Your oral health is critical to your overall health and well-being. Tooth loss is a common oral health complication caused by gum disease, tooth decay, or trauma. Losing your teeth will not only affect your smile but can cause shifting in the remaining teeth, causing more oral health issues. Regardless of the cause of your tooth loss, replacement is an ideal option for you. This helps maintain the proper function of other teeth and avoid the issues associated with missing teeth.

Specialty dentures are a common option for patients with missing teeth. Specialty dentures are a non-invasive option for dental implants. These restorations are designed to replace a section of teeth, and they are designed to fit over your natural teeth. Specialty dentures are lightweight and designed to match the shade of your teeth, making your smile look more natural.

Replacement of missing teeth with dentures allows you to avoid complex surgical procedures like dental implants and improve your smile. For a favorable outcome in your cosmetic dental procedures in Lomita, CA, you will benefit from the top-notch dental services we offer at Washington Dental.

Understanding Specialty Dentures

Missing teeth can distort your smile and affect the function of your teeth. Your teeth rely on each other for proper speaking and chewing of food. When you have a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth could shift, causing severe dental complications. When you have multiple missing teeth, your jawbone around the tooth gap may weaken, causing further complications.

A specialty denture is a dental restoration that replaces missing teeth without a dental implant procedure. Commonly known as partial dentures, specialty dentures replace some but not all missing teeth. Your dentist may recommend specialty dentures if you have lost your teeth through the following:

  • Injury. Sometimes, you can lose a perfectly healthy tooth through injury or trauma. This occurs when you engage in vigorous contact sports or are involved in an auto accident. While there are times when your tooth can be saved after an injury, some damages may not be reversible, and your tooth may need extraction.
  • Tooth decay. When bacteria form, leftover food particles accumulate on your tooth and could cause damage to the enamel. A decayed tooth can be saved with a root canal and dental filling. However, extraction may be the only alternative if the tooth has a severe infection and cannot be saved.
  • Gum disease. Periodontal gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss. This occurs when infection in the gums transfers to the jawbone, weakening it and causing your teeth to loosen.

Since specialty dentures are anchored on natural teeth, your remaining teeth must be strong enough to support these restorations. If your natural teeth are unhealthy, your dentist could recommend an extraction and fitting with full dentures.

There are three main types of specialty dentures:

Cast Metal Specialty Dentures

The most common specialty denture is the cast metal denture, which supports high-quality replacement teeth. With this type of denture, precision attachment is used to enhance the appeal and aesthetics of the restoration. The cast metal dentures are made from a titanium metal framework with gun-colored acrylic acting as the base.

These dentures are secured in place by your natural teeth, and the restoration lasts up to ten years. Before fitting the cast-metal dentures, your orthodontist must ensure you have healthy and strong natural teeth.

Acrylic Dentures

These specialty dentures have acrylic flippers that can be removed. Compared to other specialty dentures, acrylic dentures are the least expensive. The low cost of these dentures comes with several setbacks, including shorter durability. Some people find this type of denture bulky and thus less attractive.

Flexible Specialty Dentures

Flexible dentures are a good option if you are allergic to acrylic. These dentures are very comfortable and take less time to adjust to your mouth. For this reason, you will not have difficulty speaking or eating after fitting the dentures.

Process of Fitting Specialty Dentures

Dental specialists create specialty dentures to fill gaps left by lost teeth in your mouth. Since these dentures are customized, you will need more than one dental appointment for the restoration. Understanding what to expect while fitting specialty dentures is critical to alleviating your concerns about the procedure.

The process of denture fitting takes the following steps:

  1. Dental Consultation and Examination

Not all individuals with missing teeth are good candidates for specialty dentures. At your first dental appointment, your dentist will assess your oral health and discuss tooth replacement options. During the examination, the dentist will check the surrounding teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy enough to support the dentures.

Sometimes, X-rays of your existing teeth may be necessary to determine whether you need treatment. If you have a dental complication besides the missing teeth, you must undergo treatment before you proceed with denture fitting. At this stage, your orthodontist will recommend the type of dentures that fit your needs.

  1. Tooth Extraction

Sometimes, you can consider a dental restoration option before extracting a problematic tooth. Tooth extraction is a precursor to the fitting of dentures. If this is your situation, your orthodontist will refer you to your dentist for advice on the tooth extraction. Arrangements can occur before the extraction if you move forward with immediate dentures.

  1. Preliminary Impressions

If you are a good candidate for specialty dentures, your orthodontist will discuss how your dentures will look and feel when the procedure is completed. The orthodontist will then take impressions or molds of your mouth. You will also receive expert advice on materials that suit your needs and budget.

Taking a friend or family member during this appointment would be best. They could offer support and help in choosing the shade that mimics your natural teeth.

  1. Secondary Impressions

This appointment takes thirty to forty minutes and is set for taking secondary impressions using custom-made trays. Your orthodontist can also administer a wax bite to check the relationship between the lower and upper jaws.

