Help Decide between Full and Partial Dentures

Help Decide between Full and Partial Dentures

Getting dentures is a massive life change; for many people, it can be an uncomfortable or confusing process. It’s important to guide your patients every step of the way to ensure that they are comfortable and confident in their chosen treatment.

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Identifying the Issue

Generally speaking, most patients know that there are two types of fillings: “white” and “silver”. Of course, no one plans to get dentures at some point in their lifetime; it’s something that may be a source of stress, embarrassment, or confusion for some people, as it calls for considerable lifestyle changes.

If there are damaged or decayed teeth present in the mouth, the patient is usually presented with two treatment options:

  1. Restore the remaining teeth and receive partial dentures
  2. Remove the remaining teeth and receive full dentures

The overwhelming prospect of dentures

For many people, the prospect of needing dentures can be quite overwhelming. They may be confused about what each treatment option truly means for them, and so they may choose the “cheaper” option, which is in most cases removing the remaining teeth and receiving a full denture.

There are a few issues with this:

  • It’s always best to preserve natural tooth structure whenever possible
  • Full dentures are not as stable as partial dentures (more likely to move about in the mouth)
  • Once teeth are removed, bone levels begin to recede

Of course, this is not to say that full dentures are not a good treatment option; they simply require more maintenance and require more of an adjustment, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Dentist-patient communication

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Personal Experience

When working in-office as a lead dental assistant, I walked countless patients through the process of receiving dentures for the first time. It was common for patients to choose the “cheaper” treatment option, only to find out that it wasn’t truly the best option for them.

In one instance, we were working with a woman who was facing the choice of restoring damaged teeth and receiving partial dentures, or removing the teeth and receiving full dentures. The patient was adamant about simply wanting to be “done” worrying about her teeth, assuming that dentures would end all troubles she may have had.

Of course, as dental professionals, we know this isn’t true.

When the patient received her full dentures, she shared with us that she wished she had listened to us and went forward with the partial dentures. She had troubles with keeping her dentures in place, even with the use of adhesive, and was regretful about not saving the teeth she did have that would have been used as anchors for a partial denture.

It was times like this in which DentiCalc would have been an absolute blessing to use while presenting treatment to our patient; being able to give her a detailed visual representation of what each treatment option entailed would have undoubtedly made it much easier to thoroughly explain what the patient could expect.

Being able to use DentiCalc’s cutting-edge videos and animations to give our patient a full understanding of her treatment while we were discussing her treatment plan would have undoubtedly made an incredible impact on her situation.

For more information about how DentiCalc can help enhance your treatment plan presentations, click here.

For more informational dental blog posts, click here.

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