For patients who are missing a few teeth throughout a dental arch, we may recommend partial dentures as the most convenient tooth replacement solution. Just like traditional full dentures, a partial denture (sometimes referred to simply as a partial) consists of artificial teeth supported by a gum-colored base. However, instead of replacing an entire dental arch, a partial fits in around the remaining natural teeth. It is sort of like a puzzle piece that goes exactly where it is needed. Small metal clips help a partial denture to stay in place during eating and speaking. These comfortable prosthetics are easy to remove and care for.
Some people reason that a few missing teeth are not a big deal because it is still possible to chew without too much discomfort. However, replacing even a few lost teeth is important for several reasons — even for individuals who are not concerned with the aesthetic drawbacks of a smile with gaps in it.
Missing teeth put you at an increased risk for a number of oral health problems. Teeth rely on each other to stay in their proper places. When a tooth goes missing, the adjacent teeth begin to drift out of their positions, leading to a misaligned bite. A misaligned bite, in turn, can lead to eating difficulties and problems with the TMJ. Missing teeth may also increase the likelihood that the remaining natural teeth will suffer from decay or premature wear and tear.
Furthermore, while you may be able to eat without a full set of teeth, you could find it challenging to stick to a balanced diet. You might tend to avoid certain nutritious foods, like raw vegetables and nuts, if they are uncomfortable for you to chew.
The first step in obtaining a partial denture is a consultation with one of our dentists, who will evaluate your oral health, take some X-Rays of your mouth, and talk to you about your treatment goals. We will also take some impressions and photographs of your teeth. Your dentist will carefully design your partial so its shape, size, and color works well with your oral anatomy and facial aesthetics. A trustworthy dental laboratory will fabricate your denture. When it is ready, we will give it to you and coach you on how to use it effectively.
To make sure your partial denture stays clean and functional, gently brush it every day. You should also keep it moist when you are not wearing it by soaking it in water or a special denture-cleaning solution.
Are you missing teeth throughout a dental arch? A partial denture may be what you need to enjoy improved chewing function, a lower risk of oral health problems, and a more attractive smile. Contact us today to schedule your restorative consultation.