A partial denture is a removable prosthesis that is used to replace missing teeth. In most cases they are used by a patient who is missing multiple teeth, but whose remaining natural teeth are healthy enough that they do not need to be removed. Partial dentures prevent gum and bone loss in the areas where the teeth are missing.
What are the types of partial dentures?
There are many different types of partial dentures. During your initial consultation our dentist will perform a thorough examination of your remaining teeth as well as your gums and bone structure. The information gathered during the exam will be used to develop an individual treatment plan, when the dentist will discuss your options with you and recommend the best type of partial denture for you.
- Conventional dentures – small metal or plastic clasps hold the prosthesis in place by wrapping around the remaining natural teeth on either side of the gap. The partial denture is still easily removable.
- Precision or semi-precision dentures – use altered clasps that whose components interlock. A special extension fits into a receiving area placed on a crown that caps the natural teeth on either side of the gap. This allows the partial denture to blend in with the natural teeth more effectively and these types of dentures are also often more comfortable.
- Implant over-denture – this term describes a partial denture that is used with dental implants. These partial dentures are the same as a traditional partial, with one slight difference. Attachments are placed on the bottom of the prosthesis that connect with the dental implant portion that extends above the gum line. The implants act to hold the partial more securely in place while still allowing it to be removed easily for cleaning.
What are the advantages of a partial denture?
In addition to preventing and bone and gum loss in the areas where you are missing teeth, partial dentures come with a number of advantages.
- Missing teeth can make it difficult to speak or chew. Partial dentures will give you back the ability to chew and speak normally.
- Partial dentures will restore your smile and facial features to a more natural appearance.
- Over time, your remaining healthy teeth will shift to fill the gaps left by missing teeth. Partial dentures will prevent this from happening.
- Tooth loss can cause changes in your bite, which may cause you to grind your teeth or unconsciously clench your jaw. Partial dentures will prevent you from developing problems with the TMJ
- Missing teeth can cause you to feel embarrassed about your smile. Replacing these missing teeth with a partial denture can restore your self-esteem.
- Partial dentures allow you to keep the remaining healthy teeth that you have, and require little or no healing time.
- Easier to repair when broken than full dentures.
- More economical than full dentures when a number of healthy natural teeth remain.
How long do partial dentures last?
Though they are strong, partial dentures are not permanent. Over time, your gum and bone structure will change. The clasps on some partial dentures may break or need repair from time to time to ensure that your partial remains secure and continues to fit properly. In most cases, you can expect your partial denture to last approximately five years.
You can help ensure that your partial lasts as long as possible by scheduling regular check ups with our office every six months. This allows our dentist to check for any necessary repairs as soon as possible. This also gives our dentist to check to make sure that your partial denture does not need to be relined or adjusted to ensure that it continues to fit properly and comfortably.
If you have questions about whether or not you would be a good candidate for a partial denture, or if you would like to see which type of partial denture may be best for you contact our office for a consultation appointment. Our dentist and staff will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to helping you have the complete, healthy, and beautiful smile that you deserve once more.