Partial dentures are removable dental appliances used to replace missing teeth. They use natural teeth for support, with clasps that attach to the remaining teeth for retention. Partial dentures can be used on the upper or lower arches. Pictured at left is a typical upper partial denture.
The Advantages of Partial Dentures
A partial denture prevents several problems from developing. By filling in spaces, it stops neighboring teeth from shifting. Not replacing missing teeth can trigger a chain reaction that may result in cavities and periodontal disease. A partial denture also helps balance your bite. This means you’ll chew better and have a healthier jaw joint (TMJ). Partial dentures also add support to your cheeks and lips, allowing you to speak clearly and look your best.
Partial Dentures Disadvantages
There are some disadvantages associated with partial dentures. The clasps can sometimes show when you smile. Also, the bar across the palate, or behind your lower front teeth, can be irritating and make tasting more difficult. And until you get used to it, the denture may feel bulky and cause you to gag. Even when a partial denture fits properly, food will collect under it when you eat. It will be necessary to rinse it after every meal.
Over the years, as the partial is repeatedly taken in and out, it can cause wear on the anchor teeth, and even loosen them.
Precision partial dentures can overcome some of the disadvantages of traditional partial dentures
It’s normal for the bone in your jaw to continually recede in the areas where teeth are missing. This may mean that, every few years, your partial denture will need to be relined, or built up, to compensate for the bone loss in order to regain a good fit.
Some temporary problems are a normal part of adjusting to a new partial denture.
- At first, it may tip when you chew.
- You may notice increased salivary flow.
- It may seem bulky, and you may gag a little.
- Your tongue may feel crowded, and you may have difficulty speaking.
But don’t worry. As you get used to your new partial denture, these problems will go away. With time and practice, you’ll make the adjustment and be eating and speaking with confidence.
For more information about partial dentures, call us at 727-393-9334. We proudly service Pinellas County residents in Seminole, Largo, St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas.
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