Full and Partial Dentures

The knowledgeable dentists at Covina Family Dental are happy to offer patients in Covina dentures to replace some teeth or all of their teeth as needed. Tooth loss due to periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay or injury can be embarrassing. Not to mention, tooth loss makes it hard to eat, and may contribute to an unflattering appearance. But, patients can change all that and rejuvenate their smile with full or partial dentures.

How Dentures Work

Dentures are removable sets of synthetic teeth that replace patients’ missing teeth. When patients are missing all of their teeth, they need a full or complete set of dentures. When patients are only missing some of their teeth, Drs. Hatae and Patil recommend partial dentures.

Full dentures. Covina Family Dental offers both full and partial dentures in Covina, Glendora and West Covina. Full dentures are comprised of artificial teeth that are attached to a metal framework which is covered by a plastic, flesh-colored base. The base is designed to sit on top of the gums. The base of the upper full denture covers the roof of the patient’s mouth. The base of the lower full denture is shaped like a horseshoe so there is room for the tongue.

Partial dentures. Drs. Hatae and Patil usually recommend partial dentures, or removable dental bridges, for denture Covina patients who have some remaining teeth. Partial dentures are also made of synthetic teeth that are attached to a plastic, flesh-colored base. But, with partial dentures, the base that covers the metal framework clasps to the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Partial dentures help keep remaining teeth from shifting, while they fill any voids caused by missing teeth. Partial dentures are removable and look natural.

What to Expect During Treatment

Getting fitted for dentures requires several office visits. To begin the process, Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry conducts a visual examination of the patient’s mouth and remaining teeth. The dentist may take dental X-rays before making an impression of the areas in the mouth to be treated.

Making impressions of the upper — and, if needed, lower — jaw allows Drs. Hatae and Patil to ensure that the patient’s bite will be properly aligned once the dentures are in place. If necessary, Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry may recommend extracting some or all of the remaining teeth to facilitate a proper bite. If this happens, the patient will need a few weeks to heal following teeth removal.

The dental experts at Covina Family Dental make temporary or “immediate” dentures onsite for the patient to wear while healing. The immediate dentures make it easier for the patient to eat and speak during this time.

Once the dentist has taken impressions and performed any necessary extractions, he or she sends the impressions to the offsite laboratory, where the patient’s synthetic teeth are made and set in a wax base. This is the patient’s “try-in” denture.
At the next office visit, the patient tries on the wax base, so the dentist can check the size, fit and cosmetic effect of the denture(s) before the lab produces the final version. Drs. Hatae and Patil make any final adjustments needed before sending the wax base (and any additional instructions) back to the lab, where they make the final dentures.

If significant modifications were needed, this last try-on step may be repeated before final dentures are made. The dentist and patient then finalize the specifications and send them to the lab. To create the final denture(s), the lab technician removes the artificial teeth from the wax base and attaches them to a metal framework covered with flesh-colored acrylic to match the gums.

Lastly, the patient returns to Covina Family Dental to receive the final dentures. The caring dentist will shows the Glendora, Covina, or West Covina dentures patients how to use them, as well as provide instructions for care. He or she may also schedule a follow-up visit to check the fit of the dentures down the line.

Patients will have to adjust to wearing full or partial dentures. The adjustment period may take several weeks or months. Patients may need to practice eating and speaking while wearing dentures. Also, it is common for patients to feel as though the dentures are loose or bulky. This feeling will go away with time, as the mouth muscles adapt to keeping the dentures in place. Dentures feel slightly different than natural teeth, but they are functional, comfortable and look like natural teeth.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dentures?

Suitable candidates for dentures include individuals who are missing one, some or all of their teeth, and who are in good overall health. Specifically, suitable candidates have good oral health, including healthy gums that are free of periodontal disease. They must also have sufficient jawbone mass to provide a proper foundation for dentures.

Drs. Hatae and Patil will conduct a dental exam to determine if patients are good candidates for dentures. The leading dentists at Covina Family Dental offer a broad selection of cosmetic dentistry options including dental implants and dental crowns for those who want an alternative to dentures.

At-Home Care for Dentures

As individuals age, their mouths change. These natural changes may cause dentures to shift or loosen, making it hard to chew or causing gum irritation. Because of this, denture patients should have regular check-ups at least once a year, so Dr. Kiran Mistry or Dr. Priti Mistry can realign, remake or rebase their dentures as needed.

In between dental check-ups and cleanings, denture patients should:

  • Stand over a basin of water or folded cloth while handling dentures, as dentures are fragile and may get damaged if dropped
  • Place dentures in cool water or a denture cleaning solution to avoid letting them dry out
  • Never use hot water to soak or clean dentures, as hot water may cause dentures to warp
  • Brush dentures daily to remove any stains, food or plaque
  • Brush the tongue, roof of the mouth and gums each morning with a soft-bristled tooth brush prior to inserting dentures to encourage good circulation and remove plaque
  • Visit Covina Family Dental if dentures chip, fracture, loosen or break in any way to avoid doing further damage to broken dentures

To schedule a one-on-one consultation, or to learn more about dentures in Glendora, Covina or West Covina, please contact Covina Family Dental by calling (626) 331-0688 or by filling out the “email us” form.