture out of a less expensive cast metal attached to the existing teeth with metal caps or precision attachments when made for aesthetic reasons. These partials can last longer if properly taken care of. 

Flippers or Acrylic Removable Partial Dentures

Flippers or acrylic removable partial dentures are usually considered less optimal than the cast metal partials. ­The main reason for using an acrylic base is to create a bulky base that minimizes the risk of breaking. The flipper is attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps that are visible while smiling or talking.

It’s easier to talk or eat with the flipper, but the bulkiness of the acrylic base can be aggravating. That’s why it’s usually used as a temporary solution when a more permanent solution is being made. However, flippers can be a long-term option for people with progressive periodontal conditions, who will likely lose more teeth over time and require flexible partial dentures. They are also suitable for anyone looking for affordable partial dentures that would last for a reasonably long time.

Flexible Partial Dentures

Flexible partial dentures are made out of a plastic-like material referred to as Valplast. It’s suitable for patients that are allergic to cast metal or acrylic. The material is a thin, heat-sensitive material that offers comfort and high realistic appearances. The flexible partials are attached with flimsy, gum-colored clasps made to fit into your dental gap.

Flexible partial dentures are pretty expensive than flippers. They are also used as temporary options, although they are durable enough to be worn for years.

Signs that You Need Partial Dentures

Most people think that dentures are for senior citizens. However, the truth is that dentures are widely used more than you might think. Specialty dentures have been options for many patients experiencing several tooth problems. Different signs are showing that you need dentures, as mentioned below:

Experiencing Severe Toothaches

The first and most obvious sign that you might need a specialty denture is having a substantial toothache that won’t go away. A severe toothache might signal a decay that has probably made its way to the nerves hence the discomfort. A tooth canal would probably be a viable option to save a decayed tooth, but it can sometimes be too decayed beyond salvage, hence the need for a denture.

Red and Swollen Gums

When the gums are red and swollen, this is a warning sign for something worse like periodontal disease. Early signs like gingivitis are treatable through thorough cleaning and the use of prescription mouthwash or toothpaste. However, extensive gum disease might need specialty dentures. Extensive gum disease can lead to bone loss if left untreated.

Moving or Loose Teeth

When your teeth are loose or are shifting noticeably, this might be a sign that you need dentures in the future. Loose teeth are usually a consequence of periodontal disease. There might be significant damage occurring below your gum without noticing. However, if the gaps grow wider between your teeth, you need to seek help from a dentist.

Difficulty Chewing or Digesting Food

One of the symptoms that’s usually a less obvious indicator of needing dentures is painful chewing, especially when eating hard or chewy food. This shows that your teeth have experienced significant damage.

Another sign of decay that most people ignore is chronic indigestion. When your teeth can't chew properly, you’ll most likely take large bites, which can cause stomach pains. If you are experiencing these signs, it’s time to visit your dentist for a consultation. Your dentist will probably recommend specialty dentures if your tooth is severely affected. 

You’re Missing a Few Teeth

If you have lost a few teeth, the need for a denture is immediate. The more time you go without the dentures, the higher the chances of losing additional teeth. Lacking the support for all your teeth might weaken or shift your teeth. Therefore, you should seek dental help as soon as possible. 

You Have a Low Self-Confidence Due to Your Missing or Damaged Teeth

Damaged or missing teeth will impact your smile. The majority of denture wearers say that they smile more often when they get dentures. Therefore, getting dentures will give you a smile that you’ll proudly show off.

The Procedure for Specialty Dentures

The course of your specialty denture treatment can last over four to five visits. However, there might be variations depending on the individual needs. All the same, here is what you should expect in a typical specialty denture procedure.

Initial Examination and Discussion

Your dentist will try to learn about your dental problem, your needs, and your medical history in your initial appointment. They will then discuss what you should expect and examine your mouth.

The examination process will include oral cancer screening to determine any problems with your soft tissues, teeth, or gums. The dentist can also take an X-ray to check specific teeth and have a good appreciation of what’s going on. They may perform further tests to help with the diagnosis.

After the examination process is complete, the dental team will have a clear idea about your situation and would be able to discuss the pros and cons of various treatment options that you can choose from. Sometimes, they might need to take a few study models to plan things more carefully and look at your bite more articulately. If that’s the case, they will take two quick impressions of your upper and lower jaw teeth in sizable trays. Alginate is best used in this situation due to its rapid setting ability.

