Tooth loss represents a growing problem in America. The American College of Prosthodontists states that more than 35 million Americans lack any teeth, and 178 million are missing at least one tooth.
The reason for this tooth loss can vary from trauma, such as the kind that occurs during a car accident or a simple fall, to genetic problems that account for accelerated gum recession and early tooth loss.
While the teeth can be saved in some cases, there are many cases where the teeth cannot be saved. This creates a unique situation where many Americans have some teeth but lack others, which in turn can create unique problems that affect the alignment and overall health of the teeth.
Partial dentures, otherwise known as partials, represent one solution to this growing problem. This fixtures can work similar to a person’s missing teeth while providing a unique number of benefits to a person’s overall health, the health of the remaining teeth in a person’s mouth and a person’s overall appearance.
What are Partials?
Partial dentures come in as many shapes and sizes as there are potentially missing teeth in a person’s mouth. They are unique appliances designed to be inserted and removed from the mouth as needed, or they can be permanently affixed in the mouth to act as normal teeth would.
The most familiar type of partials is the kind that have a number of imitation teeth made from metal, porcelain or another material that is compatible with the mouth on gum-colored and textured plastic.
These dentures may be permanently affixed to the mouth by using bridges, implants or a mixture of the two. Every patient’s situation is unique, which means that partials should be constructed in a way that best fits the needs of the patient. Some patients may one need a partial for a few teeth, while other patients may need an upper denture, lower denture, or a full set of dentures.
Why Do You Need Partials?
Partials act to accomplish some of the same functions that teeth do within the mouth. This includes:
Maintaining the spacing of existing teeth.
Enabling you to chew your food.
Preventing a distinct “lack of” teeth.
Enhancing and completing your smile.
Slowing and preventing bone absorption, which leads to gum recession.
Preventing factors like gum recession that can lead to the loss of remaining teeth.
The overall function of partials is to provide many of the functions that teeth do without requiring surgery or the alteration of any remaining teeth. This makes partials virtually painless and with as few complications as possible while providing similar benefits to other options for lost teeth.
Why Should You Consider Partials?
The most prominent reason to opt for partials involves restoring the function of lost teeth. This includes everything from giving you a comfortable bite to maintaining the spacing of your remaining teeth.
Partials also provide a restoration to the aesthetics of your smile, which in turn can do everything from benefiting the ways other people, such as potential employers and partners, see you to bestowing improved self-confidence onto yourself. This can prevent complications like anxiety and depression from forming, which could further hinder your life.
The last major reason to consider partial dentures is the way that they can safeguard your current oral health by preventing and slowing bone recession. This prevents many of the face-related issues, such as sunken cheeks or a reduced jaw line, that people tend to encounter as they age with untreated tooth loss.
Are Partials or Dentures Right for You?
Partial dentures are designed to provide a unique solution to the unique problem of tooth loss. They are comfortable when designed correctly, offer few complications than other types of tooth replacement solutions, and tend to work as a permanent solution so long as you maintain them.
Despite these advantages, partials may not be the best option for every patient. Some may benefit from options like bridges, implants or all-on-four fixed dentures.
To determine the best option for restoring the look and function of any missing teeth in your mouth, or to solve any other dental issues that you may have, contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment. We can use our years of experience to provide you with a custom-fit solution that enhances your smile’s beauty and function.