Partial Dentures

Partial Dentures

Advantages
  • Cost: cheapest way to replace many missing teeth
  • Quick: generally doesn't involve much change in the mouth
  • More teeth can be added later. This makes dentures a good option for people who have some teeth that are not in good condition
Disadvantages
  • The force at which you’re able to bite with is significantly decreased (200 psi to 50 psi)
  • Your ability to chew efficiently is decreased. Food choices and diet is affected. It is hard to measure, but we believe that dentures have a negative effect on quality of life. Obviously, this depends on the patient and their ability to adapt to wearing dentures.
  • Dentures also move and ‘flip’ in the mouth. No matter how well the denture is made. Least retentive and least chewing function of all of the replacement options.
  • After losing a tooth, the bone shrinks rapidly. Unfortunately, this process continues for the rest of your life. This means the longer you have dentures, the less bone you have to hold your dentures in. The sinus floor also drops lower and lower in the upper jaw.
  • There is always an adaption process after dentures are given to a patient. Usually this takes around 3 months. The muscles actually chew differently when dentures are in. However, unfortunately, sometimes patients never adapt to their dentures. 50% of lower dentures do not get worn.
  • Low survival rate – 60% at 4 years. 35%survival rate at 10 years. Having a mix of denture teeth and natural teeth tends to decrease the denture survival time as the natural teeth exert a lot more force onto the denture.
  • Repair of abutment teeth rate-60% at 5 years and 80% at 10 years. This means that the teeth that are used to hold the dentures in (we call them ‘abutment teeth’) suffer more decay, wear and “stripping” (where the gum gets damaged from the clasps). We find the teeth that we use to support the dentures are at more risk of being loose, having disease and bacterial build up.
  • 44% abutment teeth loss within 10 years.
  • Bulky - can interfere with speech and tongue function. This generally resolves once your muscles adapt to having them there.
  • If it covers the palate, it will affect your taste
  • Multiple appointments to get the denture ‘right’
Alternatives

See 'treatment options for replacing teeth'

  • Leave the gap as it is
  • Bridges
  • Implant retained denture (removable)
  • Implant retained bridge (fixed)
  • Implant - single tooth