According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the average number of remaining teeth in adults aged 20 to 64 is 24.92.
Tooth loss can be distressing. Fortunately, there’s a solution for missing teeth.
The two primary options for missing teeth are full or partial dentures. If you don’t have any remaining healthy teeth, full dentures are recommendable. Partial dentures are ideal when you have some natural teeth remaining.
Partial and full dentures have stack differences. Keep reading to know the distinction and learn more about the types of partial dentures available.
What Are the Differences Between Partial Dentures And Full Dentures?
Dentists use dentures to replace any missing teeth, which prevents other teeth from shifting position.
Customization of dentures allows proper fitting within the mouth. Dentures are natural-looking, and you can have a restored smile without everyone noticing the teeth modifications.
Full dentures offer a complete teeth replacement.
This approach involves filling an entire arch of your missing teeth with natural-looking and beautiful appliances. Complete dentures require space for the appliance to fit, meaning that your dentist might have to extract any lingering teeth.
With the conventional full denture, the gum tissue has to heal before you undergo the procedure. You can wear the full dentures within 12 weeks after the teeth extraction. Suction is used to hold the oral appliance over your gum.
On the other hand, immediate dentures are made beforehand, and you can have them in your mouth immediately after teeth removal.
When the gums don’t heal as expected, visit your dentist for adjustments.
Both conventional and immediate dentures are removable. You can take them out for cleaning or when sleeping.
Partial dentures, commonly known as bridges, consist of replacement teeth that are usually attached to a gum-colored or pink plastic base.
A typical base has a metal framework that holds the bridge in place. Contrary to full dentures, partial dentures are ideal in a case where the lower or upper jaw has a few remaining teeth.
The different types of partial dentures restore the missing teeth with the use of crowns. Your dentist will then cement the bridge after placing these crowns on the spaces between the artificial teeth. Partial dentures improve your dental aesthetics by filling the unsightly spaces and preventing other teeth from misalignment.
If you’re uncomfortable with dentures, implants are a great alternative.
When you analyze dentures vs implants, you’ll know the best option for you. Both options make you feel like you have real teeth.
Types of Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are of different kinds.
If you want to restore your smile, you have several options for partials. While your dentist can recommend the best, you have the ultimate choice as the wearer.
Here’s a list of some of the typical partial dentures you need to know.
1. Acrylic Partial Denture
The acrylic removable partials, commonly known as a flipper, is one of the most common types of partial dentures.
In this form of denture, your dentist will set the replacement teeth in a pink acrylic base. The base is somehow bulky and thick to deter cases of breakage.
Metal clasps are used to attach the flipper to your natural teeth.
While you can eat and speak comfortably with the flipper, its bulky nature can be an irritant. Besides, the metals clasps are visible when you smile or talk, which can be a little bit awkward.
The use of acrylic removable partial dentures is somehow temporary. As such, the cost of these partial dentures is relatively low. If you’re comfortable with the flipper, you can have these types of partials for years.
2. Cast Metal Partial Denture
Cast metal is one of the most popular partial dentures.
It comprises a metal base, with a set of attached acrylic teeth. Just like in acrylic partials, the metal clasps attach the cast metal partial dentures to the existing teeth.
Most people prefer precision attachments, which offer more aesthetic features than metal clasps. When you take good care of these cast metal partials, durability is almost guaranteed.
3. Fixed Bridge
Fixed bridges are a great solution if you’re only missing one or two teeth.
This option is plausible when you have healthy teeth at each end of the mouth. A fixed bridge isn’t removable, and you’ll have to brush it like the rest of the teeth.
Your dentist will guide you on the best way to floss and brush. A fixed bridge has pontics, which are the replacement teeth. You need to take good care of the existing teeth as they are prone to future decay when you have a fixed bridge.
About 20% of Americans above 65 have dental cavities, with a quarter of those above 75 years having lost all their teeth.
To restore the smiles of such people, an implant-supported fixed bridge is a viable option.
The implant-supported fixed bridge is a treatment method for people who have lost many teeth. The biocompatible titanium in the implants acts as the tooth roots. The implants, in this case, support the bridge.
4. Flexible Partial Denture
A flexible partial denture is an excellent alternative if you’re uncomfortable with cast metal or acrylic partial denture.
This type of partial consists of a heat-sensitive thin plastic. Its appearance is in some way, natural, and it offers a great sense of comfort.
Unlike the metal clasps in acrylic and cast metal partials, flexible partial dentures use gum-colored clasps. Your dentist will fit the thin clasps into the spaces around the teeth. Given their advanced attributes, flexible partials are costly yet temporary.
The Different Types of Partial Dentures Give You Limitless Options When Fixing Your Missing Teeth
Both partial and full dentures are great options when dealing with tooth loss and replacement. When you go through the types of dentures, you’re likely to be confused about the best option. You can work together with your dentist to know the pros and cons of each alternative.
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