Partial dentures are removable artificial replacements for missing teeth and hence can be taken in and out of the mouth whenever necessary. Partial dentures are made for patients who are missing one or more natural teeth due to a previous extraction, decay or to injury in an arch but not all. Partial dentures are typically removable that consist of false artificial or prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic-acrylic base, and metal or plastic clasps.
They consist of metal or non-metal frameworks or tooth colored attachments which have clasps or hooks that latch onto the remaining teeth to make it secure and held in place. Denture teeth are then added upon the framework or acrylic to replace the patient’s missing teeth and restore them. Removable partial dentures fill in the gaps and prevent other remaining existing teeth from experiencing extra pressure and damage and also works with both the upper and lower jaw. These dentures are a cost-effective alternative to patients who are not able to or do not want to get dental implants.
Different types of partial dentures.
With various denture types available you’ll need to discuss with a dentist beforehand which type is suitable for your teeth with the existing oral health and sensitivity. Below are the types of partial denture:
- Cast metal partial dentures
Cast metal partial dentures have an acrylic (plastic) base and a metal framework that is attached through clasps that cling onto dental crowns to add stability and increase the lifespan of the dentures. Some patients may be concerned about the metal framework being visible with the dentures, but they can be made the same as gum color, making it not likely to be noticed by others. They are great for those who want a comfortable and secure fit while talking and eating and are easier to care for.
- Flexible partial dentures
For those who are allergic to acrylic flexible partial dentures are an alternative to cast metal partial dentures. These dentures are especially comfortable, lightweight and not as heavy duty made from thin, heat-sensitive plastic. They are made of a nylon frame which makes them realistic which also offer aesthetic benefits.
- Acrylic removable partial dentures
Acrylic removable partial dentures , also known as dental flippers, work the same way as cast metal dentures but pop in and out of place easily and can fill the place with several missing teeth. They are often considered as the most affordable solution and used as temporary partial dentures built on a base of pink acrylic attached to teeth with metal clasps while the patient waits for a permanent option.
- Fixed bridge
Fixed bridges are not removable and temporary, but they actually are a partial denture option as they are implementing false teeth as a means of bridging the spaces in your smile. However, it requires the gums and surrounding tissues to be in the perfect condition which is often hard to have due to missing teeth. False teeth need to be attached to a bridge mounted on nearby existing healthy teeth to make it look like a normal part of your everyday smile.
- Implant-supported fixed bridge
Dental implants may be the best choice when you’re missing several teeth and do not want to damage existing healthy tooth structure. Implant-supported fixed bridges might involve most procedures, as they are the permanent partial dentures that often last for a lifetime and also appear and behave the most like real teeth.
How do I choose the best partial dentures for me?
Depending on the patient’s condition, there are various factors that should be taken into consideration while choosing partial dentures. Your dentist would examine your dental health and overall health and will go over pros and cons to determine the right denture for you. The factors you need to consider when doing the denture selection are:
- Remaining natural teeth’s condition and support and how many teeth do you need to replace.
- Allergic reactions or sensitivities that you may have.
- Some dentures might not fit in your budget therefore you’ll need to discuss with the dentist whether you’re going for cost over aesthetics or vice versa.