What is a Partial?

image of a partial denture on a white background

Partials are short for partial dentures, which are removable, realistic-looking dental appliances that replace missing teeth to restore form and function to the jaw. Partial dentures are similar in concept to complete dentures, however they do not replace all the teeth and instead are used when some natural teeth still remain in the mouth.

Partial dentures can either be made using a mixture of metal and acrylic or just acrylic. Generally speaking, those made from metal and acrylic tend to be stronger and more durable than those simply made from acrylic, but both types have their advantages depending on the needs of the individual.

Partial dentures, like complete dentures, can be removed from the mouth at any time. It is recommended to take out partial dentures while you sleep to avoid damage from teeth clenching and to ensure they are properly cleaned, since partial dentures must be cleaned outside of the mouth.  Your dentist will recommend an ideal cleaning solution and show you how to care for your dentures, although this care will not add too much time to your dental routine.

If you are missing one or more teeth in your mouth, you may be a candidate for partial dentures. When a tooth goes missing, several things can happen if it is not replaced. Some of these things include: the bite pressure shifts, other teeth move to fill in the gap from the missing tooth, and the soft tissue and surrounding bone around the missing tooth can begin to shrink. If not corrected, these things can cause problems with your other teeth and even change your physical appearance.

In order to prevent these things from happening, partial dentures may be recommended. Partial dentures will prevent the shifting of your teeth, while also keeping the structures of your mouth healthy and active. They will also allow you to have a full, even smile.

To obtain partial dentures, you will first need to attend a series of dental appointments to prepare for your dentures. The first step is to take dental impressions. These impressions will allow your dentist to make a model of your mouth to use when creating the partial denture. A model of the partial denture will then be made and tried on. At this point, the model can be adjusted in terms of color, shape, and fit, ensuring that you are satisfied with the final product. Then, they final denture is cast and placed.

When you first start wearing partial dentures, they may feel a bit odd at first until you adjust to them. Eventually, the muscles in your cheeks and tongue will work to keep them in place and any irritation you may have will subside. You may also experience an increase in saliva flow at first, but this will also decrease once the mouth has adjusted.

If you have more questions about partial dentures or are interested in learning more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chad Kasperowski today and find out if partial dentures are the right choice for you!