Do You Really Need a Partial Denture?


It’s unfortunate, but not uncommon, for people to lose teeth. Many people don’t see the need, though, to replace missing teeth. They think that because they still have the majority of their teeth that they don’t need to spend the money on replacing a few missing ones. However, spending some money to replace teeth now could actually save you money down the road.

If you’ve lost one or more teeth, your dentist will give you some tooth replacement options, ranging from bridges and implants, to partial dentures. Here are some reasons why you should get a partial denture.

What Is A Partial Denture?

A removable partial denture has a gum colored base with plastic replacement teeth. Depending on your needs, the partial may be made completely of plastic or consist of plastic attached to a metal framework. Some partial dentures have clasps that hook around one or two of your natural teeth for stability; these clasps may be metal or plastic.

While there is the option of having a fixed partial denture, or a bridge, your best option might be the removable partial. Your dentist will inform you which option is best for your needs based on the following:

  • The health of the remaining teeth
  • Whether you have gum disease or not
  • If you do have gum disease, what classification do you have?
  • Dietary and hygiene habits.

A Great Benefit: Improved Chewing and Digestion

A lot of people seem to think that replacing teeth isn’t necessary until you lose all of them. It’s actually very important to replace missing teeth as soon as you lose one. Why? Well, for one thing, even with the loss of one tooth your ability to thoroughly chew and digest your food is affected.

Digestion starts in the mouth—both with the act of chewing and with enzymes in the saliva breaking down food. The more teeth that are missing, the less likely it is that you’re able to chew your food well. Not chewing food completely can lead to digestive issues like stomach ache and can also prevent you from getting all of the nutrients from your food.

A partial can help with this, though at first it may take some practice to eat with a partial. The plastic and metal of the base may feel bulky, so try cutting your food up well and take time to thoroughly chew your food. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Preventing Further Problems

When there are spaces between teeth, from a missing tooth for instance, the surrounding teeth tend to shift. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, but when teeth start to shift significantly it can cause a number of problems. These include:

  • Difficulty with brushing and flossing properly because the change in position causes the tooth to become angled differently. This can result in the decay of adjacent teeth.
  • Jaw soreness because the teeth are no longer aligned ideally.
  • Sore or even broken teeth due to the teeth coming together differently than they used to. More pressure is applied to the teeth than ever before and this can cause weakness and higher incidence of fracture.

Purchasing a partial denture is a great investment. You’ll protect your remaining teeth and hopefully be able to prevent having to have future extractions. Whether you’ve recently lost a tooth or have had some missing for a while, talk to your dentist today about your replacement options. After a complete examination, they’ll be able to tell you whether a partial denture will work for you.