It’s much easier for the dentist to study and analyze whether a specialty denture is the best option for your dental problem with the models at hand. You’ll probably have to wait for detailed specialty denture treatment plans to be sent to you in your next appointment.

1st Appointment – Making of the Primary or First Impression and Restoration of the Anchor Teeth

Assuming that your dentist has decided that specialty dentures are the best option, they will take a primary impression of your teeth to make special trays more accurate than the first one. You can, however, skip this procedure if the dentist took the first impression and you haven’t experienced any dental problem.

However, if you haven’t taken the first impression, a dental team member will most likely put Vaseline on your teeth to block the space between your teeth to remove the impression easily. Then, your dentist will most likely ask you to lean forward to allow the impression’s material to flow on. They might also ask you to twiddle your toes or make slow circles with your foot to take your mind off the impression as it hardens.

The dentist will probably use silicone impression materials for accurate information. The silicone impression material can take longer to set than other types of impression material.

Although your partial dentures might be removable, it’s not advisable to fit partial dentures between teeth that are at risk of being lost due to infection or decay. Remember, the remaining natural teeth work as anchor teeth to support the partial dentures. So, they must be as healthy as possible. If you have extensively damaged teeth, your dentist might recommend that they should be pulled off. However, if any can be saved, especially those with mild periodontal or cavity signs, the dentist might recommend a course to treat them.

2nd Appointment – Recording of Your Bite

In the second appointment, the dentist will transfer your bite to an articulator. This unique machine works like your jaw used to observe a patient’s bite and how the teeth move across each other. With this, your dentist will accurately determine whether the dentures will fit and whether you have the correct bite.

Your dentist can record your bite in two main positions. These positions include:

  1. The InterCuspal Position or ICP

The intercuspal position represents your normal bite. It ensures a maximum number of teeth coming into contact and is the way that you automatically bite even when not thinking about it. This is the usual position when you have enough teeth that bite in the same position over and again.

To record the intercuspal position, the dentist will use a little bit of the silicone impression or wax and ask you to bite down onto the material set. Alternatively, if you have most of your teeth and they are close to the perfect position, they may not need to ask you to bite onto the material set.

  1. Retruded Contact Position or RCP

Patients with a few teeth that don’t meet or don’t have a stable bite will most likely use the retruded contact position. This is the only way that your dentist can know about your bite in a more reproducible manner.

It’s challenging to get your jaw into the proper position when your teeth cannot make a stable bite. Therefore, the dentist will take you through a series of procedures to put your jaw in the retruded contact position. these procedures are as follows:

  • Request you to curl your tongue back as far as it will go to reset your jaw backward
  • Add a little wax to the back of the top bite or use a bite block which you can aim with your tongue
  • Request you to relax your jaw muscles and go floppy- as if you were about to fall asleep and your mouth begins to open slightly
  • Ask you to swallow when you’re entirely relaxed
  • Alternatively, hold your mouth on the chin and push your jaw gently backward and forward to find this position
  • Use a combination of the above procedures

Designing of the Denture or the Laboratory Stage

The laboratory stage is a crucial step that you probably don’t know about. The procedure starts with pouring the impression to give a replica model of your teeth mounted on an articulator. The record of your bite is made to ensure that the top and bottom models fit as they would do in your mouth.

The dentist will then survey your teeth using a specific machine to identify the following:

  • The best way that the dentures can be put in and out of your mouth
  • Areas that need the retention or clasps to hold the dentures
  • Areas in your mouth that need adjustments or blocked out before the denture are made for easier use

Once the dentist completes these steps, a laboratory technician will design and make the dentures in conjunction with your dentist. As the technician is making the dentures, the following factors must be planned:

  • The Saddle area: This is a term used to refer to the teeth that the dentist will replace
  • Support: Your dentist must plan how the denture will resist forces towards it and the gum while eating
  • Retention: Your dentist must plan how the retention will stay up or down depending on where you’re missing teeth. The retention stops the denture from coming away from your gums and can be obtained using guide planes, precision attachments, metal clasps, or by the shape of your ridge
  • Bracing: At this point, your dentist will plan how to brace your denture and prevent it from moving sideways or rocking
  • Connectors: Your dentist must plan the type and design of the connector that they will use. If possible, your dentist should choose connectors that would help keep the dentures away from the teeth’s margin to assist in cleaning
  • Your Look: Finally, your dentist will plan how your look will be to avoid visible metal near the front and maintain the best smile as per your expectations

