The Benefits of Dental & Partial Dentures

by Nancy

Full and partial dentures act as replacement teeth. Find out the differences and benefits of each type of denture.


There are several health issues relating to missing teeth. Your teeth are an important part of your facial structure. Missing teeth results in your face sagging, and depending on the teeth, may lead to problems with speech. Your chewing is also impacted by missing teeth. There are limited nutritional options for softer food. As a result, many individuals with missing teeth often eat unhealthy foods, which further damages their remaining teeth. Your remaining teeth also become crooked to attempt to fill the missing spaces, which makes them harder to clean and presents additional health risks.

There are several ways to treat missing teeth, but the most popular is with dentures. Dentures act as replacement teeth, which can be inserted or removed from your mouth as needed. There are two different types of dentures available, full and partial. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages, as noted below.

Difference Between Full and Partial Dentures

Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, have a plastic base. The color replicates your gums, making it easier to blend in with the rest of your mouth. Often, these dentures are held in place by creating a seal with your gums. If this is not an option due to other health issues, your dentist may use dental implants surgically placed along your jaw. This is much more expensive than sealing the dentures around your gums.

In most cases, complete dentures require all of your upper teeth or at least half of your lower teeth missing to be applied. The cost of full dentures varies greatly depending on the materials you use and whether you want custom or economy dentures. A basic set of dentures normally costs between $600 and $1,500. Higher quality dentures normally run between $1,500 and $3,000. High end dentures may cost as much as $15,000.

In comparison, partial dentures are made with either a plastic base or a metal framework. Which material is used normally depends on how many teeth are being replaced. Metal dentures are normally preferred because of their stronger design, with plastic dentures being used as a temporary replacement while your teeth or gums heal. Partial dentures are attached using clasps built around your remaining teeth.

Benefits of Getting Dentures

There are many shared benefits between full and partial dentures. In addition to all the medical advantages, there are cosmetic benefits. Dentures look better than traditional teeth implants. Thanks to medical and technological advancements, both full and partial dentures naturally blend in with your remaining teeth. Each type of denture is also much more comfortable than older models. You can get additional comfort by customizing the dentures specifically for your mouth, keeping them from rubbing against your gums or feeling out of place in your mouth.

Another benefit of dentures is how easy they are to care for. Unlike your natural teeth, you do not need to worry about brushing or flossing your dentures. In the evening, you can remove your dentures and place them in a cleaning solution. When you wake up, the dentures are clean and ready to go back in your mouth.

Custom vs. Economic Dentures

Whether you get partial or full dentures, you must decide whether you get custom or economic dentures. Economic dentures are less expensive than custom models. The downside is, economic dentures have a generic look. Additionally, you must choose between an existing size. In comparison, custom dentures are molded specifically to fit your mouth. There are also more realistic looking models available.

While custom dentures have many advantages over the economic models, they typically cost an additional $300 to $500 extra. More advanced models, sometimes referred to as mid-range dentures, cost an additional $1,000. How much you must pay out of pocket depends on your insurance. Unfortunately, many insurance plans have limited dental options. For example, original Medicare only provides dental services if you are in the hospital. Many private, Medicare Advantage plans include an optional dental component, if you pay extra.

Preparing for Dentures

Full dentures take much longer to prepare than partial dentures. With a full set, your dentist may have to remove your existing teeth to make room for the complete set of dentures. During this process, your gums must recover before he or she can install the dentures. The healing process normally takes between two to three months.

Partial dentures do not need nearly as much time. The biggest factor with partial dentures is your overall health. If you are only having a few teeth replaced, you may be a candidate for immediate dentures. These dentures may also be issued on a temporary basis while permanent dentures are prepared.

Once your dentures are installed, it often takes several weeks to adjust to them. Even with custom dentures, you may feel minor irritation or soreness. Your saliva flow may also increase within the first few days.