Going around with an inviting smile is something we all love. Unfortunately, a having missing teeth can make you love your beautiful smile or appearance. Fortunately, partial dentures can help replace missing teeth or restore the form and function of your jaw
From this new guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about partial dentures including:
• What partial dentures are
• Why you may need partial dentures
• The major benefits of partial dentures
• The differences between partial dentures and complete dentures
• Who is a good candidate for partial dentures
• Types of partial dentures
• How partial dentures work
• Steps involved in the partial dentures procedure
• And lots more
If you want to discover more about partial dentures, this guide is for you!
Read on to learn more!
What Are Partial Dentures?
We all cherish good smiles, especially when they come from our loved ones. People around you will definitely want you to smile as often as possible. But that can be a big problem if you are missing a tooth or more.
Having missing teeth will force you to suppress your smiles in most places. It will make you too self-conscious to smile. Even when you do manage to smile, a missing tooth or missing teeth can betray the smile. This can be a turnoff, even to the persons you are interacting with.
Furthermore, having missing teeth also affect you in other ways besides your smile. Depending on the positions of the missing teeth, it can affect the way you bite or chew. It can also affect your jaw and compromise your oral health.
To improve your smile and prevent or correct some of the many other problems associated with missing teeth, wearing a partial denture can be very helpful. Partials, as they are also called, provide a viable alternative to fixed bridgework or implants as a tooth replacement option. At Glenbrook Dental Centre, we recommend partial dentures for certain cases of missing teeth.
Are you considering getting partial dentures? Have your dentist or healthcare provider recommended partial dentures? We can assure you that it is a viable restorative option. Do you want to learn more about this treatment choice? This guide will provide all the information you need and more.
What Are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are custom, removable dental appliances that help restore the form and function of your jaw and replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. Partial dentures normally consist of a replacement tooth or set of teeth attached to pink or gum-colored bases.
Partial dentures are designed to take the place of missing teeth. They are custom-made to meet your needs. Depending on the nature of unique needs, Dr. Park can design the particular type of partial denture that will work perfectly for you.
Partial dentures can be made from a variety of materials, but the most important ones are metal and acrylic. These materials give them the sturdiness to handle your needs for chewing and other important functions of the teeth. The primary purpose of getting dentures may be to improve your smile, but they will also serve the other functions of your teeth.
While partial dentures are great for several reasons, they do not attach as strongly in your mouth as other kinds of dental restorations. It may take you a while to get used to using them, but once you do, you will enjoy the many benefits partial dentures offer.
Why Would You Need Partial Dentures?
You will need partial dentures to correct missing teeth. This is the primary function and the major reason to go for any form of restoration treatment or appliance. In addition to helping to restore your smile, partial dentures can prevent many issues that can be caused by a missing tooth or a set of missing teeth.
Normally, when you are missing a tooth or more, your bite pressure will shift. It is also natural for some teeth to start moving slowly to compensate for the gap in your bite. This situation can result in the shrinking of the soft tissue and the supporting bone close to the location of the missing tooth. This can cause different problems in your mouth.
A missing tooth that is not taken care of in time can also affect your physical appearance. This will happen once the original structure of your gums, jawbone, and facial muscles are affected. Wearing partial dentures to prevent any change in your mouth structure will ensure that your facial appearance is not affected because of a missing tooth or set of teeth.
What Are The Major Benefits Of Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures offer several benefits to anyone who has a missing tooth and wants the easiest form of custom restorations. Here are some of the most important benefits you need to keep in mind:
They can conveniently improve your smile in the most natural way.
Partial dentures perform their primary function of restoring your smile or even improving your original smile in the most convenient way. Getting a custom-made partial denture from our experienced dentist at Glenbrook will improve your smile and, consequently, your social life.
They will preserve your mouth structure
As hinted earlier, one of the major reasons you need to replace a missing tooth or set of teeth is to protect the structure of your mouth. Partial dentures do that perfectly in many instances. They will protect your gums, jaws, and facial muscles. By preserving the structure of your mouth, partial dentures will preserve your physical appearance.
