If you’re missing one, two, or even three teeth, you may not think it’s time to consider dentures. And you’re right—it isn’t time to think about a full set of dentures. However, you may need to consider a partial denture.
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige finds that patients often don’t realize there are many more options than full dentures. In fact, when it comes to tooth replacement, you have many options, including conventional dentures, bridges, and dental implants. In this post, we discuss situations in which a partial denture is likely the best choice.
The anatomy of a partial denture
A partial denture is exactly what it sounds like — a dental appliance designed to replace one or more missing teeth. It’s most often used to replace two or more missing teeth, but not a full set of either upper or lower teeth.
Partial dentures can be made of different materials. Some are constructed of only plastic, and others have some metal parts and some plastic parts. Regardless of material, a partial denture consists of a plate with prosthetic teeth attached, as well as clasps or clips to hold the denture in place.
Partial dentures can be removed for cleaning, and it’s an appliance that is designed to fit your mouth. In some cases the clasps are visible, and in others a specialized type called a precision clasp, is less noticeable.
Depending on several factors, including the condition of your remaining teeth, you may need a crown to improve the fit of your partial denture.
Why you might need a partial denture
If you’re missing a tooth or two in the back of your mouth, it may not seem like a big deal, but the fact is, it’s always better to replace missing teeth than not. When you don’t, you’re at risk for a few problems.
For example, your remaining teeth can shift out of position and eventually loosen, meaning you could lose them as well. Hygiene is more difficult when you have a missing tooth or teeth. Chewing and speaking may both be more difficult with missing teeth — and all that doesn’t even include the cosmetic impact that missing teeth can have on you.
Things to consider
The best way to determine whether a partial denture is the most appropriate solution for you is to talk to a skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable expert like Dr. Hiroshige. The best tooth replacement depends on many different things, like your overall oral health, the stability and health of your remaining teeth, where in your mouth the replacements will be, your budget, and more.
By getting advice from Dr. Hiroshige, you’ll be tapping into years of experience and a deep understanding of what makes a replacement work in the long run. Our staff is happy to help you understand your choices, what to expect as far as timeline, any procedures, and your end result. Schedule your appointment today, and learn about your options.