Dentures, also known as false teeth, are used to replace natural teeth after they have fallen out or have been extracted, allowing you to eat and speak without impediment. Even though they normally fit securely in your mouth, they sometimes come loose and do not function as well as they are supposed to.Your dentures become…
Am I a Candidate for a Partial Denture?
A partial denture is a removable appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth. It is often a more economical option over dental implants or bridges but does require some care and maintenance. A partial denture may not be the right choice for every patient, but for many, it can restore chewing function and be more aesthetically pleasing than missing teeth.
Ideal candidate for a partial denture
The optimal candidate for a partial denturesshould have a strong foundation to support the appliance. Because this device attaches with metal or acrylic clasps, the supporting teeth must be free of dental infection and cavities. The patient must also be willing to take the necessary steps to keep the partial clean and visit a dentist at recommended intervals.
Free of active dental decay
Dental decay, more commonly known as a cavity, must be addressed before fastening a partial denture to teeth. Cavities only get deeper over time and, if left untreated, can lead to pain and eventual tooth loss. If supporting teeth are lost, the entire partial becomes unusable and a new one must be made. Dental decay can often be remedied with fillings, root canals or crowns depending on the severity. It is also important to address the cause of dental decay so that it can be halted.
Free of active periodontal disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a progressive condition that leads to tooth loss when left untreated. Teeth that do not have stable periodontal support are not able to withstand the pressure that a partial denture places. While gum disease cannot be cured, the progression can be halted and maintained with regular gum therapy.
Willing to maintain regular appointments
Clasps on a partial provide an area for bacteria and plaque to sit on supporting teeth and gums. This can lead to dental diseases like decay and gum disease if not monitored closely. For patients with any type of removable denture, regular dental visits are essential to detect any dental diseases in the early stages and to make necessary adjustments as needed.
Willing to take care of partial denture
A partial denture requires some care from the patient. It should not be left in the mouth overnight but should instead be soaked in a denture cleaning solution. The patient can use a toothbrush to remove plaque and debris from it, as well. If the patient is not willing to take the necessary time to properly clean the denture, then other options should be explored.
While a partial may not be the right option for every patient, it is a replacement option that can be considered when choosing to replace missing teeth. For patients who are in overall good dental health and willing to invest the time and care into a removable appliance, a partial denture can transform a smile and the ability to enjoy food. For those considering this type of prosthesis, a consultation with a dentist is recommended to find out if the patient has an acceptable level of oral health for support.
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