How to decide full or partial dentures?

Nov 4, 2017
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I need some help on how to decide what treatment plan to go for my bedridden 88 year old mother. My mother lives in an assisted living home. Two and one half years ago my mother had to have some surgery which left her unable to walk and bedridden. Because she cannot go to the bathroom by herself her oral healthcare habits have not been good. I have explained to her about the need to have good oral hygiene and tried to get the caregivers to brush her teeth every day but since I am not with her everyday I'm not sure it gets done. She also suffers from dementia but still communicates adequately. My mother is also a Denti-cal patient. I've tried to get her to see several dentists since she became bedridden but few take Denti-cal and even fewer can accommodate her in a wheel chair. My mother must be lifted out her wheel chair with a Hoyer lift and into a dentist chair. I finally found a dentist with large enough exam rooms to accommodate her wheelchair and lift.

The exam revealed that she had moderately bad periodontal disease and needs several extractions because of decayed teeth.
She has already had several extractions and if the decayed teeth are removed she would only have a few teeth in the front, both top and bottom. The dentist has suggested that she either have partials or full dentures. The dentist seems to think she has enough good teeth left for the partial to attach to if that is what we decide to do. My mother and I have talked and I gave her what I think are the pros and cons of either treatment plan.

I am torn about what to do, partial or full dentures. This is what I am thinking: I think that a partial would preserve some of her teeth and would be more secure than full dentures, but she would have to improve her oral hygiene habits so that she doesn't lose any more teeth. I just don't think she will improve her oral hygiene and all of the dental work would be wasted. I don't know how good a full denture would perform (how well can they fit a full denture these days) and how comfortable would they be. The full denture would be easier to care for and I think she could eliminate the periodontal disease.

Any advise would be welcomed!


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