You might consider getting dentures if you lost one or a few teeth. Dentures are removable artificial teeth and gums designed to substitute your lost or missing natural teeth. These are classified into two types – complete and partial dentures. The former is suitable for people who’ve lost or had all their teeth removed. Meanwhile, the latter is recommended for people who’ve lost a few teeth with some natural teeth remaining in the upper or lower jaw.
This article will discuss partial dentures, how they work and when’s the best time to wear one.
How do partial dentures work?
When you lose or have some of your teeth removed, it’ll leave a gap in a particular area. When this gap is left unoccupied for a long time, your remaining teeth will continue to move and shift until dental issues arise, such as cracked or chipped teeth, oral infection, or a misaligned bite. Furthermore, food and other debris can easily get stuck and accumulate in your gums due to the gap, eventually leading to gum disease or tooth decay. Thus, a partial denture fills the gap to prevent these dental problems.
Partial dentures can also help improve the quality and appearance of your smile. According to a global statistical study involving 3,952 partial denture wearers (PDWs), 51% of PDWs claimed that their self-esteem was adversely impacted when they lost some of their teeth, motivating them to wear partial dentures and improve their oral hygiene. By wearing one, you wouldn’t have to feel embarrassed when you smile since your denture will look as natural as your authentic teeth.
When should you opt for partial dentures?
Although partial dentures provide numerous benefits, they’re not recommended for everyone. In particular scenarios, wearing a partial denture may be the best choice. You may go for partial dentures if:
- Most of your remaining natural teeth are strong and healthy
If you lost a few teeth, but the remaining ones are still strong and healthy, you may opt for partial dentures. These are ideal for replacing a single missing tooth or a minor section of missing teeth. Your dentist can customise a partial denture 1 tooth for you, regardless of what section or position it is placed. They’ll ensure that your partial denture design can fit perfectly and comfortably in your mouth, looks natural and promotes optimal speaking, eating and chewing function.
- You’re not a candidate for dental implants
Besides wearing dentures, there are still other ways you can replace your missing tooth or teeth. One of these options is wearing dental implants. Like dentures, dental implants can replace your missing teeth, fill in the gap and improve your speaking and chewing experience. However, dental implants are only recommended if you still have enough bone density in your jaw.
Otherwise, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants if you’ve lost bone material in your jaw due to gum disease, injury or aging. And so, your dentist may recommend you to go for partial dentures instead.
- You want a non-evasive treatment process
The best thing about choosing partial dentures is that they’re non-evasive. Simply put, selecting partial dentures won’t require you to undergo surgery, unlike dental implants, wherein a lengthy surgery is needed to place the implants into your jaw. So, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve surgical procedures, you should go for partial dentures.
- You need fast treatment results
Since partial dentures don’t require a surgical procedure, the treatment time will also be much shorter and quicker than other treatment options. So, if you’re looking for an option that can provide fast treatment results and replace your missing teeth quickly, you may opt for partial dentures.
- You need a more affordable option
Although dental implants provide a more permanent solution to your missing teeth, they’re way more expensive than dentures. So, if cost is a primary issue when looking to replace your missing teeth, partial dentures may be the best and most cost-effective option. Several factors can impact the price of your partial dentures, such as how many teeth should be replaced and the type of material used for making the denture.
What are the various types of partial dentures?
Now that you’ve decided to go for partial dentures, here are the different types of partial dentures and see which one may be best for your situation. Before pursuing the treatment, you may discuss your chosen option with your dentist.
- Removable cast metal partial dentures
This is the most popular type of partial denture. This type consists of a cast-metal framework used to attach to the person’s existing teeth. Partial metal dentures can last five years or more when properly cared for and maintained.
- Removable partial acrylic dentures (flippers)
Partial acrylic dentures are popularly called flippers since most patients wear them as a temporary solution to their missing teeth while they look for other permanent teeth replacement options. Like the cast metal denture, flippers also use metal clasps to attach themselves to the patient’s gums. Although this partial denture is not the most comfortable type, it still provides ample jaw support to help you speak and chew comfortably.
- Fixed bridge (Fixed partial denture)
A fixed bridge is a permanent partial denture, best for a patient with one or two missing teeth but still has healthy teeth remaining on both sides of the gap. This type is much more comfortable than the flippers and provides natural-looking results.
The bottom line
Besides affecting the appearance of your smile, missing teeth can bring numerous dental issues due to gaps. Thankfully, with partial dentures, you can avoid these problems while at the same time improving your chewing and speaking. So, if you’re among those individuals who’ve decided to opt for partial dentures, consult your dentist immediately to discuss the best type of partial denture for you.
- “Dental Health And Dentures”, Source: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-dentures
- “Understanding The Impact Of Removable Partial Dentures On Patients’ Lives And Their Attitudes To Oral Care”, Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-021-2949-4
- “Everything You Need To Know About Partial Dentures”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/partial-denture
- “How to Choose Dentures or Implants — and Why”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/dentures-vs-implants