Dental prostheses replace one or several missing teeth. If you’ve lost some teeth due to an accident, illness or poor oral hygiene, they must be replaced. Beyond impacting your appearance, missing teeth can lead to other problems, such as:
- The other teeth tend to migrate toward the empty space
- Malocclusion problems may occur
- Chewing, digestion and speech problems can develop
- Misaligned teeth are difficult to clean, making them vulnerable to cavities and gum disease
- Teeth on the other dental arch, facing the empty space, have no support during chewing; they can become loose and even fall out
- Where the jawbone is no longer stimulated, bone mass gradually decreases
- Missing teeth can affect your appearance and self-esteem
Dental prostheses address three main issues:
- Cosmetic corrections : Fill an empty space on the dental arch for a more beautiful smile.
- Functional improvements : Keep the mouth well-balanced to ensure stability and prevent numerous problems.
- Recovering self-esteem : A full set of healthy teeth will give you a more youthful appearance. Prostheses contribute to one’s self-esteem and emotional well-being by improving appearance and self-confidence.
Two types of removable prostheses: Full and partial dentures
Removable partial dentures
Partial dentures are used to replace one or several missing teeth. Dentures are custom-made using dental impressions. They are manufactured in a lab by a dental technician. For the device to be stable, measurements are carefully taken and manufacturing is very precise. In general, dentures are ready within six to eight weeks. Once installed, partial dentures will match the shape and colour of your natural teeth and gums.
Some adjustments may be needed for optimal comfort and occlusion.
Two types of partial dentures:
Partial dentures can consist of a pink resin base that looks like gums and supports artificial teeth. They need to fit perfectly because they rest directly on the gums. Partial dentures stay in place using suction.
Partial dentures can also have a metal brace with small hooks that attach to adjacent teeth. The artificial teeth are placed on a pink resin base that looks like gums. This type of prosthesis has two anchors: the hooks (that attach to teeth) and the resin (that rests on the gums). This option is very stable once placed in the mouth.
When are partial dentures the best option?
Partial dentures are the preferred option when adjacent teeth are not solid enough to support a permanent bridge, when implants are not possible, or when too many teeth are missing.
Partial dentures can:
- Give you back a beautiful smile
- Keep adjacent teeth stable
- Improve chewing and speaking
Advantages of partial dentures
- Can last five to ten years
Disadvantages of partial dentures
- The metal brace is sometimes visible when speaking or smiling
- The hooks could damage supporting teeth, which could eventually lead to tooth loss
- Require special care; they need to be removed after each meal for cleaning
- Must be removed for sleeping