Dentures & Partials
If life were perfect, no one would ever lose a single tooth. But, that is not reality. Situations occur that lead to tooth loss and, fortunately, patients have many replacement options available to them. One of these options is replacement with dentures, full or partial depending on whether there are any remaining teeth. A full denture is used to replace all of the teeth in an arch, plus the supporting tissues, while a partial denture is used to replace teeth when one or more teeth still remain in that arch.
A full denture is a removable appliance that serves to replace teeth when the patient is completely edentulous (without teeth) in an arch (upper or lower). The denture also replaces the appearance of surrounding gum tissue as it fits past where the teeth used to be and into the area where the cheek meets with the bone. A denture is vital to help the patient eat, talk and smile with confidence. Often times, a denture can be made to help support the lips and cheeks better, thereby, taking years off the patient’s appearance. Getting a new full denture (when the patient is already edentulous) takes about 5 appointments and 3-4 weeks, start to finish. One of those 5 appointments is called a “try-in” where the patient gets to see what their new teeth will look like before the denture is processed. This gives the patient complete control over the esthetics of their new appliance.
If a patient still has some natural teeth that need to be removed, they have the option of having an “immediate” denture. This means that the new denture is placed in the mouth at the same appointment that the teeth are removed. This denture is worn during the healing phase after the extractions. In this way, the patient never has to be without teeth. The down side to this is that it is impossible to have a “try-in” so the patient does not have as much input on the looks of the denture. The tissues will shrink considerably during healing and this denture will either have to be relined or a new one made 4-6 months later.
Dr. Kenny has had great success over the years with placing patients in comfortable, secure and esthetically pleasing full dentures.
A partial denture, more commonly referred to as a partial, is a removable appliance that replaces one or more teeth in an arch (upper or lower) that still has some remaining healthy teeth. The partial has clasps, either metal or invisible acrylic, that clasp onto some of the remaining teeth for support. A partial can greatly improve a patient’s ability to eat and function and they can be made to be virtually invisible.
Since a partial relies on your natural teeth for support, it is important that you see Dr. Kenny regularly so that those teeth remain healthy and continue to function as holders for your partial for a very long time.