Can I add teeth to my existing partial denture?

The short answer is in most cases, yes.

Your mouth is a dynamic environment. Like your body, change is constant due to various factors including the ageing process, normal wear and tear and sometimes because of unforeseen accidents or illness.

When these changes occur, patients are often dismayed by the prospect of having to get new dentures. Well, the good news is, this isn’t always the case.

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When would I need a tooth addition?

Perhaps you need to have a tooth or teeth extracted, leaving a gap in your mouth that your partial denture no longer adequately fills. Affecting your appearance, your ability to eat effectively and even speak properly, the gap can also impact on your oral health, allowing in some cases for the remaining teeth to drift out of position. Load distribution alters as a consequence and the support your partial denture may have provided to an opposing denture may be compromised because of the gaps made by missing teeth.

Decisions … decisions. What do other patients do?

Of course, you’re not on your own to make these decisions. Our prosthetist is only too happy to discuss the options with you and help decide the best path forward based on his expertise and what suits your individual circumstances. Much depends on the position of the tooth to be extracted.

How long does it take for a tooth addition?

The short answer is a tooth addition can be achieved within the space of one day. A tooth addition takes two 30–minute appointments scheduled for the same day, so you’re without your denture for the least possible time.

What is the process?

We will reserve two appointments for you on the same day: one early morning and one later in the afternoon. During the early morning appointment, our prosthetist will take an impression of your mouth with your denture in place. We determine tooth shade and shape, and you will be given a quote. You will be without your denture during the day while our prosthetist undertakes the tooth addition work. When you return for the afternoon appointment, we fit your denture complete with the tooth or teeth added.

What happens if I need to have a tooth or teeth extracted?

Generally, the need for a tooth addition is because one or more of your teeth are being extracted. In this case, you will see your dentist first to determine which teeth are to be removed. Your dentist will provide you with a written treatment plan confirming tooth numbers for extraction which you bring to our prosthetist. We can then schedule your appointments for a same-day tooth addition. After this, the procedure follows the process detailed above.

Removal of teeth in the ‘smile line’

When anterior (front) teeth are removed, most patients are persuaded by aesthetics. Not wanting to appear ‘gummy’ for any longer than necessary, they opt to have their denture, complete with tooth additions, inserted immediately after extractions. This preserves the ‘smile line’ and eliminates being without a denture for the 2-4 weeks the healing process takes.

Removal of unclasped back teeth

If, however, you have posterior teeth extracted which are not relied upon for fixing clasps, then allowing the gum tissues and sockets to heal for a 2-4 week period can be advantageous.

Removal of clasped back teeth

A ‘clasped tooth’ is a natural tooth onto which the denture is secured by way of a metal clasp. Patients having posterior (back) teeth extractions of a clasped tooth require immediate tooth additions to maintain denture stability. In this case, the extracted tooth is replaced with a tooth addition and the clasp is moved to fix to a different natural tooth for the denture to remain secure in the mouth after the extractions. If the clasped tooth is extracted without changing the position of the clasp, the point of fixture is no longer available, and the denture may not be stable.

Why it pays to keep your prosthetist in the loop

Keeping your prosthetist informed of any future dental work you may need, means he can take this into account when assessing you for a denture. The choice of denture type affects whether tooth addition is a prospect. Where tooth addition is concerned, planning ahead when designing and making your denture can mitigate any negative impact like the cost of having to get a new one, or extended time being without your existing denture.

Call (07) 5536 4241

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