They are minimally-invasive
If you don’t want to risk complicated procedures to correct missing teeth, then partial dentures will be great for you. They are minimally invasive and have little to no risks if you can take good care of them. Once you receive your partial dentures, using them and taking care of them will be very easy.
They are less expensive than most other restorative treatment options.
Restoring your smile shouldn’t leave a big hole in your pocket, but many restorative procedures are quite pricey. This is not the case with partial dentures. They are quite affordable, especially if you compare them to alternative restorative treatments. Getting your first partial denture from Glenbrook will not cost much, and taking care of them will also be a breeze.
They are easy to clean and maintain
Taking good care of your partial dentures is pretty simple. They are removable, so you can easily take them off when you are brushing your remaining teeth or flossing. You will need to wash them daily, but this is a pretty simple process with lots of side-benefits. Proper care of the partial dentures will ensure that you keep them looking great while your gum and remaining teeth stay healthy.
Partial Dentures vs. Complete Dentures
As the name suggests, partial dentures are partial forms of complete dentures. Both are dental appliances that are used to correct missing teeth, but the major difference is in the way they are designed and the number of teeth they are expected to replace.
Partial dentures are designed to replace a few missing teeth in your upper or lower jaw, which means they are recommended when you still have some natural teeth. On the other hand, complete dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that that replace your entire set of teeth. Complete dentures are also called full dentures or conventional dentures. We will only recommend a complete denture for you if you don’t have any remaining natural teeth in your upper and/or lower jaws.
What about Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges and partial dentures are similar in some ways. They serve the same purpose but require entirely different procedures. They also affect your mouth in different ways. The biggest difference between partial dentures and dental bridges is the fact that partial dentures do not require alteration of your remaining teeth and jaw, while dental bridges require that your remaining teeth be altered to create room to anchor the artificial teeth.
If your priority is to preserve your oral health and the integrity of your remaining teeth, partial dentures are the right choice for you. Dr. Park will recommend the perfect possible restorative treatment for you, but it is up to you to decide the one you want, based on your personal needs and priority.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Partial Dentures?
Having missing teeth is not the only requirement for being a good candidate for partial dentures. You should also know that if you have lost all the teeth in your upper and/or lower jaw, you are no longer a candidate for partial dentures. You are only considered a good candidate if you have a few missing teeth you want to replace.
You can only be sure that you are a good candidate for partial dentures after a consultation with an experienced dentist. Some of the factors our dentist will consider declaring you a good candidate for the appliance include your overall health, your oral health, your lifestyle and your schedule, as well as your budget.
The dentist will carefully weigh the pros and cons of the possible restorative procedures/appliances you can get and determine the one that will deliver maximum value to you. If, after evaluating your condition, our dentist concludes that you are a good candidate for partial dentures, then you can be certain that the procedure will deliver better benefits than the alternative treatments you may have as options.
Types of Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are of different types. Like other dental appliances, they have evolved so much over the years, and there are varieties to choose from. There are three major types of partial dentures you can get. Ideally, the perfect one for you will depend on your personal circumstances.
Here are the major types of partial dentures you can get:
Cast Metal Partial Dentures
Cast metal dentures are very common. They provide high-quality replacement teeth on a rigid frame that can stand the test of time and pressure. They are made of ultra-thin and light cobalt-chromium that makes them strong and stable. The choice of the material makes them a good permanent solution for missing teeth.
- Cast metal partial dentures are strong and durable. If you take good care of them, they can last several years.
- Cast metal partial dentures offer increased comfort. They are actually light and minimally invasive. It won’t take you long to get used to them.
- The rigid frames of cast metal partial dentures cover less soft tissue in your mouth. This helps to improve your oral health and will allow you to enjoy the taste of food.
- They often offer more supportive fits, thanks to the rest seats or clasps that help to keep them in place.
- Inserting cast metal partial dentures can be pretty difficult, especially for a patient who struggles with fine motor skills.
