Partial Dentures vs. Dental Implants
Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic Dentistry Expertise
If you’ve lost one or more teeth, you might be wondering how you can fill the gap left in your smile. Though many patients might only be aware of full or partial dentures, there is an alternative tooth replacement option that benefits many patients. Dr. Lindsey Marshall can assess your oral health and discuss whether or not dental implants are right for you.
With more than one tooth replacement solution available, it’s important to understand the difference between dentures and implants. Please call Lindsey Marshall, DMD, at (610) 649-0696 today for more information on implant dentistry. Dr. Marshall serves Philadelphia and Main Line patients from her office in Ardmore.
What Are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures, sometimes also called partials, are removable false teeth made from ceramic materials and set in an acrylic base designed to look like your gums. Partials can be used to replace one absent tooth to nearly an entire row of missing teeth.
Generally the denture is held in place by a framework of hooks and wires around the teeth close to the gap. Partials can also be supported by dental implants, depending on your tooth replacement needs.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants can do much more than simply support a partial or full denture. In fact, they are the only permanent replacement option for lost teeth. The prosthetic consists of an artificial tooth root surgically implanted beneath the gum line and a corresponding crown, bridge, or other restoration that replaces the missing teeth.
Once inserted beneath the gums, the implant root gradually fuses with natural bone tissue. After the fusion is complete, the restoration is held securely in place just like an actual tooth.
Deciding Between Implants and Partials
Dental implants have the following benefits for patients who require tooth replacement:
- The completed restoration looks and functions just like natural teeth
- No special care required for any of the components
- No risk of damage to adjacent teeth
- Implants can last a lifetime
Partial dentures don’t have the same strength or function as natural teeth, meaning patients will be bound by some diet restrictions. In addition, the wires and other portions of the apparatus might be visible to onlookers, and the denture must be removed every day for proper cleaning.
However, partials are often preferable to implant dentistry when the patient doesn’t have sufficient bone mass to support an implant.