Dentures – Full or partial denture?
If you are considering a partial or full denture you likely are already missing some teeth and may have others that are not in great shape. Remember, if we can, we would always prefer to save teeth that can be saved. Even if we can only save a few to help anchor a partial denture on, you will be happier with the comfort and fit of the final result. Nothing that anyone will ever make you will likely ever be as good as your natural teeth (unless you include implants and get an implant supported denture). However, many teeth are beyond the point of trying to save them and that is why we have both partial and full dentures.
A partial denture is a removable prosthesis that snaps down on top of some of your remaining good teeth. It is obviously meant for someone that still has some good, solid teeth. These solid teeth will be the anchor for the new partial and it will be important that you take care of these teeth in the future so that your partial can still attach to them. Partial dentures are traditionally made of a chromium cobalt metal base framework with acrylic teeth paced on top. Partials are excellent for both upper and lower arches. Dentists will often work very hard to save a few teeth on the bottom or insist that you get some dental implants, as lower full dentures are pretty uncomfortable for most people. It is pretty rare to find someone that likes a lower full denture, but lower partial dentures tend to be just fine.
Cost of partial dentures
Partial dentures cost around $2,500 per jaw. A little more for one that is placed the day the teeth are removed. This is rarely done with partial dentures, though.
Maintenance costs of partial dentures
Partial dentures need to be relined as you will continue to lose bone under the denture. Ideally you will have this done every 5 years but people rarely do. This usually costs around $200 to $400.
Partial dentures break. Sometimes they can be repaired for a few hundred dollars. Denture teeth can break off and the cost to repair is also a few hundred dollars.
Denture teeth wear down. Sometimes they can be replaced but often the teeth opposing the partial denture have adapted to the worn shape and it can be nearly impossible to fix without fixing the opposing teeth as well.
You can lose more teeth. Some teeth can be added for a few hundred dollars. If you lose an important tooth that the partial is relying on then you may need to transfer to a full denture (costs seen below).
Can a partial denture go through a metal detector at the airport?
Yes. There will be no problem with a metal partial staying in your mouth and going through a metal detector anywhere. If you have a MRI they will take it out though.
Will I have a metal taste in my mouth from a partial denture?
No. If anything you might have more of an acrylic taste.
A full denture is a removable prosthesis for individuals with no remaining teeth on either the upper or lower jaw. If you have no remaining teeth or not enough remaining solid teeth for a partial then a full denture may be your best option. A full denture replaces all of your teeth that have been lost and all of the soft tissue and bone that gets resorbed when you lose teeth. A full denture is made from an acrylic base and has acrylic teeth. Upper jaw full dentures are a fine way to replace missing teeth. Lower jaw full dentures, on the other hand, often have significant problems and people with lower ones typically have trouble adjusting to them without some type of extra support. We do not recommend a lower denture without some type of implants placed to help stabilize it. The standard of care for over a decade has been to place two implants on the lower jaw to help support it. Source
Cost of full dentures
Dentures cost around $2,000 per jaw. A little more for a lower jaw and a little more if you are getting an immediate denture (one that is placed the day the teeth are removed).
Maintenance costs of full dentures
Dentures need to be relined as you will continue to lose bone under the denture. If you have an immediate denture made you will need this within the first 6 months. Ideally you will have this done every 5 years but people rarely do. This usually costs around $300 or $400.
Dentures break. Sometimes they can be repaired for a few hundred dollars. Denture teeth can break off and the cost to repair is also a few hundred dollars.
Denture teeth wear down. If they get worn down enough that you want the replaced, it’s often easier and cheaper to just make you a new denture.