Teeth are an essential part of our biology that cannot be overlooked. We need them to eat and chew solid foods, speak to be understood by others, and also express ourselves with a beautiful smile. Our overall health and well being depend on our oral health. Unfortunately, things happen to affect them. You could lose one or more to an extraction, an accident, disease or just from poor oral health.
Removing or losing just one causes unpleasant gaps, let alone several of them. Our skilled dentists can help. There are many solutions, such as dentures and bridges, that can substitute for those lost ones, depending on how many are missing. They can be semi or complete or somewhere in between. A partial can go a huge way to restoring your oral health. With one you can chew and eat again, speak correctly, and smile again. They also have the added benefits of keeping your face from looking sunken, prevent remaining ones from shifting, and reduce the overall risk of gum disease. They also help in reducing excessive stress on the jaw.
If you are missing one or a few in a row, this option may be the solution you need. The required number of artificial teeth are attached onto a metallic framework which fills the gap. They can also be attached to a more flexible, gum colored base. This device get the support they need from the surrounding healthy ones, using either wire clasps or by being permanently attached to crowns. If wire clasps are used, the device can be removed for cleaning and replaced. For the latter case, they are fixed permanently and is called a bridge. The prosthesis themselves are made from a durable acrylic, and will be matched to the remaining healthy ones.
Partial and full sets have different purposes. Here are some of the major differences:
- A Traditional, or complete, are used primarily when a patient has lost all or most of the teeth in a jaw, whereas a partial replaces two or three consecutive ones only.
- For patients who have healthy natural remaining ones, a partial will allow them to keep them. A full set requires that all of them be removed.
- Partials can be removable or fixed – a bridge. Bridges can be supported on implants, also called an implant-supported bridge. A complete is usually removable.
- The difference in cost between a removable partial denture and complete depends on the materials used, with a complete set costing more.
- A semi prosthetic, another name for a partial, has greater stability and retention due to the support they receive from the adjacent natural ones. A traditional set will depend on soft tissues and the strength of the jaw bone to keep them in place.
A variety of different types of material and components are available. This is something the dentist will discuss with you to find the most comfortable, best looking and affordable solution for your specific needs. Here are a couple of choices you may be offered:
- Cast Metal Removable – This commonly used type has the benefits of durability and strength, mainly because they are attached to the support teeth with metallic wire clasps. They can last many years with proper care, but often patients prefer more aesthetic, less noticeable attachments.
- Acrylic Removable – This is sometimes called a “flipper” and is usually the least expensive option. It is less desirable than a cast metal semi denture because it is usually bulky to keep it from breaking. Also, it is attached to its supporting ones with metal clasps that are sometimes visible when smiling or speaking. This is a good temporary solution, for instances when the more permanent restoration is being fabricated. People do sometimes choose to use them for years.
- Flexible – For those who find the rigid base of the cast metal or acrylic uncomfortable, this option is preferable. The base itself is flexible, thin, and made from heat sensitive nylon material. The clasps are thin, gum-colored wires which fit into the space between existing teeth, with the result being comfortable, long wearing, and natural looking.
- Fixed Bridge – For a patient requiring a replacement for just one or two, this solution is an artificial tooth with a crown on either side which fits onto the surrounding healthy ones for support. Those selected for the support crowns will need to be trimmed a little to allow the crown to fit on top. It is a permanent fixture so it will be brushed and flossed like naturals, with additional cleaning below it. The supports may have an increased chance of sensitivity, but a type called a Maryland type, addresses this by making a direct connection with the supports, with a slightly less aesthetically pleasing look.
The above listed solutions are primarily partial dentures for front teeth. When back molars need to be replaced and there is only support on one side, a cantilever bridge will be used instead.
- Implant-Supported Fixed Bridge – this type doesn’t need to make drastic changes to the existing surrounding ones at all. The implant itself acts as a natural tooth set into the jawbone. Plus, the number isn’t limited to just a couple. A full arch, or full mouth restoration, can be done with a number of implants attached at precise locations and angles, making this a visually pleasing choice. Lower jaws tend to need more implants, but overall this permanent solution is quite popular in spite of a higher cost, as it frees the patient from the limitations of conventional false teeth and simply looks great.
The last option is usually what we recommend, mainly for their durability, but also for their comfort and natural look and feel. However, our specialists will always take the time and provide the information our patients need to make the best decision on this or any oral health treatment.
According to the experts at nih.gov: “Denture use is associated with lower chances of musculoskeletal frailty among older Americans.” Because of this, it becomes even more crucial that treatment is performed by a skilled and experienced specialist. Having a restoration made by an inexperienced dentist may seem like no big deal, but it will only lead to discomfort, aggravated dental problems, and even loss of confidence and embarrassment. Having a stunning smile while speaking and eating without issues is so important. When you are choosing something like an implant supported bridge, the choice of specialist becomes even more critical. It is essential then to find a qualified and experienced dentist with an excellent reputation to do this procedure, to avoid major surgeries and extractions later on.
We will not only help you find the best option for you, but will assist you with any concerns and questions on cost price and treatment you will have along the way.
We can help you find the best option, and answer any questions or address concerns on the treatment itself or the cost. You will get the most comfortable, affordable partial replacement teeth and an overall excellent experience. If you are in or near Torrance, California, visit or call us. We are just minutes from Redondo Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes, in the heart of South Bay, CA. Let us give you that perfect smile and dental care you deserve.