If a patient is only missing some of their natural teeth, they will likely need a partial denture. The specific teeth missing are replaced with custom-designed replacement teeth. This set of dentures is commonly called a “partial”. It is attached to a plastic base and placed inside of the patient’s mouth. At times, the partial is cemented in the patient’s mouth using the remaining natural teeth as anchor points. While the partial denture replaces the teeth that are missing, it also provides support to any natural teeth that remain and keeps those teeth from shifting out of alignment. When the partial denture is used in the upper portion of the mouth, the base is commonly flesh-colored and will cover the complete roof of the mouth. If the partial denture is being used in the lower jaw, the base is fabricated in a horseshoe shape which allows the tongue to have room to move.
Sometimes, a patient will lose all of their natural teeth due to extraction, disease or a traumatic accident. In this case, a complete set of dentures will be required. With this option, all of the original teeth are replaced. As with the partial dentures, the full dentures are custom-fabricated to meet the needs of the specific patient. Usually, a complete set of dentures are removable from the mouth. It is common for a complete set of dentures to need an occasional adjustment by your dentist.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Most sets of dentures will last for about 15 years. Dentures will face normal wear and possible misalignment during those years. An additional reason for the need for replacement is that dentures are not designed to keep the jawbone structure from dissolving. Over time, the patient’s bone structure begins to dissolve any place that there is not still an original tooth in the jawbone. The disappearance of the bone structure causes the jaw to become misaligned. Eventually, the patient will need to have a dentist reassess the alignment of their jaw and how it may affect their dentures.
At TOOTHDOCS, our team of dedicated staff are familiar with making these diagnoses and creating dentures that are right for you. If you live in the New York, NY area and are in need of partial or full dentures, call us today to set up a consultation!