Preparation of Your Teeth to Place the Dentures

If you have acrylic dentures, there is often slight tooth modification that the dentist has to do. However, if you are a metal cast partial denture, your dentist might recommend a few adjustments before the final impression is taken. The dentist can do this by shaping your teeth or preferably filling them slightly with a bonding white composite material, depending on the situation. The primary preparation process involves the following:

  • Rest Seating: These are slight indentations that allow a “rest” from a metal cast denture to direct the forces evenly down the tooth. They are placed in existing fillings or incorporated in the crowns. They are not always needed when you have a particularly close bite, putting a rest straight on the tooth to prop it open. This creates a little bunker into which the denture can fit and help you close your teeth normally
  • Guide Surfaces: The guide surfaces guide the dentures in and out of their place. They also make the dentures more stable and improve the wearer’s appearance
  • Creation of Retentive Areas: Retentive areas are small bulbous parts on a tooth that the dentures can flex over. Without these retentive areas, the clasps will not be active, and the dentures will not have the exact grip
  • Removing or Reducing the Teeth’s Undercuts: Retentive areas or small undercuts are usually a good thing for the use of partial dentures, but big ones are not. If the clasps cannot flex as required, the solid base of the denture can’t fit on the space. However, if the undercuts are modified, you can improve their fitting and correct areas where food can be packed and cause dental cavities

Delivery and Adjustments

The laboratory will send the finished denture to your dentist to deliver it to you. You can let the dentist know if any spot feels rough or needs adjustments at this appointment. It might take a few days or weeks to start feeling normal while wearing the partial denture. In the meantime, the dentist will instruct you on how to take care of the specialty dentures.

How to Take Care of Your Specialty Dentures

Before you learn how to take care of your specialty dentures, you should know about the issues you might experience immediately after they are in place. Some of the common complications associated with specialty dentures include the following:

  • Denture slippage
  • Swelling
  • A gum abscess
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

Cleaning your Partial Dentures

You’ll need to brush your partial dentures daily, to remove plaque and prevent stains on the false teeth. It’s recommendable to use a brush that’s designed to clean dentures. A denture brush has bristles that are precisely arranged to fit the shape of a denture. However, a soft-bristled toothbrush would work perfectly. Avoid a brush with a hard bristle since it can damage the dentures.

You can use mild dish soap or a hand brush to clean your dentures. Other household cleaners and some toothpaste are too abrasive and can damage dentures. Before you clean the partial denture, hold it over a sink that’s full of water or hold it over a towel to cushion it when it falls. Then, you can rinse the dentures thoroughly to clean the loose food particles. Start by moistening the brush and then apply the denture cleaner. Ensure that you brush the denture surfaces gently to avoid bending the metallic clasps or damaging the acrylic.

Brush the surrounding teeth, tongue, gums, and palate before returning the partials into your mouth. This will stimulate blood circulation in your mouth tissues and help in removing plaque.

What to do When Your Mouth Sores or Is Irritated

Sore spots might develop in your mouth when the dentures are putting too much pressure on a particular site. They appear as minor wounds or marks on the gum tissues. If you experience this, you need to visit your dentist for proper adjustments and relief of the pressure. Don’t try to adjust or repair the specialty dentures by yourself since you can easily damage them and affect how they fit.

Soothe your gum tissues by removing the dentures and rinsing them with warm saltwater. It’s best to stop wearing the specialty dentures for a while as the sore areas ease down. However, it might be helpful to re-insert them before your dentist appointment to make it easier for the dentist to see the painful areas and determine which areas need adjusting.

The Cost of Specialty Dentures

The price of partial dentures varies depending on factors such as:

  • The materials used
  • The number of teeth that need replacing
  • Methods used to create the dentures
  • Location in your mouth
  • Whether or not you need dental care before the denture adjustments

Based on these factors, the average cost of specialty dentures is as follows:

  • $1,215 for upper partial dentures with a resin base
  • $1,685 for partial dentures with a cast metal base and a resin saddle
  • $1,444 for upper flexible specialty denture

Find the Best Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Washington Dental is determined to work with you to find the best course of treatment for your dental issue. We are focused on providing all our patients in Carson, CA, and its surrounding area with exceptional specialty denture services to achieve outstanding results. Contact us today at 310-217-1507 and let’s help you recover your perfect smile.