If you have missing teeth, there may be different solutions available to you. In some cases, missing teeth can be addressed with one or two individual dental implants. In others, a full set of implants, or full dentures might be the best solution. If a row of teeth is missing, a patient might opt for a fixed bridge. If you are missing just a few teeth, you might be eligible for an easy and cost-effective solution: partial dentures, or “partials.”

What, exactly, are partials? They are removable, prosthetic teeth that can replace missing teeth in your mouth. They are usually attached to a plate that matches the color of your gums. The plate is often held into place with a metal frame that fits into your mouth. Many people choose partials when they are missing some but not all of their teeth, and they wish to avoid the cost and invasiveness of permanent dental implants.

Partials look great, and you can use them in largely the same way that you would use your natural teeth. With proper maintenance, they can last a long time–up to several years. They are an excellent solution when you would like to replace missing teeth, but you still have healthy teeth that can be preserved rather than removed.

Why replace missing teeth?

Sometimes, replacing missing teeth is not essential. It can be an aesthetic choice. There is nothing wrong with wanting a smile full of pearly whites.

In many cases, replacing a missing tooth can help keep the teeth located on either side of a gap healthy. It can keep them positioned correctly, preventing them from loosening or becoming damaged. Tooth replacements can also keep your bite aligned, which can help you avoid painful conditions like TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).

A partial can also help keep food particles from getting jammed into the gaps left by missing teeth, which could otherwise lead to gum disease and infections.

Should I opt for partials or permanent implants?

Permanent implants can be a great option if you want to replace your missing teeth without the hassle of removing and replacing them every day. Their immobility can make them feel more like natural teeth. Another option is a fixed bridge–a row of prosthetic teeth held into place by implanted crowns at each end.

However, if you are interested in achieving a beautiful smile of functional teeth without an invasive and costly dental implant procedure, then partials may be an excellent option for you. It can take time to get used to the routine of removing your partials each night, cleaning them, and replacing them in the morning; but once you do, you may find it to be an easy and agreeable way to keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining.

Contact Smile League Dental

Talking with your dentist is the best way to determine what kind of tooth replacement will work best for you. At Smile League Dental in Joliet, we are happy to discuss your options for replacing missing teeth and answer any questions you might have about your family’s dental health. Call us at 815-782-6243 to schedule an appointment today.