Partials and Dentures to Replace Missing Teeth
Partials and dentures are the easiest and cheapest tooth replacement options for patients who are missing several teeth or all their teeth. There are several considerations, however, and the best option for you depends on your unique situation, needs, desires, and finances.
What are partials and dentures?
Dentures and partial dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. They are fabricated to closely resemble your natural teeth and enhance your smile and the appearance of your face.
In addition, they help improve speech and chewing, which also improves digestion and nutrition.
The difference between partials and dentures considers how many teeth need replacing. A denture is the replacement option when you are missing all your teeth in an arch (upper or lower). Partial dentures, however, are for patients who have some natural teeth remaining.
If you need partials or dentures, you can trust Dr. Karl Jobst and his team at Grand Lake Dental. They have the knowledge, experience, and caring hands to deliver a beautiful smile.
Why replace missing teeth with partials and dentures?
Gaps in your teeth affect more than the appearance of your smile. Missing teeth make the lips appear flattened and thin, and the chin appears pointed because it moves upward and forward, causing the face to look older than it actually is. These changes in appearance can also cause you to smile less and negatively affect your self-esteem.
However, missing teeth can cause other issues many patients don’t consider. For instance, gaps between teeth cause the remaining teeth to shift and move—including teeth in the opposite arch. So, if you are missing several teeth in the upper arch, this also affects the teeth in the lower arch.
When remaining teeth shift, the result is crowding and crooked teeth. Not only does this further hinder the appearance of your smile, but it can affect your bite. A misaligned bite can cause issues with speech and chewing, and difficulty with chewing can negatively affect your diet and digestion.
Also, crooked teeth make oral hygiene more difficult. When patients have a hard time properly brushing and flossing, they are at an increased risk of dental decay and gum disease. Either of these issues increases the risk for further tooth loss.
Conventional Vs Immediate Dentures
Conventional dentures involve a waiting period of four to eight weeks after extracting the teeth before fitting for dentures to allow the gums and underlying bone to heal.
With immediate dentures, we place your appliance on the same day we extract your teeth.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both conventional and immediate dentures.
Conventional dentures allow time for the gums and bone to heal, which provides a better fit. This does, however, mean going four to eight weeks without teeth. During this time, you will have to learn how to eat and speak without teeth. Once you receive your new dentures, you will have to learn how to speak and eat with them.
With conventional dentures, you may need to return for several “try-in” appointments after healing to ensure your satisfaction with fit, shape, and color.
Immediate dentures allow you to leave our office with teeth in your smile. This not only improves your appearance right away, but it makes eating easier and helps you establish speech patterns earlier. Immediate dentures also minimize facial distortions that can occur when going without teeth.
However, immediate dentures require more visits during the fabrication phase—before extraction occurs. And you may not be as satisfied with the final look and feel as with conventional dentures, as you do not get to try them out before receiving them. They will also need continuous re-fitting as swelling decreases and the gums and bone heal, causing the dentures to fit improperly. In addition, some patients experience enough differences in the shape and size of the gums and underlying bone, that they require a new set of dentures.
With both conventional and immediate dentures, you may experience soreness and increased saliva flow as your tissues and muscles adjust to the new dentures. This will gradually subside.
Fixed Partials and Dentures
For eligible patients interested in a fixed, nonremovable appliance, Dr. Jobst offers dental implants. This option does take longer and is more expensive, but many patients believe the benefits are worth it.
A dental implant is a screw-like post made of titanium that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The implant replaces the tooth root, which keeps you from experiencing the bone destruction that occurs when tooth roots are missing. In fact, the titanium promotes bone production. This bone growth occurs around the implant in a process called osseointegration, and it fuses the implant into the jaw.
Full fusion takes three to six months. At this point, the implant is a permanent part of the jawbone, giving superior stability and strength.
A “fixed partial” is called a fixed bridge and patients who are missing up to three adjacent teeth are eligible for this option. This usually requires two dental implants.
Implant-supported dentures can be placed in a procedure called All-On-Four. For this option, you will need four dental implants per arch. Many patients prefer this option, as it looks and feels more natural and allows them to keep their teeth in at all times. This means you do not have to worry about losing or breaking your dentures. Also, fixed dentures are much easier to keep clean. Oral hygiene is the same as natural teeth—flossing and brushing. In addition, they are more comfortable, as they do not rest on and irritate your gums.
If You Have Questions About Partials or Dentures
For answers to your questions about partials and dentures or to schedule a consultation, call Grand Lake Dental at (918) 787-5800 today to speak with one of our helpful team members.