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Post-Op Instructions
   
Dentures and Partials

If this is your first denture or partial, the first thing you should know is that the transition of going from natural teeth to a denture or partial can be very difficult. Removable prosthodontics replace the missing teeth, but will never function or feel like natural teeth. A good comparison would be a removable prosthesis for a leg or arm. A successful transition into wearing removable prosthodontics requires time, practice and a lot of patience.If this is not your first removable prosthesis, then your transition will be less difficult. However, there is still quite an adjustment period for you, too. All removable prostheses are different. Even if we have tried to replicate an old denture or partial for you, it will not be identical. Over time, many things change… your gum tissue and bone shrinks, teeth wear down, natural teeth drift, and your bite changes. All of these things will affect how a prosthesis is made. The adjustment of wearing a new prosthesis can be as difficult as the first time you received one. You just have a better idea about what to expect.

When we deliver a new prosthesis to you, we make adjustments to custom fit the prosthesis to your mouth, while you are in the chair. As you wear the prosthesis, your gum tissue will adapt accordingly, often causing sore spots. Normally, we will need to see you 24 -48 hours after we deliver the prosthesis to you, for an adjustment. It is normal for your entire mouth to feel sore and for your bite to not feel completely comfortable for several weeks. As your gum tissue adjusts to the new prosthesis, we may need to see you for adjustments around “sore spots”, and to fine tune your bite. It can be very normal for you to need 3 or 4 adjustments during the first few months of wearing the new prosthesis. It is highly unlikely that you would not need any adjustments.Over time, your gum and bone will shrink where there are teeth missing. As this occurs, your prosthesis will feel loose and may require relining. Every patient will have this shrinkage occur at different rates. Some patients can go 20 + years without needing a reline, whereas others may need a reline once a year. Most patients require a reline just about every 5 years. Wearing ill-fitting prostheses for too long without relining can contribute to bone loss and oral disease.

If you had an “immediate denture or partial” placed, then you will need a reline approximately 6 months to 1 year after the initial placement of the prosthesis. Generally, the cost of this reline is included in the initial cost of the immediate prosthesis. We encourage you to wait as long as you can (no longer than 1 year) before you have this first hard reline, because often your gums and bone continue to shrink over the course of the first year. We can place a “softline” in your prosthesis, during this time. The softline is a liner that is semi-permanent, and is used only until you can have the permanent hard reline done. The softline has a rubbery texture. It provides increased retention and a cushion while your gums and bone are changing during the first year of healing. It can be difficult to clean, it tears easily, and will deteriorate over time. It is not durable enough to be used long term. Sometimes, it must be done several times, during this transition time.

Please take great care to continue a good daily hygiene regimen. Clean your denture daily with a mild toothpaste and a denture brush and periodically with an over the counter denture soak (Polident or Efferdent). We recommend that you take your prosthesis out while sleeping, and place it in a cup of water. Make sure to brush any remaining teeth in your mouth at least two times a day, and floss at least once a day. Pay special attention to any teeth that are used to hold the partial in, as they tend to collect more plaque and calculus build up than other teeth. Both the partial and the natural teeth must be kept very clean on a daily basis to reduce the chance of new dental decay starting. Dentures are made of acrylic and they are fragile so you need to be especially careful when handling them. They can break, if they are dropped on a hard surface. Also, household cleaners (especially bleach) and brushes that are not specific for using on prostheses can be far too abrasive. So, please, don’t use any products on the denture unless they are specifically made for cleaning prostheses.

We have done our best to provide you with a well-fitted, functional, and esthetic prosthesis. We feel confident that once you have adjusted to the new prosthesis, you will have years of satisfaction from them. While you are getting adjusted to the prosthesis, have realistic expectations. Don’t try to eat corn on the cob, or ribs in the beginning. Take baby steps with your new teeth. Start off with a soft diet, and as you get used to the way they move and feel in your mouth, gradually try chewing things that are more difficult. And remember, have patience and know that this transition can take a long time. Our office is here to help you, so please call us if you have any questions or need to come in for an adjustment.



 
 




Swords and Phelps Dentistry • 205 Waleska Rd Suite 2A Canton, GA • (770) 479-3713 • info@swordsphelpsdentistry.com


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