Removable partial dentures are a traditional replacement for one or more missing teeth. However, partial dentures are not as functional, attractive, or comfortable as dental implants. If you are currently making do with a removable partial denture, it might be time to consider replacing it with dental implants.
Partial dentures do a reasonably good job holding the space where your lost teeth used to be. They help your teeth maintain their proper spacing. However, there are many other ways partial dentures are simply inadequate tooth replacements.
When you upgrade from partial dentures to dental implants, you can expect to enjoy many improvements in the health, beauty, and function of your teeth, including:
- Better chewing
- More attractive appearance
- Easier maintenance
- Greater comfort
- Preservation of your natural teeth
- Preservation of your gums and jawbone
- Improvement of overall health
We’ll talk about all these benefits in more detail.
Improved Chewing with Dental Implants
Removable partial dentures provide the least functional chewing of any tooth-replacement option. Partial dentures sit on the gums rather than getting support from your bones. This means they provide little biting or chewing force. Since you still have some natural teeth to help provide chewing force, many people just think partial dentures get in the way of eating and remove them when they eat.
Dental implants let you bite and chew just as if you had a full set of natural teeth again. There is little difference between eating with implants and eating with natural teeth.
Implants Look More Attractive
Partial dentures come in a range of appearances. Some look very fake, while others look more natural. However, none of them look as natural as dental implants. Partial dentures also have the problem that they aren’t secure and can slip out of place when you least expect it, which means spontaneous smiles could show off your partially displaced dentures.
Dental implants look like natural teeth, especially if they have zirconia roots, which look just like natural tooth roots under your gums. Plus, implants are always in place, so you can smile freely without seating your dentures first.
Dental Implants Are Easier to Maintain
Partial dentures can be hard to maintain. If you keep them in while you eat, you will want to clean them after your meal. Otherwise, the food that sticks to them is likely to cause odors and contribute to gum disease. You will also want to soak your partial dentures at night to avoid odors and stains.
Care for dental implants as you do your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and make regular visits to the dentist.
Dental Implants Are More Comfortable
Partial dentures can be uncomfortable. Wearing partial dentures on your gums all day can lead to gum tenderness and sensitivity, especially if you are eating with your partial dentures. Loose dentures that slide around can rub your gums painfully. Hard plastic partial dentures with metal clasps can be the worst because they poke or scrape your gums, but even softer partial dentures can lead to gum soreness.
Dental implants feel almost the same as natural teeth. Biting and chewing feel the same, and healthy implants don’t hurt your gums.
Dental Implants Preserve Your Natural Teeth
Partial dentures rely on your natural teeth to hold them in place. Sometimes the dentures support structures, such as metal hooks and clasps, can scrape your teeth, eroding their enamel. Soft partial dentures are better–they don’t scrape your enamel, but they can still contribute to the accumulation of plaque around your teeth, leading to an increased risk of cavities. Accumulation of food and plaque under the denture can also contribute to gum disease risk. These can increase your risk of losing more teeth next to the denture.
Dental implants support themselves. Properly placed, dental implants do not interfere with your remaining natural teeth.
Dental Implants Help Preserve Gums and Jawbone
Your bones might seem stable and set, but they are very dynamic. Your body is constantly revising your bones, removing some bone mass from here and there, or adding some to other places, depending on your body’s needs. When your teeth are gone, the body perceives that the need for bones to support teeth–parts of your jawbone–aren’t necessary anymore and begins to remove them. Partial dentures not only don’t help with this problem, they can actually speed bone loss if they put excessive pressure on your gums. As the bone shrinks, so do the gums, leading to receding gums around teeth near the denture. Irritation from the denture can also cause receding gums.
Dental implants function like natural teeth and are anchored in the bones. This gives your bones the proper stimulation they need so your body preserves them. As long as the implants are healthy, they won’t contribute to bone loss or receding gums.
Dental Implants Can Help You Stay Healthy
As holistic dentists, we understand the close links between your oral and overall health. Partial dentures don’t just impact your oral health; they can make you less healthy overall.
We’ve mentioned how partial dentures can contribute to gum disease, and we’ve talked before about how gum disease impacts your health. Plus, the denture itself can be a source of unhealthy bacteria, contributing to an unhealthy microbiome in your mouth.
Some people with partial dentures find that the chewing difficulties make them favor soft, processed foods, which are less healthy for you.
With dental implants, you can foster a healthy oral microbiome, and you can eat all the healthy foods you enjoyed before you lost teeth. This will help you enjoy better health for years to come with dental implants.
Get Dental Implants in Rochester, NY
If you currently have a partial denture and are considering getting dental implants to replace it, the implant dentists at Contemporary Dentistry can help. We can help you understand the benefits dental implants will offer for your situation so you can make an informed decision about switching to implants.
Please call (585) 244-3337 or email Contemporary Dentistry today for an appointment at our dental office in Rochester, NY.