What do partial dentures look like?

Written by carole ellis
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For many people, partial dentures may be a great solution to scattered teeth that are missing throughout their mouths. Partial dentures can be extremely natural looking and even indistinguishable from your natural teeth to observers. However, you also need to factor in what the backs of the dentures will look like for your own knowledge and comfort.

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Function

Partial dentures are designed to hold false teeth in place using suction and getting support from your remaining teeth on either side. Because most types of partial dentures are largely if not wholly cosmetic, the way that they look is extremely important. Partial dentures are designed to look like natural teeth.

Features

Partial dentures may be made of nylon, plastic, porcelain or metal. The teeth at issue are nearly always porcelain or a tough, translucent acrylic or plastic. The rest of the denture--the support network--can be made of plastic or nylon as well as metal to hold it in place. Partial dentures can be removed at will in nearly all cases.

Considerations

When you are considering partial dentures, remember that these are not the same thing as tooth implants. While partial dentures look the same as your natural teeth while they are in your mouth, they will not act the same as natural teeth. As a result, they may affect the way you bite and chew your food, or you may have to remove them while you are eating.

Types

Partial dentures come in a wide variety of styles. "Flippers" look just like your natural teeth and can have more teeth added easily if you lose more later, but they are the least hardy of the bunch and chip the most easily. However, with proper maintenance these inexpensive partial dentures can give the impression that you have a healthy, full set of chompers for years. Other dentures can be made entirely out of metal, which is good because they do not lose their fit as your gums change over time. However, these may be largely visible and can be unsightly because they involve so much metal, so you might not want to use these on your front teeth. Flexible framework partial dentures are probably the best camouflaged of them all. They are made entirely of the plastic-nylon blend that is used to make traffic cones, and they do not use any metal to hold them in place, but rather thin, plastic, gum-coloured strips.

What do partial dentures look like?
Good partial dentures are impossible to distinguish from your natural teeth.

Effects

If you are primarily concerned with the way your mouth looks, then partial dentures may be for you. However, you do need to remember that partial dentures are not the same as permanent tooth implants. They must be removed for cleaning, and larger inserts may have to be removed for eating. However, as far as looks go, as long as the metal clasps on some models are not visible when you smile, then your partial dentures will be nearly indistinguishable from the rest of your natural smile.

Warning

Before you get a pair of partial dentures, get your dentist to evaluate the rest of your oral health. If you have other teeth that are weak or are experiencing problems with gum disease, you may need these problems resolved before you get partial dentures. Otherwise, your new teeth may actually exacerbate your problems.

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