Are you likely to be better or worse off at the end of the day? This is the million dollar question.
To answer this, you need to look at the advantages of wearing the denture verses the potential damage it could cause.
It may be that your diet and hygiene are so poor that the extra plaque would rot your teeth and the gum disease that would result, would cause your remaining teeth to be lost much more quickly.
There are also times when there is little choice but to provide a partial denture, since the alternatives are too expensive. For example, the front teeth are missing and you need a solution. In this case, even if plaque control and hygiene is likely to get worse with wearing a partial denture and other teeth may suffer, walking around with no front teeth is simply not an option.
If you only have a couple of teeth left - again, something must
be done, and in this case it is likely that partial denture will help 'prepare' you for wearing a full set of dentures
in the future.
Let's look at another scenario. A patient is missing a few teeth at the back, but all the remaining teeth bite on other teeth ( i.e. gaps correspond to gaps). If the patient requests a partial denture, has good hygiene and is motivated towards caring for their teeth, then restoring these spaces would be beneficial; improve their chewing, protecting their remaining teeth and stopping any unwanted tooth movement.
Imagine instead however, this same patient has terrible oral hygiene that hasn't improved despite repeated efforts to teach them, has lots of plaque around and eats a crazy high sugar diet. Wearing a denture here could be extremely damaging, trapping even more plaque next to the teeth and tipping the balance resulting in a rapid breakdown of their natural teeth. This may sound extreme, but it is something that every dentist has unfortunately witnessed.
Does this make sense? Can you see the importance of caring for your mouth? Start getting into some good habits now or you may find yourself in a much worse position in a couple of years time.
It's the same as wanting to get braces; an orthodontist knows that if you can't look after your mouth and teeth without braces, then you haven’t got a chance of doing it with braces. If they went ahead and put them on, you would end up with straighter teeth in 2 years, but with so many areas of decay that you would have to spend thousands more dollars filling the teeth and having crowns to make things look nice again.