Partial vs Full Dentures: Understanding the Key Differences and Benefits

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Dentures

partial vs full dentures understanding the key differences and benefits

Dentures are a common and effective solution For restoring a healthy, functional smile after tooth loss. There are two main types of dentures, which are prosthetic devices used to replace lost teeth: partial and full dentures. Each type serves different purposes and offers unique benefits depending on individual dental needs.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures comprise prosthetic teeth that can be worn to bridge the gap and restore lost teeth. The ones you place in your mouth are unique and are commonly made from acrylic resin, metals, and porcelain. Dentures enhance your smile and assist in eating and speaking properly.

Full Dentures

What Are Full Dentures?

When all-natural teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both are lost, full or complete dentures are utilised. These dentures are designed to sit on the gums and are held in place by suction and sometimes denture adhesives.

Types of Full Dentures

  1. Conventional Full Dentures: These are created after the gum tissue has healed and the remaining teeth have been extracted, which could take several months. During this healing period, you will be without teeth.
  2. Immediate Full Dentures: These are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. While they offer the advantage of never being without teeth, they may require more adjustments to fit properly during healing.

Benefits of Full Dentures

  1. Improved Appearance: Full dentures can significantly enhance your facial aesthetics by supporting your lips and cheeks, preventing the sunken appearance that often accompanies tooth loss.
  2. Restored Functionality: With full dentures, you can regain your ability to chew and speak effectively, which may have been compromised by tooth loss.
  3. Cost-Effective: Many people choose full dentures since they are often more economical than other tooth replacement choices, such as dental implants.
  4. Non-Invasive Procedure: Getting full dentures is relatively straightforward and non-invasive compared to surgical options like implants.

Partial Dentures

What Are Partial Dentures?

There is a case where some natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw, referred to as partial dentures. Partial dentures belong to an artificial set of teeth connected to a gum-coloured plastic base, where sometimes some teeth are connected by a metal clasp that keeps the denture in the mouth.

Types of Partial Dentures

  1. Removable Partial Dentures: These are designed to be removed by the wearer for cleaning and during sleep. They usually have metal clasps that attach to your remaining natural teeth.
  2. Fixed partial dentures, or bridges, are permanently cemented to neighbouring natural teeth or dental implants. Unlike removable partial dentures, the wearer cannot remove them.

Benefits of Partial Dentures

  1. Preservation of Natural Teeth: By keeping the remaining natural teeth from moving into the spaces left by lost teeth, partial dentures assist in preserving the alignment of those teeth.
  2. Enhanced Comfort and Fit: Partial dentures, instead of complete dentures, might provide a more snug and comfortable fit since they are made to fit around your natural teeth.
  3. Cost-Effective Option: Like full dentures, partial dentures are generally less expensive than dental implants or bridges, making them a budget-friendly choice.
  4. Ease of Adjustment: Removable partial dentures can be easily adjusted if your dental situation changes, such as if you lose more teeth in the future.

Key Differences Between Partial and Full Dentures

  1. Number of Missing Teeth: The most obvious difference is that full dentures are used when no teeth are left in the jaw, while partial dentures are utilised in cases where some natural teeth are still present.
  2. Attachment Method: Full dentures rely on suction and sometimes adhesives to stay in place, whereas partial dentures often use metal clasps or other attachments to anchor to the remaining natural teeth.
  3. Customisation and Fit: Both types of dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth, but partial dentures are specifically designed to work around your existing teeth, which can lead to a more tailored fit.
  4. Procedure and Timing: Full dentures may require a longer process, especially if you choose conventional dentures that necessitate a healing period after tooth extraction. Partial dentures typically have a quicker turnaround since they do not require complete tooth removal.
  5. Maintenance and Care: Both types of dentures require regular cleaning and maintenance, but partial dentures need extra care to ensure that the natural teeth they attach remain healthy and decay-free.

Choosing Between Partial and Full Dentures

The considerations making the selection between partial and full dentures will include:

  1. Consult with Your Dentist: A patient’s examination by your dentist is crucial. They can assess the condition of your remaining teeth and gums and make suggestions depending on your unique requirements.
  2. Evaluate Your Budget: While both options are generally more affordable than implants, there is still a cost difference. Discuss the costs involved with your dentist and whether financing options are available.
  3. Consider Your Lifestyle: Think about what you do daily and how dentures will fit into your life. For example, if you play sports or have a very active lifestyle, you might need a more secure option.
  4. Future Dental Health: Consider the long-term health of your mouth. If you have other dental issues that result in future tooth loss, it is worth discussing a more permanent solution, like implants, with your dentist.
  5. Personal Comfort and Aesthetics: Your comfort and satisfaction with the appearance of your dentures are essential. Talk to your dentist about your cosmetic objectives and any worries.

Caring for Your Dentures

Regardless of whether you choose partial or full dentures, proper care is necessary to ensure their longevity and maintain your oral health. Here are some general tips for denture care:

  1. Clean Daily: Brush your dentures once a day with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft-bristle brush. Regular toothpaste can be overly abrasive, so avoid it.
  2. Handle with Care: Dentures can be fragile, so handle them carefully to avoid dropping and damaging them.
  3. Soak Overnight: Keep your dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight to maintain their shape and prevent drying.
  4. Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit your Gordon dentist regularly to ensure your dentures fit well and to examine your gums and any natural teeth that may still be there.
  5. Watch for Changes: Contact your dentist promptly if your dentures become loose or cause discomfort. Ill-fitting dentures can cause sores and infections.

Both partial and full dentures offer valuable solutions for restoring your smile and functionality after tooth loss. Understanding each type’s key differences and benefits can assist you in making an informed choice that best fits your requirements and manner of living.

In this practice, speaking with a dentist is essential, as they can provide personalised advice and ensure that you receive the best possible care. With fitting dentures and proper maintenance, you can enjoy a confident smile and improved quality of life.

Dentures in Gordon

Are you prepared to live a better life and get your smile back?

At Northern Dental Gordon, we are not just here to treat your dental problems; we want to make your visit a positive and worthwhile experience and help you maintain oral health for years.

Call us at (02) 9498 8290 or book an appointment online.

We are located at Suite 3, 2 St Johns Ave in Gordon.

Don’t wait – reclaim your confidence and oral health now.