Missing even a single tooth can have an impact on a person’s ability to pronounce many words. A partial denture for one missing tooth can help restore clear diction and relieve the embarrassment that can result when listeners have to ask you to repeat yourself. At first, speaking with a new denture can seem strange and awkward; you may need to practice for a while, speaking at a slower pace while you get accustomed to wearing it. Over time, however, it can greatly improve your manner of speaking.
How do missing teeth affect speech?
Teeth actually play a major role in clear diction. Dentition is important for making sounds such as "f," "v," "s," and "z" (known as fricatives) as well as "j," "zh," "ch," "sh," and even "s" and "z." Teeth that are missing or spaced incorrectly can cause a person to lisp or make embarrassing whistling sounds while speaking.
What is a partial denture?
A partial denture for one missing tooth is a prosthesis designed to replace a patient’s missing tooth. A denture designed to replace a single tooth is known as a “flipper.” In the past, dentures were made from a variety of materials, primarily porcelain. Today, most dentures are manufactured from acrylic. Aside from being more economical, acrylic is not as hard as porcelain. This reduces the risk of injury to a patient’s natural teeth. Acrylic is also more easily shaped and easier to fit and can be readily tinted to match the patient’s natural teeth.
Partial dentures may be removable or fixed in place. The latter is also called a “crown and bridge” denture. While the cost of a fixed partial is higher than that of the removable kind, it offers greater stability.
Thanks to recent advances in digital technology, a third option is available. Known as the “flexible partial,” its main advantage is that no invasive procedure is required.
How are dentures made and fitted?
After determining that a denture is a good option, the dentist creates a mold, or model of the patient’s mouth. This is done by having the patient bite into dental putty, which is used as a guide for the lab technicians who create the actual prosthesis. It usually requires more than one visit for a partial denture to be fitted correctly.
When your denture is properly fitted, it stays in place all day as you engage in your regular activities. In most cases, no adhesive is necessary; suction ensures your denture stays seated in the mouth.
Your dentist may recommend leaving your denture in place for a while to determine if adjustments are required. Once you are comfortable with your new prosthesis, you will need to remove it nightly and soak it in a dental cleaning solution. You also need special toothpaste for dentures, as regular commercial brands are too abrasive.
When you are ready to start speaking confidently again, a partial denture for one missing tooth can help restore function in your mouth.
Request an appointment or call St. George Dental Care at 435-628-9099 for an appointment in our St George office.
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