Did you know that nearly half of American adults are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans don’t have any teeth whatsoever? Tooth loss can happen for a variety of reasons, from tooth decay and gum disease to trauma and more. But if you do lose a tooth, there are some excellent options these days for replacing it.
Partial dentures can be a great way to replace your missing teeth without having to get any more extracted. Read on to learn more about these false teeth and how to care for the type you choose.
What Are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are an option for replacing a few teeth that you’ve lost to decay, injury, or removal. This type of replacement tooth can be easily removed from your mouth, just like a full set of dentures. There are two types of partial dentures – fixed and removable – and which you get depends mostly on your budget.
It’s important to note that partial dentures are not meant to replace all or even most of your teeth on your top or bottom jaw. That’s a job for full dentures, which replace all the teeth in your upper and/or lower jaws. Partial dentures may replace any combination of missing teeth in either of your jaws.
Benefits of Partial Dentures
There are a number of benefits of getting partial dentures, beginning with the cosmetic effects. Losing teeth can be devastating, and if it’s one or more of your front teeth, you may feel like you have to hide your smile. Partial dentures allow you to replace these teeth with convincing-looking fakes without having to get more teeth removed.
Partial dentures can also help to keep your mouth healthier by evenly distributing force from chewing across your gums. They can also prevent damage to your remaining teeth by protecting the edges from trauma, especially from chewing. And they can keep your gums healthier by covering them and protecting them from cuts and bruising.
Partial dentures can also make it easier for you to eat the foods you enjoy. When you’re missing teeth, you may have to stick to softer foods that are easier on your gums. You’ll even absorb more nutrition from your food since you’re able to chew it properly!
Removable Partial Dentures
There are two primary types of partial dentures: removable and fixed. Removable dentures can be slipped in and out like traditional dentures and are a good option for patients working on a limited budget. They can also be less invasive than fixed partial dentures and may allow you to add more teeth over time if you’re at risk of losing teeth in the future.
There are three different types of removable partial dentures: cast metal, flexible, and acrylic. Cast metal partial dentures have a thin metal base with acrylic teeth, while flexible partial dentures have a thermoplastic base. Acrylic partial dentures, often called flippers, are bulkier and have metal clasps to hold them in place.
Fixed Partial Dentures
Fixed partial dentures, also called bridges, are a permanent addition to your mouth. These dentures are either attached to your surrounding natural teeth or are implanted into your jaw bone. There are four primary types of bridges: traditional, Maryland, cantilever, and implant-supported.
Traditional dental bridges are supported by crowns that fit over the natural teeth on either side of the false teeth. Cantilever bridges also use crowns, but they involve only one fake tooth that’s supported by the natural tooth on one side. Maryland bridges have “wings” that attach to the back of the surrounding natural teeth, and implant-supported bridges sit on top of screws that are set into your jaw bone.
Cleaning Your Partial Dentures
If you have partial dentures, it’s very important to keep them clean and well-maintained. If you have a bridge, you should be able to maintain it the same way you do your natural teeth. Brush and floss twice a day, remember to floss underneath your bridge, too, and go to routine dental checkups.
If you have removable partial dentures, you should take them out before brushing the rest of your teeth. Don’t brush your dentures with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste. Instead, clean them with mild soap and water or a specialized cleaner or toothpaste designed for dentures, as well as a denture-specific brush.
Partial Denture Costs
Acrylic removable partial dentures, or flippers, are the cheapest type of partial denture, costing between $300 and $500 a tooth, with most people paying around $900 total for these. Flexible Valplast partial dentures usually cost between $1900 and $2,500 for the upper or lower set of teeth. Cast metal partial dentures are the most expensive type of removable partial dentures and can have a starting cost of $2,500 and up for an upper or lower set of teeth.
However, as much as removable partial dentures can cost, your dental bridge cost could run even higher. Traditional bridges usually cost between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on how many false teeth you need. Maryland bridges can be a little less expensive, at around $1,500 to $2,500, but implant-supported bridges can cost between $5,000 and $15,000.
Learn More About Partial Dentures
Partial dentures can be a great way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile to its full beauty. Depending on your particular situation, you can choose between removable partial dentures and fixed partial dentures. Fixed partial dentures are generally more expensive, but they require less special maintenance than removable partial dentures do.
If you’d like to learn more about partial dentures, check out the rest of our site at The Dental Lounge. We provide the highest quality dentistry in Pompano Beach, Florida. Book an appointment with us today and see how we’re redesigning the dental experience and setting a new standard for patient care.