What’s The Difference Between A Partial Denture vs Full Denture?

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jade

The simple way to describe the difference between full dentures and partial dentures is by looking at how many teeth are being replaced.

As the terms suggest, a full removable denture is going to be the larger of the two different kinds.

In other words, the fewer the number of teeth being addressed, the smaller the denture required.

A small denture, that does not replace all the teeth, would therefore be identified as a partial.

So What Are Immediate Dentures?

Missing teeth are not only an annoyance, they can lead to more serious issues if left untreated. Fortunately, with what are called immediate dentures, you will not have to wait long for teeth to be replaced.

The process for immediate dentures is rather simple. While you still have some teeth, impressions are made and as those teeth are being extracted, a denture is produced.

Partial Denture vs Full Denture
Check out the difference between removable partial dentures and full dentures.

Once the teeth are removed, an immediate denture is inserted. The idea behind this is to ensure you have teeth you can utilize as soon as possible. Also, with the immediate denture in place, swelling of the area where teeth were removed is kept to a minimum. What this actually does is speed up the healing process. If allowed to swell, wearing any kind of denture may not be possible until the area has had enough time to heal.

The typical timeline with immediate removable dentures can look like this:

  • As soon as your teeth are removed and the immediate denture is inserted, it must be worn for three full days following dental surgery.
  • Complete healing will take about three additional months and by then adjustments will be required for the immediate denture.
  • Sometimes it will be just realignment and other times that means a whole new denture must be produced.
  • Should you require a whole new denture, the temporary removable partial dentures can be kept for use as a spare or in case of an emergency.

Either way, these are still an affordable and practical alternative to a full denture.

What Is The Best Denture For You?

A dental professional will be the best person to turn to in order to find out which denture solution is best for your specific needs. That being said, there are other factors involved that can assist you in making the right choice.

Generally speaking, the amount of tooth loss will weigh heavy in the selection process as well as general dental health. For example, if missing teeth are along the dental arch but are not numerous, the best solution may be a removable partial denture. For someone missing all or most of their teeth along the dental arch, the best choice would be a full denture replacement.

Caring For Your Removable Dentures

Partial and full dentures should be handled with care and should be cleaned often.

As toothpastes are considered abrasive on dentures, the best way to keep them clean is to use a soft bristle brush. The entire denture requires daily brushing and rinsing to keep them clean. The brushing removes food particles and prevents stains from developing anywhere in the appliance.

A mild dishwashing soap or hand cleanser can be applied as part of the cleaning process as they are gentle enough to use on a regular basis on partial or full dentures.

When they are not being worn, dentures should rest in a cleaning solution in a tray or other container designed for such use.

Keeping Dentures In place

As the name suggests, removable dentures can have a tendency to move around; as such, denture adhesives are used to keep full or partial dentures held in place in your mouth.

Many different product lines of denture adhesives exist but the procedure for using them is the same. Essentially you run lines of the adhesive along the side of the denture that will sit against your upper or lower jaw line. The dentures must be clean and dry to start and once the adhesive is applied, the denture is positioned in the mouth and gently pressed into place. If denture adhesive oozes out, too much has been used. If the dentures slip and slide during the day, the dentures may require replacement due to a poor fit.

Costs And Procedure Required For Dentures

The cost of dentures is related directly to the material they are made from – metal or acrylic – and whether it is a removable partial denture or full denture.

  • Basic dentures range from $300 to $500 per plate with full uppers or lowers costing between $600 and $1,000.
  • Mid-range dentures are between $500 and $1,500 per plate and $1,000 to $3,000 for a full set.
  • Premium dentures can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 per plate up to between $4,000 and $8,000 for a set.
  • Removable partial dentures can cost between $300 and $1,800 each.

The procedure required for designing a denture is far from complicated. A series of visits will be necessary. The first one will be for a general examination. This is where your dentist will determine where your dentures will go and if teeth need to be removed, which ones. A follow-up visit will begin the process of extracting teeth. Along the way, impressions will be made of your jawline where dentures will go. These impressions will eventually assist in the production of your full denture or removable partial denture. More visits will be required for fittings and corrections if required until a properly fitting denture or set of dentures are the end result.

The Choice – Full Denture Or Removable Partial Denture

Provided you are a good candidate for this type of cosmetic dental procedure, you have a number of choices available. The options vary depending on the construction material and the type and size of dentures. If you have just a few teeth missing, a removable partial denture may be best. More missing teeth will require a full denture.

Costs vary related to size and material, but the costs are worth the expense if missing teeth are affecting your diet, speech, confidence, and way of life. These concerns would be the first reason to consider visiting your dentist to discuss the possibility of repairing the damage with either a removable partial denture or a full denture appliance.

About Jade Roberts

After having a lot of dental issues when she was younger, and years of restorative dental work, Jade knows how difficult it is to find the right dental information. This forced her to do countless hours of research and connect with dental experts all over the world to find the right information. Learning has made her passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience so that others don't have to go through the same issues. "If I make any recommendations in the articles on the False Teeth Options website, it is because my team and I have researched and/or tested the products ourselves, and would be comfortable recommending them to our own family and friends. I'd love to hear of your experiences. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch."

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