As the names imply, a partial is not a complete denture. It only replaces a few teeth while a full denture replaces all the teeth.
Like many other patients, you might face this choice: do you have your last remaining teeth pulled and replaced with a full denture, or fill in the gaps with a partial?
Keep it Conservative with a Partial
Partials replace a limited number of missing teeth. If you’re only missing one or two teeth, then it makes sense to replace those with a partial. Why pull all the healthy teeth?
A partial needs to be removed and cleaned daily, just like a full denture. For a partial to work, you do need to have some healthy teeth left for the partial to clip around.
When a Full Denture is Best
Maybe you have one or two healthy teeth left, but without healthy neighbors, they won’t do you much good. In this case, you might opt to pull them to get a full denture and replace everything at once – especially if your few remaining teeth are starting to wear out.
A denture provides support to maintain your smile’s structure and let you chew with a full set of teeth. Just remember that a denture won’t do what your natural teeth used to. Don’t be in a hurry to replace healthy teeth with a denture unless it’s absolutely necessary.
A Matter of Preference
In the end, it comes down to what’s most important to you. Do you want to hold onto your healthy natural teeth as long as possible if that means completing your smile with a partial? Or are you ready to switch to the simplicity of a denture?
Your general dentist is in the best position to give you personalized advice about which dental prosthesis is right for you.
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