  1. Creation of Dentures

Your custom-made specialty dentures will be molded using the impressions of your missing teeth. An immediate denture may be placed to prevent swelling of the tooth gap. When your dentures are complete, you must examine them properly and have them fitted to ensure they are comfortable and serve their purpose.

  1. Denture Fitting

The final step in fitting your special dentures involves collecting your dentures. Your mouth may take a while to adjust to the dentures. This could impact your speech and ability to chew for a while. These symptoms will resolve after several weeks. Sometimes, you may need to readjust the dentures if they pose serious complications.

Care for Specialty Dentures

Specialty dentures are meant to fill the gaps left by several missing teeth. The dentures help you avoid the complications that could arise from missing teeth.

However, how well the dentures serve you will depend on how you care for them. Your orthodontist may provide the following denture-care tips before you leave your final appointment:

Clean the Dentures Twice Daily

Your dental hygiene is critical to maintaining proper oral health. The most common reasons for tooth loss stem from poor oral hygiene practices. Therefore, you must maintain proper dental hygiene for your natural and artificial teeth after fitting dentures. Cleaning your dentures after each meal, or at least twice daily, is critical to ensuring they serve you longer.

Cleaning specialty dentures involves brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a solution recommended by your orthodontist. You should pay special attention to the gums and teeth that hold your dentures during cleaning. This helps remove food particles that may be lodged between the teeth.

Soak your Dentures Overnight

Your mouth needs a break from the dentures. Therefore, you should not wear them at night. Instead, you should soak the dentures in cold water or use a solution your dentist prescribes. Soaking your dentures helps them retain their shape and avoid drying. Additionally, soaking helps loosen them and loosen plaque buildup for easier cleaning.

Clean your Mouth

Your dentures and natural teeth must remain clean to avoid further dental complications. When you remove the dentures for cleaning or during sleep, you should brush your teeth, floss, and clean your gums. This helps avoid the buildup of bacteria and plaque that could damage the remaining teeth.

The gums and teeth that support your specialty dentures could feel sensitive. Therefore, gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid bleeding gums.

Handle Your Dentures Carefully

Since specialty dentures are removable restorations, you must be careful when handling them. If you drop your dentures on a hard surface, they could break. This will cause additional costs for repairing and making new dentures. When you remove your dentures for cleaning, place them on a towel to protect them from damage.

Avoid Whitening Toothpaste

After fitting the specialty dentures, you must avoid whitening toothpaste and other dental bleaching agents. The whitening toothpaste contains peroxide, which could discolor your dentures, while the bleaching agents could weaken your tooth enamel.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

You must continue with your regular dental check-ups even after fitting the specialty dentures. During your dental checkups, you clean your natural teeth professionally. Additionally, your dentist will check your dentures and teeth for potential complications. If your dentures feel uncomfortable, inform your dentist during your appointment.

Benefits of Specialty Dentures

Fitting with specialty dentures is ideal for individuals with a few missing teeth. Dentures are customized to look like your natural teeth, making your smile look more natural. Some of the benefits of specialty dentures include:

  • Restores Speech Ability

Most people assume dentures are only for individuals missing their teeth. However, this is not always the case. Missing a few teeth can cause difficulties with how you speak. This could significantly affect your self-esteem and interactions with other people. Specialty dentures help fill the missing gaps and improve your smile and speech.

  • Specialty Dentures Improve Your Overall Health

In addition to improving your smile and boosting your confidence, specialty dentures help boost your oral health. Missing teeth increase your risk of periodontal gum disease and tooth decay. Dentures restore your teeth' function, lowering your risk of these complications. Another way dentures improve your overall health is by making it easy for you to chew your food properly.

  • Low Maintenance

Specialty dentures are removable. This makes it easier for you to clean and maintain them. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and denture cleaner, you can remove plaque buildup and bacteria from your restorations.

  • Dentures are Cheap

Replacing a tooth lost through disease or trauma is a priority. There are different procedures through which you can restore the function and appearance of your teeth. Compared to other options like dental implants, specialty dentures are cheaper for restoring your smile and the natural appearance of your teeth.

The low cost of fitting specialty dentures makes them affordable for most individuals. The following factors could impact the pricing of your specialty dentures:

  • Complexity of the procedure. Specialty dentures are used to restore your smile by replacing your missing teeth. The location of the missing teeth will dictate how complex your dentures will be made to fit your mouth. The cost of your procedure increases with its complexity.
  • Number of missing teeth. The amount you will incur for specialty dentures will vary depending on the number of missing teeth that you have. If the missing teeth are not on the same jaw, you will need multiple restorations, increasing the cost.
  • Material used. Specialty dentures can be made of metal or acrylic. The dentures made of metal are more expensive and more durable.
  • The preparation and fitting of dentures take multiple dental visits. This gives time for preparing restorations that will meet your aesthetic needs. You may need to pay more if you want to expedite the procedure.

Non-Invasive Procedure

The fitting of specialty dentures is a non-invasive procedure. Fitting the dentures involves assessing your oral health, taking impressions of your mouth, and making the dentures in a lab. This saves you from the pain of dental implants and other surgical procedures to replace your teeth.

