If you are missing a tooth, or missing a few teeth next to one another, you may benefit from reconstructive dentistry in the form of partial dentures. But you may wonder what exactly partial dentures are, and how they might work to replace your missing teeth and restore your smile.
Fortunately, our Columbus Ohio prosthodontist frequently answers questions about partial dentures. We offer partial dentures and other types of reconstructive dentistry.
Partial dentures are a type of tooth replacement. They fill in the gap left behind by one or more missing teeth. Partial dentures usually feature clasps that connect the denture to the surrounding teeth.
Missing one or more teeth can detract from the natural appeal of your smile. This is especially true if you are missing a front tooth on your upper jaw, although a missing a tooth on your lower jaw or to the side of your front teeth can also ruin your appealing smile.
The loss of a tooth can make it hard to eat, whether you are missing a front tooth that you use to bite food or a back tooth used for chewing and grinding your teeth. Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables; without teeth, you may be tempted to eat only soft foods that may be unhealthy, such as white bread or ice cream. This leaves you at risk for poor nutrition and all the health issues that come with it, such as weight gain or loss, high blood sugar, and more.
Tooth loss can cause other issues too, such as allowing your remaining teeth to drift out of their location on your jaw. Your teeth hold each other in position in your jawbone. Losing a tooth allows your teeth to shift out of position – this means a missing tooth can lead to crooked, misaligned teeth.
Partial dentures come in a variety of materials, and there are several types of partial dentures featuring these materials. Dentists often categorize partial dentures into two main groups: removable dentures and fixed partial dentures.
As their name suggests, you can take out removable partial dentures to clean or soak them.
The most common type of partial denture uses a cast metal framework that supports high-quality replacement teeth that look just like your own teeth. Made from a Wironium® or titanium base and high-quality resin teeth and gum-colored acrylic, cast metal partial dentures are comfortable, sturdy, and natural-looking.
Cast metal partial dentures also feature precision attachments that are less noticeable than the attachments used years ago. These attachments clip to your existing natural teeth for a secure and stable fit.
Cast metal partial dentures can last between 7 and 10 years.
Sometimes known as a “flipper,” acrylic partial dentures are the least expensive type of removable partial dentures. While affordable and effective at replacing missing teeth, the clasps used by acrylic partial dentures may not hold as well as cast metal clasps. This type of partial denture is also bulkier than other teeth replacement approaches.
Many dentists use acrylic partial dentures as a temporary solution to a missing tooth, as the patient waits to have other dental work.
Flexible partial dentures may be right for you (especially as a temporary option) if you are allergic to acrylic. Because they are flexible, these partial dentures are quite comfortable. They feature gum-colored clasps, so they are less noticeable than metal clasps. Flexible partial dentures tend to be more expensive than other types of partial dentures.
Fixed partial dentures are a semi-permanent solution to one or more missing teeth in that you do not take them out to clean or soak them.
A fixed partial bridge stays in your mouth, so you never have to take it out – simply brush your teeth as usual. To place a fixed bridge, your dentist will need to remove some enamel from the nearby teeth to prepare them to hold the bridge.
An implant-supported bridge features metal posts surgically implanted into your jaw. These posts hold natural-looking crowns. An implant-supported bridge is a permanent solution to missing teeth.
For more information about partial dentures in Columbus Ohio, contact Oral Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry (ORID). Our Columbus Ohio prosthodontist is an area leader in partial dentures, dental implants, and other types of reconstructive dentistry. We can help you determine which type of partial dentures is right for you, and we can restore your smile by replacing your missing teeth with partial dentures. Call your prosthodontist in Columbus Ohio today at Oral Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry.