Partials and Dentures in Belchertown

Your teeth are multi-taskers. Think about all the work they do. Everyday, teeth allow you to chew the food you enjoy, enunciate words and speak clearly, and smile at the people you love. Now imagine your life if some or all of your teeth were missing. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, approximately 175 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and more than 35 million do not have any teeth. If you count yourself among either of these groups, then it’s time to talk to Dr. Medaugh about dentures. Partials or dentures in Belchertown have been the key to rejuvenated smiles for many people. Dr. Medaugh will be able to help you decide if one of these tooth replacement options is right for you.

Dentures have been around for hundreds of years. Fortunately, advances in technology, manufacturing and materials have made them more comfortable and more lifelike than ever before. Belchertown dentist Dr. Medaugh takes all of the necessary steps—digital x-rays, impressions, photographs and measurements of your mouth—to ensure that the prosthetic he designs for you looks and feels completely natural.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dentures?

Man with dentures laughing

Dentures are an excellent option for patients missing several, most of, or all of their natural teeth. Depending on the number of teeth you are missing and where they are in the mouth, a customized prosthetic can be made just for you. One of the great things about dentures is that most adults make good candidates. Continue reading to learn about the effects of missing teeth and what qualifies you for dentures.

Effects of Missing Teeth

Closeup of a missing tooth

Numerous different factors can contribute to tooth loss. The most common causes include tooth decay, gum disease, and injury. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, missing teeth have several negative consequences, including facial sagging, difficulty speaking, trouble eating, and lower self-esteem. The good news is that dentures can positively impact all of these problems. This can lead to significant improvement in your quality of life.

What Qualifies You for Dentures?

Woman smiling in the dental chair

Almost any adult can get dentures. They are ideal for patients who have experienced significant tooth loss. However, it’s still important to maintain healthy gum tissues and have a sufficient jawbone. This can become an issue for those who have been missing teeth for a long time because the jawbone begins to deteriorate. If you have any oral health issues, like tooth decay or gum disease, they will need to be addressed and eliminated before you can move forward with getting dentures.

The number of teeth that you are missing will ultimately determine which type of denture you need. One of the great things about dentures is the fact that they are more affordable than other tooth replacement options, like dental implants. This makes them ideal for patients who aren’t able to invest a lot of money into their smile at this time.

Alternative Tooth-Replacement Options

Digital illustration of dental implant

If you aren’t a good candidate for dentures or they aren’t something that interests you, there are some other tooth replacement options that you may want to consider. Here are the ones that we offer.

  • Dental Bridges: A dental bridge works by “bridging” the gap in your smile. This method works best for patients who are only missing one or a couple of consecutive teeth. A bridge requires that the patient has healthy teeth surrounding the bridge to support it.
  • Dental Implants: A dental implant is a titanium, screw-like post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Patients need to have a solid bone structure and be able to undergo a minor surgical procedure. Dental implants have a higher upfront cost than bridges and dentures, but they are intended to be permanent.

Learn More About Dental Bridges

Learn More About Dental Implants

Partial Dentures in Belchertown

If you are missing a few teeth—whether consecutively or not—then a partial denture may be just what you need to once again have a full smile. Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, Dr. Medaugh can design a removable or fixed partial. A removable partial consists of false teeth that are mounted on a metal frame. The dental lab carefully fabricates the frame with clips or hooks that attach to healthy teeth in a manner that is all but invisible when you smile or talk. A partial can be designed to fit something like a puzzle teeth between your remaining teeth. In this way, only one prosthetic is required to fill in gaps here and there along one arch.

A fixed partial is usually called a bridge, or more precisely a crown and bridge. Dental crowns are affixed to healthy teeth that flank the missing teeth in your mouth. The crowns support false teeth that literally bridge the gap in your smile.

Full Dentures in Belchertown

For patients who are missing all of their teeth, there are full dentures. This oral appliance can be made to fit either your upper or lower arch and consists of false teeth on an acrylic base made to look like you own gums. If you’re missing the upper arch of teeth, then a denture with an open palate may be designed to afford you greater comfort and a better sense of taste. In any case, Dr. Medaugh will make sure your dentures fit comfortably and securely without causing irritation to delicate gum tissue.

Benefits of Dentures

Smiling older woman with beautiful teeth

The loss of multiple teeth can have drastic consequences for your daily life. You might find it challenging to eat your favorite foods, smile with confidence, and speak with clarity. Dentures offer a range of benefits that may help you feel like your old self again! Continue reading below to learn about some of the specific advantages that you may enjoy when you are the owner of a beautiful, custom set of prosthetic teeth.

Psychological Benefits

Portrait of handsome senior man with nice teeth

Many people who have lost all of their teeth must cope with profound psychological effects. For example, they may tend to isolate themselves due to self-consciousness about their appearance or fear of judgement because of their lack of teeth. Feelings of loneliness and depression may be the result.