- They are pricey when compared to acrylic partial dentures.
- The fabrication process of cast metal dentures takes longer.
- They are not the most aesthetically pleasing partial dentures at the moment.
- They have the potentials to cause allergic reactions in patients who are sensitive to the materials.
Acrylic Partial Dentures
- Acrylic partial dentures are cost-effective.
- They can be fabricated faster than the other partial denture options.
- They are considered as the perfect temporary solution when a more permanent solution like dental implants of cast metal dentures is not yet ready.
- They allow for easy denture relines and denture repairs.
- Acrylic partial dentures are often too thick and somehow uncomfortable. It takes time to get used to them.
- They are weak and not durable enough to serve as permanent partial dentures.
- They will cover a larger part of your mouth, which can often lead to gagging and a lessened sense of taste.
Flexible Partial Dentures
If you are allergic to the materials used in cast metal and acrylic partial dentures, then flexible partial dentures are the perfect dentures for you. They are made from a thin, heat-sensitive type of material, and they are strong enough to stand the test of time. Flexible partial dentures are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to wear.
- They are the most aesthetically pleasing partial dentures. The material is clear, and your gums will be visible through the dentures.
- They are very comfortable to wear since they do not require dental adhesives or metal clasps but cling to the gums perfectly.
- Flexible partial dentures can be fabricated faster, and there is always no need for multiple try-ins to get the perfect fit.
- They provide maximum comfort for patients who are allergic to the materials used for cast metal and acrylic partial dentures.
- They are impact-resistant and considered much more durable than acrylic partial dentures.
- They are the most biocompatible partial dentures. They are odor and stain-resistant.
- Flexible partial dentures are prone to bacteria buildup. You will need to carefully clean the flexible base often.
- It is pretty difficult to perform denture relines, and denture rebases with flexible dentures. The dentist may have to redo the entire denture from scratch if there is a need for adjustments.
- They are the most expensive of the three types of partial dentures. Again, they are not easily available.
Preparing For Partial Dentures
Getting a partial denture from our Glenbrook Dental Center can be a straightforward process. It will start with a consultation with our experienced dentist, Dr. Park.
When you get a one-on-one consultation with our experienced dentist, he will examine your dental issue and your overall dental health to determine if partial dentures are the right treatment option for you. If that is the case, you will book an appointment, and the dentist will explain to you how to prepare for your partial denture treatment.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need other dental work before getting a partial denture. The dentist may recommend that a tooth or teeth be removed or reshaped to create room for the denture. It may also be necessary for bone to be built up before you get your partial denture. If you are overdue for a dental cleaning, Dr. Park will also recommend that you get a professional cleaning before getting your permanent partial denture.
Getting Your Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are custom-made for patients. After preparing your mouth for the appliance, our dentist will take an impression of your gum and your remaining teeth and send the impression to a dental lab where the partial denture will be fabricated.
Depending on your oral condition and needs, our dentist may recommend that you wear a temporary partial denture while the lab makes your permanent one. The dentist will tell you about how to take care of the temporary denture until your next visit to get the permanent ones. It may take the lab several days or even weeks to fabricate your permanent dentures. The type of partial dentures you choose, among other factors, will determine how long it will take to get your custom-made partials.
Dr. Park will tell you when to come back for your permanent partial dentures. On that very day, he will make some adjustments to the appliance, checking for pressure spots on your gums. He will also take time to examine and ascertain that the appearance of the denture and your bite are good enough.
It may take a few adjustments to get a custom-made partial denture that is perfect for you. The dentist will teach you how to put in your denture, as well as how to take good care of it. Our dentist will also inform you about follow-up appointments to check and adjust your partial dentures if the need arises. Ideally, you will need to visit the dentist’s office at least twice a year for your partial dentures and other aspects of your oral health.
Getting Used To Partial Dentures
If you have never worn a denture before, your new partial denture will certainly feel awkward in your mouth. In addition to making you feel a little uncomfortable, a partial denture can also make your mouth water a lot. They can also affect your speech. You shouldn’t worry about these issues as they can go away with time.
