What Are Partial Dentures?
It’s as the name suggests. Not a full set of awkward looking ‘false teeth’ but just one or two ‘fillings’ to fill in the missing gaps if you will. Partial dentures, not full dentures, may be all that is prescribed by your dentist. Partial dentures are replacements for one or two missing teeth as well as surrounding gum tissue. It is required in order to help restore the normal function of your jaw, as well as its appearance.
Partial dentures are healthy and safe options for those patients whose remaining teeth and supporting gums are still in healthy condition. Just like the full dentures, partial dentures are made from acrylic and metal. The replacement teeth are also set in a gum-colored base. This also helps to provide the realistic look to the replacement teeth. A metal framework with attachments or clasps can be used to keep the partial dentures in place.
Having partial dentures made up are cost effective in comparison to alternative tooth replacement procedures. Note that a complete set of dentures would only be required when all or most of the teeth are no longer healthy. Partial dentures will hide any gaps created. It will also allow a person to eat a lot more easily. Partial dentures are appreciated for the role it plays in helping to maintain the overall health of all remaining teeth and gums.
The decision to prescribe partial dentures is never taken lightly. Allowing missing teeth to prevail could have a profoundly negative effect on the remaining teeth as well as the gums because bite pressure will be altered. Supportive tissues and bone at the site of the missing teeth could shrink, and this will also alter the shape of the mouth. This includes the jawbone and lower facial muscles. Missing teeth risk harm being done to all remaining teeth and the functioning of the jaw.
Also note that partial dentures have advantages over bridges and implants. Partial dentures do not require surgery to be put into the jaw whereas implants have to be rooted into the bone and gums. Bridges, on the other hand, require teeth on either side of the missing tooth gap to be appropriately prepared by the unpleasant removal of enamel. Having partial dentures inserted is also safer than implants.
Note that the dentist needs to be aware of his patient suffering from disease or trauma. Illness or regular smoking could also have a negative counter effect on implant procedures. Partials still need to be fixed to nearby teeth, but the impact made on these is lower than the bridges. Apart from its cost-effectiveness, not much preparation is required for the making up of the partial dentures.
And then there is the time. It can take as little as a day to be fitted with partial dentures. The dentures are custom made and when in, they look and feel just as real teeth should. And they’re also white. But they’ll only stay that way if you brush and floss regularly as you should.