You do not have to draw away from the world! Dentures can provide a beautiful, functional, and natural-looking new smile that gives you the confidence you need to enjoy an active and fulfilling social life. They can also help you love what you see in the mirror!

Clearer Enunciation

Mature woman conversing on telephone

Clear and powerful speech depends on complex interactions between various oral structures, including the teeth. Without them, it might be challenging for you to enunciate certain sounds. As a result, you might shy away from conversations.

When you first get dentures, you might develop a slight lisp. With practice, however, that issue should go away. In fact, your speech should ultimately be clearer than it was before you got your prosthetic.

Improves Nutrition

Smiling older woman holding plate of nutritious food

If you have suffered extensive tooth loss, you might gravitate toward soft foods. As a result, you might miss out on the nutrients that are present in tougher items, such as raw veggies, juicy fruits, and certain types of meats.

When you get your dentures, it might take a bit of time to learn to eat with them. However, once you master appropriate eating techniques, it should be easy for you to consume a wide variety of foods. A balanced, nutritious diet can do much to support your overall wellness.

Preserves Oral Health

Mature woman speaking with dental team member

If you still have some of your natural teeth, dentures may support their health in a couple of different ways:

  • Dentures can serve as a placeholder that prevents your natural teeth from drifting out of their proper places. They might even prevent further tooth loss!
  • Dentures can allow you to distribute food evenly across your mouth, and they can take some of the forces of chewing. Therefore, they can prevent premature wear and tear on your enamel.

Expands Opportunity

Smiling, gray-haired woman in office setting

Personal image can have a powerful impact on your career. Sadly, obvious signs of poor oral health, such as missing teeth, may give the wrong impression to clients, coworkers, and potential employers. In fact, one study published in 2019 found that the probability of being employed was negatively associated with oral health problems. Conversely, an attractive set of dentures can transform your smile and help you to convey the impression that you are approachable, successful, youthful, and energetic.

Understanding the Cost of Dentures

$20 bills

People associate dentures with a large price tag, but we keep them affordable for people from all walks of life. Various factors affect the cost of dentures in Belchertown, but you won't have to compromise aesthetics or quality to stay within your budget. We offer the payment solutions you need to enjoy a confident, functional smile without spending your life's savings.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Dentures

Woman checking in at dentist

Every mouth is unique, just like fingerprints. A one-size-fits-all denture would be uncomfortable and wouldn't look that great, which is why there isn't a flat fee for a new set of teeth. Multiple things will influence your estimate, like:

  • Preparatory Procedures: It's not unusual to need a little prep work, like gum disease therapy or tooth extractions.
  • Type of Denture: You have multiple styles to choose from, depending on the number of teeth and arches you're treating.
  • Materials: Don't focus on the cost because you'll get what you pay for. It's better to spend a little more on quality materials to ensure your investment lasts.


After examining your mouth and learning more about your situation, your denture dentist in Belchertown will create a personalized treatment plan and provide you with an estimate. You’ll know exactly what you'll have to pay before committing to anything, so you won’t be surprised by any fees.

Are Implant Dentures More Expensive?

Older woman in dental chair

It's true, implant dentures can cost more than traditional methods, but they can be the most affordable long-term. Conventional dentures last for 5 to 7 years before needing to be replaced, but dental implants can last for decades. Not to mention, dental implants improve your oral health, so you'll save money later by avoiding costly treatments. Although you may pay more upfront, you'll benefit from a nearly perfect replica of your real teeth that can last for a lifetime. You have several solutions to keep dental implants affordable, like using your dental insurance or third-party financing.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?

Dental insurance underlined in blue

Dentures are a major service, which means your dental insurance will cover about 50% of the cost after meeting your deductible. You can also use your benefits to lower the amount you'll pay for additional steps in your treatment, like the consultation, imaging, or extractions. A member of our team will work on your behalf with your dental insurance to keep a complete smile within your budget. If you exceed your annual limits, we can even split the cost across calendar years.

Other Options for Making Dentures Affordable

Calculator in cash

Besides using your dental insurance, we offer various financial options, which we will review during your consultation. You can pay for your dentures in Belchertown using:



  • Traditional Payments: Our office accepts all traditional payment methods, including cash, checks, and credit cards.
  • Monthly Payments: Pay for your new smile using a monthly financing plan with little or no interest, based on your credit approval.


If you have any questions about paying for your new set of teeth, or you're ready to schedule an appointment, contact our office today. We look forward to rebuilding an attractive, functional smile to be proud of.

Dentures Aftercare

Woman smiling with dentures

Your dentures can transform the appearance and function of your smile! However, even if you have few or no remaining natural teeth, this doesn’t mean that you should refrain from going to the dentist. Regular dental visits are important because your dentist will continue to monitor your existing teeth and gum tissue. They will also keep an eye out for any abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer. When you have dentures, it’s very difficult to notice these changes in your mouth on your own. Early detection from your dentist is key to making a full recovery!

