Missing teeth can leave you with a lot to worry about—not just talking, eating, or smiling, but also the way your face appears. Missing teeth can make your face look sunken or hollow in areas such as your cheeks or lips, making you feel more self-conscious as a result. While there are plenty of solutions to filling in missing teeth nowadays, dentures remain a popular option, and can be partial or full. Learn the difference between partial and full dentures, and talk to your dentist, to help you figure out whether either are a good fit for you and your needs.
What Are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are removable and designed to replace a few missing teeth in a row. Often, they're used when you still have some natural teeth remaining. The dentures are formed by a dentist, based on a model of your mouth, and are held in place by latching onto your gum line via small clasps on a frame made of either acrylic or metal.
The partial dentures' base is colored to resemble your gums, helping them to blend into your mouth and give a natural appearance. Partial dentures can sometimes be attached to your natural teeth using precision attachments. Added stability can also be achieved by using dental adhesives on your dentures.
What Are Full Dentures?
Full dentures were designed to replace all of the teeth along your dental arch. This means they're a good option for you if you've suffered major tooth loss. One thing you may want to keep in mind is that the process for having full dentures made can take some time and a few visits to the dentist.
A model is made of your mouth by the dentist in order to form your full dentures accurately. On your next visit, your dentist will examine and record observations made about the arches that most resemble your original bite, and also assist you in selecting the proper shape and colors to be used for the denture gums and teeth. This will help ensure your full dentures look as natural as possible.
As with partial dentures, a full set of dentures will latch onto your gum line in order to stay in place, and dental adhesive can be used to provide your dentures extra stability.
In later visits to your dentist, adjustments will be made to your bite, in addition to tests on speech and checkups on your dentures functionality and appearance.
Who is Right For Partial Dentures?
So, now you know the difference between partial and full dentures, but find yourself wondering, who is most suited to which?
If you're someone who's missing several teeth due to something such as an accident, malnutrition, or an oral disease, partial dentures could be the solution you're looking for. Partial dentures can be made to fit between your remaining healthy teeth, filling any gaps you once had, and create a more pleasant, cohesive appearance.
Who is Right For Full Dentures?
If you're missing most or all of your teeth, you'd be a good candidate for full dentures. You may also be a good candidate for full dentures if most of your teeth happen to be especially unhealthy or extremely weak due to something like tooth decay, bone loss or periodontal disease.
If this is the case, your dentist may suggest extracting any remaining unhealthy teeth and fitting you with a set of full dentures instead. Full dentures are completely customizable, meaning you can create a natural and realistic set of dentures that not only brings functionality back to your mouth, but also helps you regain your confidence.