Anna, a single mother, was recently involved in an automobile accident. She has always taken excellent care of her teeth and gums, but four of her teeth were knocked out during the incident. As a 22-year-old, she is very image-conscious and embarrassed of her missing teeth but cannot afford dental implants at this time.
David, a recent retiree, has mostly healthy teeth and gums. In the past few years, however, rheumatoid arthritis in his hands has made it increasingly difficult to reach the back of his mouth while brushing and flossing. As a result, he has lost three of his back lower teeth, while the front teeth remain relatively healthy.
Mary Ann, a 50-year-old sales executive, has been under serious stress at work. She grinds her teeth and clenches her jaw throughout the day, as she’s done for many years. Her husband says that she continues grinding away even while sleeping. Some of her teeth have been so badly damaged that they cannot be salvaged by a dental crown and must be extracted. Mary Ann worries that missing teeth will compromise her appearance as a professional.
Three stories, three very unique patients. Despite their differences, these people share a surprising characteristic: They’re all candidates for partial dentures in Mansfield, TX. At the office of Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris, we believe that it’s important for our patients to understand the realities of dental prosthetics. One of the most commonly held misconceptions about dentures is that age determines who is a candidate.
Am I a Candidate for Partial Dentures?
If age isn’t the most important criteria, what is? The ideal candidate for partial dentures must meet the following requirements:
- Missing one or more teeth, but not all teeth
- Healthy gums and jawbone sufficient to support the prosthetic
- Remaining teeth should be relatively healthy
Do I Have to Replace Missing Teeth?
Can you live with missing teeth? Absolutely, says Dr. Jones, but not without consequences. If you choose not to replace lost teeth, whether with dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge, your remaining teeth will be compromised. When you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth must bear greater pressure with each bite, making them more likely to become chipped or broken. The risk of decay increases, and you may lose additional teeth. In the absence of a tooth, the surrounding teeth may shift out of position and create an off-balanced bite. If this happens, you could develop a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, which causes difficulty and pain when opening and closing your mouth. You are also more likely to develop bone loss, a change in the appearance of your teeth and cheeks, and difficulty speaking and eating naturally.
If you are concerned about the cost of replacing multiple missing teeth, a removable partial denture is an excellent option. Removable prosthetics are generally more economical than permanent teeth replacement options, such as a fixed bridge or dental implants. However, opting for a partial denture does not mean you will unable to change your mind in the future. You may later decide to go with a more permanent option. When you do, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris will be here for you.
Questions about partial dentures in Mansfield, TX? To learn more about teeth replacement options, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris, contact our office at (817) 259-1357. We welcome patients living in Midlothian, Alvarado, South Arlington, Kennedale, and the neighboring communities.