Remove After Eating

Woman holding dentures

After you eat, you should remove and rinse your dentures. This will help to prevent buildups of food debris and plaque. You shouldn’t use hot water because the heat can warp the denture material and cause it not to fit properly.

Clean Your Restoration

Man brushing dentures

You should remove your dentures to thoroughly clean them. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of unscented hand soap, mild dish soap, or denture cleanser, gently brush your dentures. You shouldn’t use regular toothpaste because it is often too abrasive for dentures to handle. If you aren’t going to be wearing your dentures again right away, place them in a container of water or denture-cleansing solution so they don’t dry out and lose their shape. Remember to carefully rinse your dentures before putting them back in. These cleaning materials are not intended to be used in the mouth.

Keep Your Dentures Safe

Dentures soaking in a glass

When you clean your dentures, it’s a good idea to place a towel underneath you just in case you accidentally drop them. This will reduce the probability of your dentures becoming damaged. Remember to keep your dentures in a place that isn’t accessible to small children or pets.

Remove When You Sleep

Man sleeping in bed

When it’s time to go to bed, take out your dentures. Wearing dentures restricts the circulation in your gums, leading to soft-tissue irritation. Sleeping while wearing dentures has also been associated with a higher risk of pneumonia as well as higher levels of gum and tongue plaque. Keep your dentures in a denture-soaking solution overnight. If you allow your dentures to dry out, they can permanently lose their shape.

Notice Changes

Man with dentures at the dentist

Keep an eye out for changes so you can address them with your dentist. This includes mouth sores, gum irritation, or signs of infection. If your dentures become damaged, you shouldn’t attempt to repair them on your own. You could accidentally damage them further, so give us a call. If your dentures are shifting, clicking, or showing other signs of not fitting properly, this is something you should bring up with us. Your dentures may need to be relined or replaced.

Denture FAQs

Three wooden FAQ letter blocks on wooden table

Dentures have long been one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. If you want to know more about this reliable dental restoration, our knowledgeable staff has collected and answered some common questions below. If you have additional questions about full or partial dentures in Belchertown or want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Medaugh, do not hesitate to contact our office.  

What Is the Average Age for Dentures?

In general, the need for false teeth generally increases as you age. Over 65% of adults between the ages of 40 and 64 are missing at least one tooth, compared to only 33% of adults aged 20-39. Thus, you are more likely to need partial dentures or full dentures if you are over the age of 40. That said, people of all ages can potentially be candidates for dentures.

Can I Sleep with My Dentures?

When you first get prosthetic teeth, your denture dentist in Belchertown will likely recommend that you keep them in your mouth for 24 hours, including while you sleep. After that initial 24-hour period, however, you should take your dentures out each night when you go to bed. Wearing dentures restricts the circulation in your gums, leading to soft tissue irritation and potentially speeding up ridge resorption. By taking dentures out, you’ll give your gums a chance to recover and get the nutrients they need during the night. Removing dentures at night will also help preserve your oral health. The dark, moist space underneath dentures is an ideal place for bacteria to thrive. For this reason, sleeping with dentures has been found to be associated with a higher risk of pneumonia. Poor oral hygiene and higher levels of gum and tongue plaque are also associated with wearing dentures for too long.

What Can’t You Eat with Dentures?

The good news is that you can continue to eat many of your favorite meals with dentures! However, you may have to abstain from certain foods. For example, you should avoid sticky foods like peanut butter and gummy candies that can pull your dentures out of place. Not only are sticky substances difficult to chew but doing so can allow food particles to become trapped under the dentures, irritating the gums. In addition, hard foods like nuts, popcorn, apples, carrot sticks, and corn on the cob can damage or dislodge dentures. Avoid these foods for the most part. Tough meats like steak and pork chops require an excessive amount of chewing, which can put a lot of stress on both your dentures and your gums.

Can You Kiss with Dentures?

Romance doesn’t disappear with dentures in Belchertown! It’s completely possible to kiss while wearing dentures, it just might take some time to grow accustomed to how it feels. Unlike real teeth, dentures don’t contain any nerves. This mean you will have to be cautious to avoid kissing your special someone too hard or bumping your dentures against their teeth. Go in for a gentle kiss when you’re wearing dentures so that your prosthetic teeth don’t shift out of place.

Belchertown Dentures Appointment

If you would discuss the option of replacing your missing teeth with a partial or full denture, then Schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Medaugh and the experienced team at Valley Dentists of Belchertown . Dr. Medaugh is a highly qualified restorative dentist, now proudly serving patients daily throughout Belchertown, MA, Ware, Granby, Ludlow, Warren, Hardwick, Gilbertville, Hadley, Amherst, Palmer, and the surrounding communities.