Dentures & Partials
Advantages of Dentures
Dentures are a set of artificial teeth used to replace natural ones lost because of disease or decay.
There are two primary methods for fitting dentures. The teeth can be extracted and the gums and jaw allowed to heal before the dentures are fitted, or dentures can be prepared in advance and inserted immediately after the extraction.
Immediate dentures are more aesthetically pleasing, but they often require several fittings as the jaw heals and changes shape.
They also allow you the advantage of never needing to appear without teeth. Because dentures are foreign to the mouth, they require a certain period of adjustment. Denture wearers must learn to chew and speak with a new set of teeth. However, they can be advantageous to older wearers by adding fullness to lips and cheeks, and helping to reduce wrinkles around the mouth.
Dentures can even decrease facial lines and wrinkles. They also provide an alternative to patients with dental disease that want to avoid extensive treatments.
Advantages of Partials
A partial denture is a removable appliance used to replace missing teeth.
Partials help your remaining teeth stay in position, improve your ability to speak, and equally distribute chewing stress throughout the mouth. Its use is generally recommend for a patient who has too many teeth missing to properly support a fixed bridge, but who doesn’t yet need full dentures. A partial denture holds artificial teeth in place with a base that saddles the gums, and retainers that clasp onto adjacent teeth. If partials are properly cared for, they can last as long as a fixed bridge. Their low cost also makes them advantageous to patients needing only one or two replacements of missing teeth. Maintaining a close fit is important in order to keep a partial functioning properly, so it should be checked at least once a year by a dentist.
Dentures, Partials or Dental Implants
When deciding whether to use a partial, denture, or dental implant, there are three primary factors to consider: the number of teeth missing, the cost, and comfort. Partials are generally used to replace a small number of teeth. They’re the least expensive and, if fitted properly, are comfortable. They are removable, however, and if not worn continually they can contribute to the misalignment of adjacent teeth. Dentures are also removable but are used to replace an entire set of teeth. They have enormous aesthetic value but are a significant investment, and special care must be taken to ensure they have a proper and comfortable fit. Dental implants are the most expensive replacement method, but they also tend to be the most comfortable. Implants are actually surgically anchored to the jaw, are permanent, and can be used to replace just one or all the teeth. Care of implants is similar to that of normal teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups are required.
Insurance coverage for dentures and partials varies in regard to the different types of policies available.
The average policy, however, will not cover pre-existing conditions, but will cover at least fifty percent of the cost of most dental procedures. Other policies will cover much more of the total cost based on what’s considered usual and customary fee for the service provided. Some policies will pay only a pre-determined fixed amount or a percentage of the cost. For many people buying dental insurance is only cost-effective if they expect to spend a great deal of money on dental care in the near future. If you are interested in dental insurance, be sure to thoroughly discuss the different policies with your agent in order to make sure you get the coverage that best meets your needs. Determine who makes the dentist choice for you and your family, as some plans may have preferred service providers for dental care and offer greater coverage if they’re used.