What’s the difference between dentures and partials?
A denture is an artificial piece, or prosthesis, that replaces a full arch of missing teeth. An upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and ridge of the jaw, while the lower denture covers just the ridge. Unlike a denture, a partial replaces only a set of missing teeth. It uses the adjacent tooth or surrounding teeth to support the partial. A partial does not fully cover the palate or ridge.
Look and feel are important.
We want our patients to feel comfortable and confident when they wear their denture or partial. Duraflex™ is one material we use to improve the experience of a partial. A traditional partial has thin metal clasps that are somewhat visible above the gum line. Duraflex™ is a softer, more flexible pink material that blends into the surrounding teeth and can be more comfortable, especially if the space is surrounded by other teeth. Metal partials offer their own benefits as well. A metal partial is often thinner and less bulky than other materials. For spaces toward the back of the mouth, they may feel more secure and stable. Our dentists are always happy to talk through all your options for a partial or denture so you find a fit and look that you love.
When do I need new dentures?
Some of our patients come to us with dentures they’ve had for years. Often, they’re still in good condition, but don’t fit as well as they once did. In these cases, the dentist will likely recommend relining the denture. After a new impression, our dental lab will add acrylic material inside of the denture to improve the fit. Our dental lab can also create brand new dentures in cases when the patient’s old set is damaged or broken.
For patients who have never had dentures, the dentist will only recommend dentures as a treatment option if the patient has widespread terminal dentician—that is, teeth that can’t otherwise be restored. In this case, the dentist will remove all the remaining teeth and replace them with a new set of dentures immediately or after the patient has healed. Each has its own benefits. A same-day, immediate denture offers the convenience of leaving the office with a functional set of teeth, while a custom denture built from a new impression allows the patient to try in the denture before it’s final and find the perfect fit and shade.
What to Expect
As with most dental procedures, your exact experience will depend on your unique needs as well as the material used. Generally speaking, however, dentures will require between three and four appointments, while partials will require two to three.
We are committed to ensuring we provide our patients with the best quality, while still respecting their time. Scheduling multiple appointments might seem inconvenient, but too many shortcuts translate to disappointing dentures and partials. Our try-in appointments ensure our patients love the look and feel of the end product. Ultimately, patients are happier in the long run when their dentures and partials fit well, function correctly, and look aesthetically pleasing.
Custom Dentures from Our On-Site Lab
WNC Dental is the only dental practice in the region with its own, on-site dental lab. With the exception of digital dentures, our lab technician Randy fabricates all of our dentures. He often comes to denture appointments to meet patients and consult on any adjustments or shade matches. Our technician is skilled in weighing in and can often make changes the same day within the scheduled appointment. This means changes are quick and are never lost in translation.
Cost & Insurance
Most dental insurance plans cover dentures. We are always upfront about price and can work with you to show you all the payment options available relative to the denture type and material that’s best for you.