Range of Material Options

There are a variety of materials for specialty dentures from which you can choose. This includes plastic resin and a metal alloy of cobalt and chromium. You can choose the material you want depending on your needs and budget.

Complications Associated with Specialty Dentures

Taking care of your specialty dentures requires more than brushing or cleaning. These restorations are fragile and must be handled carefully. A damaged specialty denture will not perform its intended function correctly. Therefore, you must consult with your dentist if you experience discomfort.

Like other cosmetic dental procedures, there is a chance for your dentures to fail or pose other complications. The following are common complications associated with specialty dentures:

Difficulty Chewing

The days or weeks following your denture fitting could be uncomfortable. Before your mouth adjusts to the restorations, you may have difficulty chewing your food correctly. Hard and sticky foods could stick under the dentures, causing further discomfort. You could avoid this complication by taking soft foods until your mouth has fully adjusted to the restorations. You will avoid straining your dentures by chewing with both sides of the mouth.

Trouble Speaking

Specialty dentures can replace missing teeth in different parts of the mouth. For this reason, you could have multiple restorations. Dentures feel like foreign objects in your mouth and can cause difficulty speaking. As your mouth adjusts to the restorations, speaking will feel more natural.


Improperly fitted dentures can cause serious infections of the gums and teeth. Common infections attributed to specialty dentures include:

  • Stomatitis. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the oral mucous membrane below the denture. Stomatitis is caused by candida and results from prolonged debenture retention in the mouth. You can avoid this infection by removing your dentures while you sleep.
  • Cheilitis. Fungus and bacteria occur naturally in the saliva and mouth of healthy people. Poor-fitting dentures cause mouth closure problems and bleeding. The bleeding part of the mouth is a good breeding ground for bacteria that cause angular cheilitis.


One of the most common complications associated with specialty dentures is slippage. Since the dentures are designed to fit between your teeth, they could slip out when you speak or chew. Their fit may be problematic if the slippage continues after a few days. Sometimes, your natural teeth may shift away from the tooth gap, causing dentures that fit perfectly to slip.

Caring for your dentures requires time and commitment. You must follow the care instructions offered by your orthodontist and make regular dental checkups.

Cleaning Difficulties

Specialty dentures warrant a change in your dental hygiene routine.  Unlike natural teeth that require just brushing and flossing, specialty dentures require soaking and other care practices to protect them from damage. Dentures need brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and with solutions that your orthodontist will recommend.

Need for Constant Refitting

The need for adjustment and refitting of specialty dentures is an annoying part of living with these dental restorations. Unlike dental implants, which stimulate your bone, dentures will only restore the tooth surface, which is insufficient to prevent receding gums and shifting teeth. This could cause discomfort and a need for readjustment.

You can avoid the discomfort associated with this complication by making regular dental appointments. Your dentist will ensure that your dentures always fit and help you avoid the cost of readjustment.

Alternatives to Specialty Dentures

Before replacing your missing teeth with specialty dentures, your dentist will discuss the following alternatives for tooth replacement:

  • Dental Implants

Dental implants may be a great alternative to dentures if you have missing teeth in different parts of your mouth. Dental implants have two main parts: A metal screw is attached to your jawbone to act as a tooth root, and an artificial tooth is anchored on the replacement root. Dental implants are designed to mimic the original appearance and function of your initial teeth.

The placement of dental implants is an invasive surgical procedure requiring several oral health specialists to complete. Dental implants are preferable to dentures because they stimulate the bone and prevent the shifting of your natural teeth. Dental implants are also more durable compared to other restorations.

Like dentures, not all individuals are suited for dental implants, and you must undergo a thorough oral health assessment to ensure that your jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support the implant.

  • Dental Bridges

Dental bridges may be more suitable than dentures when you have a group of missing teeth in one jaw. Dental bridges can be permanent or removable, depending on your preference. The teeth surrounding your missing tooth must be strong before fitting into the bridges. Unlike dentures, dental bridges do not need to be removed for cleaning. Instead, you will continue with your oral hygiene routine.

Find a Competent Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Specialty partial dentures are removable dentures used to replace missing teeth on the upper or lower jaw. Your dentist will recommend fitting these dentures after tooth loss to avoid shifting and weakening the remaining teeth. Your ability to speak and chew food correctly may be impacted, depending on the exact location of your tooth loss.

Replacing your missing teeth with dentures will help restore your smile while avoiding complex and costly tooth restoration procedures like dental implants. An assessment from your dentist will help determine whether you are a good candidate for specialty dentures. These dentures are good options for having several healthy teeth to support the restorations.

Although placing specialty dentures is a non-invasive procedure, you could experience difficulties chewing, constant refitting, and gum infections. Your oral health is a sensitive part of your overall health; you will not entrust it to anyone. At Washington Dental, we offer expert cosmetic dental services to restore your smile and boost your confidence. We serve clients seeking safe and reliable cosmetic dental services in Lomita, CA. Contact us at 310-326-5183 for a consultation.