A missing tooth does not have to be a permanent condition. One option for treatment is getting a partial denture for one missing tooth. Although growing in popularity, many patients are still unaware of the specifics of this procedure. Here are some questions people ask before undergoing this type of treatment.Although each patient is different,…
Are You a Candidate for a Partial Denture for One Missing Tooth?
Individuals who live with a single missing tooth may be uninterested in investing in more comprehensive replacement procedures. These individuals may consider a partial denture for one missing tooth. While this option offers several advantages, including affordability, the ability to hide the gap in one’s smile, and restored function, it is not for everyone. Persons who are interested in this tooth replacement solution should carefully assess whether they truly make good candidates for it.
Factors that affect one’s candidacy for a partial denture for one missing tooth
Dentures — even for just a single tooth — require a healthy foundation and ongoing care and maintenance to be successful. If a dentist determines that a patient’s oral health is not suitable for a partial denture, or if a dentist questions a patient’s ability to care for a prosthetic, they may recommend another replacement option. Some factors a dental professional may consider before recommending a partial denture for one missing tooth are as follows.
The health of adjacent teeth
A partial denture is a prosthetic that relies on the support of adjacent teeth to remain in place. Instead of sitting along the gum line, as a complete denture set does, a partial denture utilizes brackets or crowns that sit upon or wrap around the teeth adjacent to the gap. The prosthetic lies between the brackets or crowns to fill the gap.
If the teeth adjacent to the gap are crumbling or on the brink of falling out, a partial denture for one missing tooth may not be an option. Instead, the dentist may recommend an implant or that the patient has the adjacent teeth pulled and a denture bridge installed.
Gum health is integral to any restorative dentistry procedure, including partial dentures. If a patient’s gum health is lacking, or if it is in a state of active periodontal disease, there is the very real risk that more teeth will fall out. So long as this risk still exists, a dentist may be unwilling to recommend a partial denture knowing that it will become ineffective in just a few short months.
Willingness to attend future appointments
Unfortunately, dental neglect is the number one cause of tooth loss. Individuals who lose teeth are those who, more likely than not, routinely cancel dental appointments or fail to make appointments at all. Dentists may consider a patient’s willingness to attend future appointments before recommending a partial denture for one missing tooth. However, even if a dentist does not, patients should, as ongoing care is necessary for a prosthetic’s success.
Willingness to care for the prosthetic
In addition to attending future appointments, denture patients must be willing and able to care for the prosthetics at home. Patients should not leave dentures in overnight and should, instead, set them to soak in an approved cleaning solution. Patients should also brush the prosthetics once or twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup and prevent deterioration. Patients who cannot commit to doing this much should explore other tooth replacement options.
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A partial denture for one missing tooth can be a great tooth replacement option. However, individuals interested in it should discuss candidacy and other options with a local dentist before making any major decisions.
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