It’s important to replace missing teeth to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting along the gum line. A missing tooth can also mean that more strain is put on the teeth on either side of the gap. If the teeth should move out of place, it could affect the bite and change the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.
The type of replacement used for missing teeth depends on how many are missing and where they are located in the mouth. Fixed bridges are usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace or when the missing teeth are located on only one side of the mouth. Another option is with partial dentures and is used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw.
A partial denture is a plate that holds one or more false teeth. It can be made entirely of plastic or with a mixture of metal and plastic. With either material, the denture may have clips (clasps) to help keep the denture in place. These clasps may or may not be visible in the mouth.
Similar to the creation of complete dentures, to have partial dentures made, impressions and measurements will be taken of the mouth. Models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns can be made to “try in” to check for color, shape, and fit. The denture itself will be created in a dental laboratory using the impressions and measurements that were taken. Once it has been created, adjustments can be made to ensure a good fit.