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The Difference between Partial and Full Dentures


When life throws you a curve ball, it’s nice to know that there are trusted professionals ready to help you get back on your feet. While tooth loss can be a painful and embarrassing experience, there is good news – you have many options to fill in the gaps and regain both a functional set of chompers and the confidence that comes from a beautiful smile.

Before you decide which options are going to work best for you, though, it’s important to speak with your dental professional so that you understand the benefits of partial versus full dentures. Here are a few things you need to know in order to make an informed decision.

Partial Dentures

Tooth loss may result from any number of factors, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma to the tooth, as in the event of an injury. Things like smoking, poor diet, poor dental hygiene, aging, illness, or medications could all contribute to tooth loss.

Whatever the cause, however, you most likely want to correct the issue post haste so that you can return to normal eating habits and revive your complete smile. If you have lost just one tooth, a couple of teeth, or even a few, you may be able to use your existing teeth to anchor one or more false teeth in place.

This is called a partial denture, or perhaps a bridge if the false teeth are cemented in place to form a fixed partial denture. Generally speaking, false teeth are secured to a base that fits over the gums. Removable partial dentures are held in place by wire work that snaps onto surrounding teeth (similar to an orthodontic retainer in some ways), while bridges are cemented to surrounding teeth and are not removable.

There are several benefits to replacing teeth with partial dentures, including helping you to chew, improving appearance, and ensuring that surrounding teeth maintain their position. Partial dentures can help you to feel more comfortable and confident after suffering tooth loss.

Full Dentures

Partial dentures are only an option when healthy, surrounding teeth remain to anchor the dentures to. In cases where all of the upper and/or lower teeth are missing, or remaining teeth are not healthy enough to support partial dentures, a full or complete set of dentures may be in order.

Full dentures are made to fit your mouth precisely and they can either look a lot like your old teeth (if molds are taken before tooth removal) or they could look better if you prefer a whiter, straighter set of teeth than nature provided.

Tooth loss can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Whether you end up with partial or full dentures, however, you can regain the function your natural teeth provided and restore your confidence with a complete smile.

Bulverde North
Family Dental

22101 State Hwy 46 W.
Spring Branch, TX 78070



8 aM - 5 pm
8 aM - 5 pm
8 aM - 5 pm
8 aM - 5 pm



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