You may have to wear your partial dentures for weeks before you get used to them. Here are some tips that can help you get used to dentures faster:
- Read more and read out loud after you get your new partial denture until it feels natural.
- Practice fixing your partial denture and taking it out. Do this often and be patient until it starts feeling easier to get in and get out.
- Never bite down on the partial dentures to get them into position, as that can make the clasps bend or break.
- Chew slowly with your new partials, and ensure you chew with both sides of your mouth to distribute the pressure.
Caring For Your Partial Dentures
You will need to take good care of your partial dentures for many reasons. The most important one is to maintain good oral hygiene and enjoy the benefits that come with that. Caring for your partial dentures will also prolong their lifespan. To get the best out of your partials dentures, here are some tips that can be very helpful:
- Eat soft foods the few days or weeks after getting your new partial dentures. You should also avoid sticky foods.
- Take out your partial dentures when you want to go to bed.
- Clean your partial dentures every day to keep them clean and free of harmful organisms that can hurt your gum tissues and remaining teeth. It is important that you use denture care products and denture cleaning brush and not regular toothpaste and toothbrush.
- See your dentist as often as recommended to have the partials checked and adjusted. You should never attempt to adjust or repair your partial dentures.
Partial Denture Repairs and Adjustments
It is normal for the fit of partial dentures to change over time. It is also natural for an empty jawbone to shrink. When these happen, your partial denture will need to be adjusted. It is also possible that your partials clasps will become loose from normal wear, or it can develop another minor issue that requires repair.
You should never try to adjust or repair your partial dentures when they develop any issue at all. Contact your dentist immediately and schedule a date to have them fixed. Even if your partial denture is looking great after several months, it is advisable to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Proper care will prolong the lifespan of your partial dentures.
Q: Are partial dentures as good as complete dentures?
Partial dentures and complete dentures are different types of appliances and are used for different situations. However, partial dentures are great if you still have some healthy natural teeth. They are as good as complete dentures and even better when you want to preserve your remaining teeth and maintain good oral hygiene.
Q: Do partial dentures look natural?
Yes, partial dentures are built to look very much like natural gums and teeth. Some have transparent bases, which means your natural gums will be visible, and the artificial teeth will look very much like natural teeth.
Q: Where should I go for partial dentures?
Q: What is the best type of partial denture?
The different types of partial dentures are great for specific situations. However, flexible partial dentures appear to be the best for most patients who can afford them. The others are still great and preferable in unique cases.
Q: Can I eat with partial dentures?
Yes, you can eat with your partial dentures. These appliances are not just made to look like natural teeth but also perform their functions. They may not be as strong as a natural tooth, but they are strong enough to let you chew foods that are not too hard.
Q: Can I sleep with partial dentures in my mouth?
You can sleep with your partial dentures in your mouth, but this is not the best thing to do. It is recommended that you remove your partials when you want to sleep. This will allow your gum to rest.
Q: Do partial dentures have long-term effects on the mouth?
Partial dentures offer many benefits and no known negative impact on the mouth. In fact, partial dentures can actually help you preserve your remaining natural teeth and keep your mouth healthy and your face unaffected following tooth loss.
Q: Are partial dentures healthy?
Yes, partial dentures are very healthy. Once you take good care of them, they offer many benefits that will reflect positively on your oral health and overall wellbeing.
Q: Are partial dentures expensive?
Partial dentures are considered minimally invasive and inexpensive restorative treatments.
Q: How long do partial dentures last?
Partial dentures can last for several years. If you take good care of your partials, they can last between five and seven years. Some dentures can last as long as 10 to 15 years.
Q: How often will I need partial denture adjustments?
You may have to visit your dentist at least two times in 12 months to get your dentures checked and adjusted. Even if partial dentures look great, they have to be checked at least twice annually by your dentist. They can be checked and adjusted during your regular visits to the dentist’s office.
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