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Traditional Dentures and Partials

Traditional dentures and partial dentures are old-fashioned tooth replacement options. They have many limitations, but in some cases they can still be a good option for tooth replacement. In particular, dentures and partials are inexpensive options for tooth replacement, and can make good temporary treatments.

If you would like to talk to St. Louis restorative dentist Dr. Chris Hill about dentures, please call (314) 375-5353 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment at our downtown or Clayton office.

Benefits of Dentures

Although dentures and partial dentures are not considered optimal tooth replacement options, they do have some benefits. The benefits of traditional dentures include:

  • Can Be attractive tooth replacements
  • Restore some function
  • Can preserve spacing for natural teeth
  • Don’t require surgery
  • Are inexpensive

Dentures can be relatively attractive tooth replacement. They can look like natural teeth if they are properly designed and fitted–and they stay in place.

When it comes to function, dentures are better than nothing. Your gums aren’t designed to chew with, so with only gums your diet choices are very limited. Dentures give you hard and sharp chewing surfaces to cut and break food with. But since they’re supported by your gums, the force you can bite with using dentures is limited.

Partial dentures can help preserve the spacing in your jaw by holding your remaining teeth in place.

The best thing about dentures is that they are very easy to place. You just put them in. There’s generally nothing that we have to do to your teeth or jaws to make dentures fit.

The main reason why most people choose dentures is that they’re inexpensive. They are a fraction of the cost of other replacement options. However, the cheaper the dentures, the lower their quality and the worse their appearance and function.

What Are Dentures and Partials?

Technically, any replacement tooth can be described as a “denture”. Dental bridges, for example, are also called “fixed partial dentures.”

But when we talk about dentures, we are usually referring to a removable tooth replacement that has one or more replacement teeth attached to a base that’s designed to mimic the appearance of natural gums. It fits over the arch of gums that supported your natural teeth.

Full dentures are designed to replace a full arch of teeth, either all the teeth on the top or all the teeth on the bottom. Partial dentures replace only some of the teeth in an arch.

Dentures are held in place mostly by suction between the denture base and the floor or roof of the mouth. Because the roof has more area to create suction, upper dentures tend to be much more secure than lower dentures. Partial dentures get additional stabilization from hooks or clasps that surround natural teeth.

Limitations of Dentures

Traditional dentures have many limitations. When wearing these dentures (including partials) people often complain that they:

  • Can’t eat many foods
  • Experience pain in gums
  • Look older than their age
  • Look unattractive because dentures don’t stay in place
  • Experience embarrassment when dentures come out

People with dentures typically can’t eat anything that requires them to bite and pull, because dentures will simply come out. They also can’t exert much force to bite or chew hard or tough foods.

Dentures sit on the gums, which aren’t supposed to take the force of biting and chewing, so people often find their dentures hurt their gums.

Dentures don’t stimulate the jawbone, so the body may remove the bone, causing the face to shrink and look more aged. Poorly fitting dentures can even accelerate bone loss.

Although dentures can look attractive, they often don’t, especially when they won’t stay in place. Just keeping dentures in place is hard, and losing dentures in public is a source of anxiety and embarrassment.

Despite these limitations, some people find dentures to be a good tooth replacement option. If you think dentures might be right for you, please call (314) 375-5353 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with St. Louis restorative dentist Dr. Chris Hill at our office in downtown or Clayton.