The Journey Towards a Partial Denture
If you are looking for a way to replace missing teeth, a partial denture can be an economical option. The partial denture fills the gap left by missing teeth with a removable dental appliance. Artificial teeth are attached to an acrylic base that resembles natural gums. Metal clasps hook onto your natural teeth, holding the denture in place. Unlike dental implants and implant-supported dentures, partial dentures are a temporary solution to tooth loss.
Getting a partial denture is a journey that involves many steps. Each one of these steps takes you closer to the complete smile you’ve been wishing for. Completing these multiple steps ensure your partial dentures look, fit, and function the best way possible.
Steps in Getting a Partial Denture
1) Initial Consultation
On your first visit, your dentist will want to take x-rays to assess the condition of your teeth. At this time, your dentist can determine if partial dentures would be a good choice for you. They can also decide whether you need to have any teeth extracted before receiving partial dentures.
2) Taking Impressions
To ensure proper fit for your partial dentures, your dentist will need to take impressions of your natural teeth and gums. This impression will be used to manufacture a mold for the dentures. To take the impression, your dentist fills a metal tray with a gooey substance that sets quickly.
3) Recording Your Bite
Another appointment will be needed to measure your bite. Your dentist will transfer your bite to a machine called an articulator to ensure that the partial denture can duplicate the same alignment once it is in place. This process guarantees a better fit and function for your partial dentures.
4) Selecting Teeth
You will consult with your dentist to choose the shade, size, and shape of the replacement teeth for your denture. Ideally, these replacement teeth will resemble and match with your natural teeth.
5) Tooth Extractions
If you need to have any damaged teeth removed, the extractions would take place at this time.
Your dentist may give you a temporary denture to wear while you are waiting for your partial denture to be fabricated. That way, you won’t need to go without teeth in the meantime. This temporary denture is not designed to last more than a few months and lacks a hard liner.
6) Initial Fitting
When the partial denture is ready, your dentist will check the fit. Some small adjustments usually need to be made. Your dentist can shave down parts of the denture to help it fit better into your mouth. The dentist will also evaluate your bite, assess your speech, and generally check the appearance and function of the partial denture. You can wear the partial denture until your next visit.
Over the next few weeks, your dentist may make periodic adjustments to ensure the proper fit. Annual exams are needed to check on the fit of your dentures. The dentist also needs to examine the condition of your gums and surrounding natural teeth.
While partial dentures are a relatively quick, non-surgical alternative for tooth replacement, the process of getting them can be complex. You will need to make 5 to 7 visits to your dentist over the course of a month or more to ensure you get good results. Maintaining them is an ongoing process. Because they are not a permanent solution to tooth loss, they will need to be refitted or replaced regularly for best results.
Beyond Partial Dentures
Partial dentures solve some of the aesthetic and functional problems that come from tooth loss. They fill the gaps left by missing teeth and make eating and speaking clearly easier. Even with their advantages, partial dentures require a large time investment for a temporary solution.
As an alternative, dental implants and implant-supported dentures provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. Implants fuse with your jawbone so they stay in place, even when you are eating crunchy or chewy foods. With just 4 implants, you can replace an entire arch with an implant-supported denture.
Dental implants and implant-supported dentures also stimulate jawbone growth so you retain a youthful appearance. Because they are anchored to your jaw, implant supported dentures aren’t attached to your natural teeth, so they won’t damage them. They never need to be removed for cleaning or adjusted for fit. Dental implants and implant-supported dentures give you a beautiful smile for a lifetime.
Explore your options for tooth replacement by reading our eBook, Top 3 Best Ways to Replace Missing Teeth.
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