For many people, conventional partial dentures–not implant dentures or dental bridges–seem like a good solution for one or more lost teeth. They’re inexpensive, can be made quickly, and ostensibly fill the gap.

Unfortunately, the initial benefits of partial dentures can diminish and you become aware of some of the drawbacks of partial dentures that make people want to get dental implants. Here are five of the most important reasons to replace your partial denture with a dental implant.

Partial Denture Hurts

Partial dentures just can’t function like your natural teeth because they are just too much unlike your natural teeth. Natural teeth are supported by your bone. This makes a sturdy structure to respond to the forces of biting, chewing, or even talking and swallowing.

But partial dentures aren’t anchored in your bone: they rest on your gums. This means that they put pressure on your gums that your gums just aren’t able to support. The result can be that your gums get hurt. If your partial denture is too painful to wear, what’s the point?

A dental implant is secured in the bone and can support bite forces without putting too much pressure on your gums. Instead, the pressure will be put where it’s supposed to be so that you can have a comfortable tooth replacement.

Your Diet Is Too Limited

One of the limitations of partial dentures is that they just aren’t useful for eating. Most people will remove a partial denture when they’re eating, partly to avoid discomfort, partly to keep the denture clean, and partly because the denture can actually interfere with eating.

The problem is that not everyone can adapt well to having only a partial set of teeth. You might miss the chewing ability you had when you had a full set of teeth, and, as a result, you may steer away from foods that are hard to chew: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and unprocessed meat. Instead, you’ll favor more processed foods that are low in nutrition, high in sugar, high in fat, and high in salt.

If you’ve noticed that your partial denture has changed your eating habits for the worse, a dental implant can help. It will restore your lost teeth with fully functional replacements, allowing you to enjoy a full range of tasty, healthy foods.

Teeth Adjacent to Denture Are Damaged

A partial denture isn’t just hard on your gums, it can be hard on your teeth, too. Partial dentures are often secured with metal clasps and hooks around your natural teeth. These hooks and clasps can cause wear on your natural teeth, which can put them at risk.

Even if the hooks and clasps aren’t causing wear, they can lead to the accumulation of additional food and plaque on neighboring teeth. This means that you’ll end up with more cavities on these teeth than on other teeth. Left unattended, this process can cause a chain reaction of tooth loss.

So if you notice that your teeth next to the partial denture are experiencing wear or more frequent decay, it’s time to consider replacing the denture with dental implants.

Natural Teeth Are Getting Worn

As we’ve noted, your partial denture isn’t good for chewing and it may be painful. Whether or not you keep your partial denture in while eating, you’ve likely changed your biting and chewing habits to work around the limitations of your denture.

This helps you to chew effectively, but it can also increase the stress on your natural teeth. When this happens, it can lead to increased wear, which can be destructive. If you’ve noticed that your natural teeth are wearing down faster than they used to, or if you’ve seen signs of stress on your teeth like cracks or chips, it may be time to ask whether the partial denture is responsible.

If it is, then replacing it with dental implants can take some of the strain off your natural teeth.

Your Bite Is Changing

Biting and chewing seem simple until you have to change it because of something like a partial denture. It takes time and effort to change the way you chew, and once you make these changes, it might not feel right.

In fact, sometimes the adaptation to a partial denture can contribute to unhealthy chewing habits or postures. And that can lead to a serious bite condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD). If you notice symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and more after adapting to your partial denture, it may not be a coincidence. Talk to a dentist who understands bite science and can give you a healthier bite with dental implants if necessary.

Are You Ready for Dental Implants?

Partial dentures can seem like a good solution at first, but for many people they are more trouble than they’re worth. If you’re sick and tired of the limitations of your partial dentures, let us help.

Please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with an Orange County implant dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.