Partial Dentures: Are They Right for Me?

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When tooth loss occurs, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. If left untreated, gaps and spaces can lead to mobility, shifting, and even further tooth loss. These things can have a significant negative impact on your appearance and oral health. Those missing multiple teeth in several areas can benefit from a partial denture at our Atlanta, GA practice. Here, Dr. Richard Rodgers explores the pros and cons of partial dentures so you can be well-informed about this treatment option.

If you’ve sustained tooth loss, schedule an appointment at our Atlanta, GA practice today – and find out if partial dentures are an option for you.

The Anatomy of a Partial Denture

Partial dentures are removable oral appliances. Consisting of a gum-colored base (often made from acrylic) and prosthetic teeth, a partial dentures fills in gaps and spaces left behind by tooth loss. Designed to rest atop the gums, they rely on the underlying bone ridge for support. These appliances also include special metal clasps that can hook onto adjacent teeth for even more security. Patients considering this option must have one or more healthy teeth in the upper and lower arch.

Benefits of a Partial Denture

Teeth replacement with a partial denture can be completed quickly compared to other treatment options. It typically takes two appointments, scheduled two to four weeks apart. Partial dentures are also non-invasive, and therefore an excellent option for those who cannot (or do not wish to) undergo oral surgery. Lastly, partial dentures are more cost-effective compared to other restorative options.

Drawbacks of a Partial Denture

Partial dentures also have a few disadvantages. They can become loose or wobbly over time. This is because the bone ridge constantly changes following tooth loss. To combat this, we encourage patients to have their partial dentures adjusted and relined as necessary. It may also take some time to become accustomed to the new appliance; the denture may feel strange and bulky at first. Finally, it’s important to know that the average lifespan of a partial denture is between seven and 10 years. While these appliances may be more affordable up front, they could end up costing more in the long run.

Partial Denture Alternatives

There are a few alternatives to partial dentures, which we will explore briefly in the sections below.

Implant-Supported Partial Dentures

These appliances are virtually identical to traditional partial dentures. However, they can “snap on” to dental implants rather than simply relying on the gums and jawbone for support. This option can be considered if you still want a removable appliance, but you desire more stability. You’ll need to have sufficient healthy jawbone structure as well. We can help determine your eligibility during an appointment at our Atlanta, GA practice.

Fixed Bridges

If you’re seeking a more permanent option, dental bridges may be a solution for you. Those with sporadic tooth loss can fill in the spaces with these restorations. Custom-made for your oral anatomy, a bridge consists of two dental crowns with prosthetic teeth in between them. The crowns are then bonded to healthy natural teeth, and the artificial teeth complete your smile. Dental bridges can last upwards of 20 years with proper care.

Dental Implants

The longest-lasting teeth replacement option is dental implants. For patients missing several teeth, we can use a combination of implant-supported crowns and bridges to complete your smile. To qualify for this type of treatment, individuals must have strong, dense, healthy jawbone. During a consultation with Dr. Rodgers, he can help you determine the best treatment option for your goals and lifestyle.

Contact Our Atlanta, GA Practice Today

If missing teeth are affecting your quality of life, schedule a visit at our Atlanta, GA office. Dr. Rodgers can tell you more about partial dentures, or any of the other teeth replacement options we offer. Call us today at 404-577-6620. 

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