Dentures & Partials

What are dentures and partials?

Dr. Andrew Mutch has always told his patient’s that an important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can change position, drift into the surrounding space, and possibly damage tissues in the mouth. In addition, it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between the remaining teeth and, as a result, you run the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease and this can lead to the loss of additional teeth. Dentures are one of the most common, and perhaps the most widely used, methods of replacing missing teeth in a patient’s mouth. At present, the denture can either be a full denture or a partial denture. A removable partial denture fills in the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. A denture helps you to properly chew food and may improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks.

What is the difference between dentures and partials?

Complete dentures, or dentures, are composed of a pink colored plastic base that closely resembles gum tissue and acts as a support structure for a full set of artificial teeth to replace all the teeth. These replacement teeth may be made of either plastic or porcelain. Traditionally, dentures are kept in place in the mouth through the formation of a seal with the patient’s gums. Alternately, they can be held in place by the use of attachments that are anchored onto dental implants, although this method is more expensive than the conventional dentures.

Partial dentures, or partials, are made with either a plastic or a metal framework that supports artificial teeth that are used to replace some of the patients missing teeth. Partials are secured in the mouth with the use of clasps that can be anchored onto the patients existing teeth. In some cases, partials are used as a temporary replacement to give the gums and the underlying bone enough time to heal before a more definitive restoration is acquired by the patient.

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