In dentistry, removable prosthetics are dental restorations that the patient can remove when they are not in use. Dentures—one of the most common dental replacement procedures—are also the most prominent example of removable prosthetics. For most patients who receive them, removable prosthetics replace missing teeth, giving the patient a restored smile and the ability to eat and chew normally.
There are several types of removable prosthetics and Dr. Stenvall will decide which one is best for your particular situation. However, removable prosthetics commonly fall into one of two categories.
- Partial dentures are removable prosthetics used for patients who are missing just a few teeth. Replacement teeth are attached to a fitted plastic base, then mounted to a metal frame, which latches to healthy teeth. This fits the replacement teeth into the empty space while still allowing them to be easily removed as necessary.
- Complete dentures, as the name suggests, are removable prosthetics which replace all of a patient’s upper or lower teeth. Much like partial dentures, replacement teeth are mounted to a fitted plastic base which is then inserted into the patient’s mouth as needed. As complete dentures are sometimes delivered following multiple tooth extraction, they may not be available to the patient until after the sockets have healed fully.
Removable prosthetics are a real benefit to many dental patients with missing teeth, however it may take time to adjust to wearing and using them properly. If you receive a removable dental prosthetic, Dr. Stenvall will give you instructions for how to wear it, how to care for it, and when to bring it in for a routine adjustment. While the removable prosthetic may feel a bit uncomfortable or awkward at first, that feeling will fade as the patient grows accustomed to wearing it.