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While sometimes the only option for teeth replacement is a full set of dentures, other times a patient may be a candidate for partial dentures. Many people don’t consider partial dentures, because when they hear “dentures” they have a very clear image in their mind. In order to understand what partial dentures are, it’s important to first understand what dentures are.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are dental prosthetics that replace a good portion of a patient’s teeth, or all of their teeth. These differ from dental bridges and implants, which are intended to replace one tooth or a small set of teeth.
Full or Partial?
Even if a patient has quite a few damaged teeth that need to be extracted, most dentists will do everything they can to save as many of a patient’s natural teeth as possible. Because of this, a dentist may suggest partial—instead of full—dentures.
What Partial Dentures Are Like
Because partial dentures only replace a portion of a patient’s teeth, they need to be held in place. Where full dentures can simply sit on the gums, partial dentures must be connected to the healthy, natural teeth via a metal framework and clasp. Sometimes precision attachments are used instead of the clasps, but these also need to be attached to natural teeth.
Partial dentures will help a patient to better bite, chew and speak. They will also allow a patient to smile with confidence, knowing that a big portion of their teeth are no longer visibly missing. Still, partial dentures can take a patient a little while to get used to.
While when you first get partial dentures you may need to have them placed all of the time, over time your dentist will likely allow you to remove them. The initial period after the dentures are placed require a patient to keep their dentures in to ensure that they are comfortable, and that a patient is able to bite, chew and speak without any pain or discomfort. Even after the dentist is happy with the way the partial dentures fit and rest in the mouth, it may still take a patient a little bit of extra time to get used to speaking with the dentures. Over time, though, a patient will learn to speak and chew with the dentures without any trouble.
In order to ensure the longevity of not only the partial dentures, but also the surrounding healthy teeth, it is important to take proper care of the dentures and to pay attention to your oral care. This means continuing to brush and floss healthy teeth, as well as brushing the gums. Dentures can be brushed and can even be cleaned with mild soap, but toothpaste should not be used to clean the dentures. It’s important to make sure all food is cleaned away after meals. If you have a good portion of your teeth missing, speak with your dentist about having partial dentures placed.
More about Dentures : What are Dentures?
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