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Complete vs. Partial Dentures: Which Is Right for Me? By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on November 30, 2015

A partial dentureDr. Andrew G Mortensen of Fountain Valley has helped many patients have healthy, beautiful, and fully functional smiles thanks to advanced restorative dentistry techniques. One such treatment option involves full and partial dentures to address major tooth loss.

Patients sometimes wonder what the difference is between a partial denture and a full denture. Let's compare the two and consider how dentures can help you.

How Dentures Help Address Tooth Loss

Dentures are sets of artificial teeth that are used to fill in large gaps left behind following cases of substantial tooth loss. The traditional denture is held in place by bracing around the gum tissue and bone structure of the dental arch.

When in place, a denture restores the appearance of a smile while also restoring a person's ability to bite and chew. In other words, dentures serve both a cosmetic and restorative purpose for many patients.

There are two kinds of dentures in terms of their size: full dentures and partial dentures.

About Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are used to fill in a large gap between teeth. They're ideal for people who are missing many teeth but not all of their teeth. With a partial denture in place, a patient is able to bite, chew, and smile without any major worries.

Partial dentures will be custom fabricated for the patient using a combination of dental records and special considerations made by a dentist and the specialists at a dental laboratory.

About Full Dentures

Full dentures are dentures that are used when a person is missing most of his/her teeth or all of his/her teeth. The denture takes up the entire dental arch, providing a patient with a full set of functional artificial teeth.

As with partial dentures, full dentures are designed using dental records as well as special considerations made by dental health experts to ensure optimal bite strength and smile aesthetics.

Are Partial Dentures or Full Dentures Right for Me?

Obviously you'd need to come into the practice for a definitive answer, but the extent of your tooth loss will determine the right restoration for you.

In general, partial dentures will be more ideal for people who still have teeth remaining along the dental arch. Full dentures are better for people who have few teeth remaining or no teeth at all.

Removable Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures

Traditional dentures are removable appliances, with denture creams used to improve the stability of the denture. However, patients can have dental implants (artificial tooth roots) surgically implanted in order to anchor their partial denture or full denture in place. These dental implants offer a hold and stability comparable to natural tooth roots, preventing gum recession and bone loss in the process, something that removable dentures cannot do.

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants since oral surgery is involved. In addition, the cost of care is greater than getting a removable appliance, and the healing process takes several months to complete. If it is an option you're interested in regardless, we'd be more than happy to go over this treatment option with you during a visit.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More About Dentures

If you would like to learn more about full and partial dentures and which might be most ideal for you, we encourage you to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Andrew G Mortensen will help you have a healthy and beautiful smile again.

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Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Dr. Andrew Mortensen is a top-rated dentist with training from the world-famous Las Vegas Institute. His exceptional care and expertise have earned him hundreds of 5-star reviews, and he is an accredited member of the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association
  • Orange County Dental Society 

Ready to schedule a consultation at our Huntington Beach dental practice? Request an appointment online or call us at (714) 964-4183.

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"I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for." Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.

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