Tooth loss is one of the most serious dental problems, with long-term consequences that most patients cannot begin to understand when a tooth is first lost. Tooth loss has an effect on the appearance of the smile, the function of the teeth, and even the structure of the jaw bone. While many dental restorations can address some of these areas of concern, only dental implants improve the health, aesthetics, and function of the teeth while preventing the deterioration of healthy jaw bone. For patients who have experienced significant tooth loss, dental implants can even secure dentures, so that they become a retained fixture that looks and functions much more like natural teeth than a traditional denture. For those of our Fort Worth patients considering dentures retained by dental implants, Dr. Steve Brown explains the difference between full and partial dentures and how to determine which is best for each patient.
Essentially, both full and partial dentures improve oral functions by replacing missing teeth. The term “full dentures” is used to describe a set of dentures that replaces an entire arch of teeth. Patients may require a full set of dentures for only the top or bottom set of teeth or they may require a full set of dentures for both. Obviously, patients would require a full set of dentures if they had lost all of the teeth on the top and/or bottom of the mouth. However, other candidates for full dentures include those who have lost most of the teeth or those whose remaining teeth are extremely weak or unhealthy. In these cases, it may be recommended to extract the remaining teeth and fit the patient with a set of full dentures.
Although a patient may require a set of full dental implants dentures, these restorations do not actually require a great number of dental implants. In most cases, a set of full dentures can be secured to the mouth by a series of four to eight small diameter dental implants. These implants not only offer total security and support of the dentures, but, in most instances, can also be placed in just a single procedure.
As opposed to full dentures, partial dentures replace only a small set of teeth, rather than an entire arch of teeth. Partial dentures are recommended when a patient has lost a set of teeth from one or more areas of the mouth, but retains healthy teeth adjacent to the gap(s) of missing teeth. By placing a partial denture, patients can restore aesthetics, health, and function to the teeth while preserving the healthy teeth they have remaining.
As with full dentures, a partial denture may not necessarily require a dental implant for each tooth that is missing. Instead, the partial denture is likely to be secured by a small series of dental implants. By using dental implants, our dental implant dentist, Dr. Steve Brown can likely complete the entire implant procedure in a single day.
Which Denture Is Right for Me?
The best way for Dr. Brown to determine if a candidate is better suited to full or partial dental implants dentures is to examine the teeth. While we prefer to keep a patient’s natural teeth when possible, it is sometimes more practical to extract weak or damaged teeth in order to opt for a full denture. The decision between a full and partial denture is one that will be made between the patient and Dr. Brown only after considering the amount of teeth lost, the state of any remaining teeth, and the patient’s overall oral health.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have suffered from tooth loss and would like to learn more about restoring your smile with implant-supported dentures, schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve Brown at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!