When you’re missing teeth – even just a single tooth – it’s important to replace those teeth as soon as possible. There are several reasons why, which we’ll explain later in this article. But when you’re missing teeth in the front of your mouth, the biggest reason to get a partial denture is obvious: it dramatically improves the appearance of your smile! If you’re considering replacing one or more missing teeth with a partial, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more about the benefits of partial dentures for front teeth.
What is a Partial Denture?
Partial dentures are dental appliances designed to replace a patient’s missing teeth. Most partials are made from a combination of acrylic and metal. This makes partials extremely strong and durable. There are partials that are made entirely from acrylic material. While these partials usually look just as natural, they’re not quite as strong as those made from acrylic and metal.
A partial denture can be either removable or “fixed” (not removable). The appliance consists of replacement artificial teeth that are attached to a base that looks like natural gum tissue. Most partials have some sort of clasps or precision attachments that connect to the patient’s natural teeth on each end. Patients with fixed partials usually need to have crowns placed on their natural teeth that support the partial on either side. This makes these adjacent teeth stronger, thereby providing a stronger base for the partial. Once a patient is fitted for a fixed partial and the appliance is set in place, it’s cemented in and only a dentist can remove it.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
If you’re missing just a few teeth, you might be tempted to simply live without those teeth. After all, you should still be able to chew your food well enough and speak fairly clearly, and it’s expensive to replace teeth – at least, that’s what you may be thinking. But the truth is that choosing to simply live without teeth – even just without one tooth – will inevitably have negative consequences for your oral health. And those consequences can result in problems that are much more expensive to resolve than if you were to replace your missing teeth with an appliance like a partial denture.
When you lose one or more teeth, the other teeth shift place inside your mouth over time in an effort to fill in the gap left behind by the teeth that you’ve lost. That can throw off your bite. A misaligned bite can result in other problems, such as jaw pain and uneven wearing of your other teeth. People with missing teeth can also experience shrinking of the soft tissues and weakening of the jawbone. That can actually alter the appearance of the face. So even if you’re just missing one tooth, it’s important to talk to your dentist about the best way to replace that tooth and avoid all the problems that will ultimately come down the road.
The Benefits of Partial Dentures
A partial denture is just one way to replace missing teeth. There are other options, such as a bridge or a dental implant, for example. But many patients prefer partial dentures. Here’s why:
- Partial dentures are less invasive. Over the past few years, dental implants have become an increasingly popular way to replace one or more teeth. And while there are several benefits to implants, the procedure is relatively invasive. In fact, getting an implant involves oral surgery. That is not the case with a partial denture. The process of getting a denture is simply to be measured for the device, waiting until it’s created in a dental lab, then having your dentist fit you with your new appliance.
- Partial dentures aren’t as expensive as some other options. While the exact cost of a partial will depend on a variety of factors (including the materials used, the size of the appliance, your dentist’s fees for the service, etc.), partials are almost always less expensive than dental implants.
- Partial dentures allow you to eat most of your favorite foods. Although you do need to exercise some caution when wearing a partial, your new appliance should allow you to enjoy most of your favorite foods.
- Partial dentures allow you to speak normally. This is particularly important for people who are missing one or more teeth in the front of the mouth, which can make it difficult to speak clearly. Replacing those teeth with a partial denture will make it much easier to carry on normal conversations with other people.
- Partial dentures are easy to maintain. Although it does take some time to get used to a new partial, they are still easy to maintain once you become accustomed to your new appliance. If you have a removable denture, your dentist will demonstrate how to insert and remove the partial, as well as explain how best to clean and care for it. If you have a fixed (non-removable) partial, you’ll just need to brush and floss as you normally would. It’s that simple!
- Partial dentures look just like natural teeth. If your missing teeth happen to be in the front of your mouth, by far the biggest benefit of a partial denture is that it will improve the appearance of your smile! In fact, the artificial teeth that are included in a partial are made to exactly match the shade of your other natural teeth, so no one will ever know that you’re wearing a dental appliance. And you should not underestimate the importance of having an attractive smile! Researchers have conducted several studies over the years that have shown that being happy with your smile not only improves your appearance – it also boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem.
By now, it should be obvious that replacing teeth with a partial denture is a great solution for many dental patients. But if you’re still curious about the benefits of partial dentures for front teeth, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment today.