Partial Dentures

Just because you have a few teeth missing doesn’t mean you’re condemned to travel through life with a gap in your teeth and smile. Partial dentures can be thought of like regular dentures, except they are not as big and simply bridge the gap in your smile. Read on to learn more about partial dentures and their benefits.

What are partial dentures?

Partial dentures are a type of prosthetic consisting of a plate that has a number of false teeth attached to it. The partial base is made from a gum-colored material. The framework of partials is made from plastic or cobalt-chromium metal.

Partial dentures are a treatment option for those who have one or more missing teeth, but have some of their original teeth remaining. Partial dentures are fitted with clasps that fit over existing teeth. Like regular dentures, partials are removable, making them different from dental implants, which are fixed within the jawbone itself.

Partial Denture Types and Materials

There are a variety of partial dentures available, including metal, plastic and flexible partials. Flexible partials are normally the most expensive, while plastic is the cheapest. However, don’t let price determine what is right for you. In some cases, a dentist may prefer a less expensive material for a patient. Each patient has a unique mouth, and what is right for one may not be right for another person.

Acrylic Removable

The plate of this type of denture is made from plastic, with false teeth in the base. Your dentist will place them in your mouth using small metal clasps fitted to your natural teeth. Although they can be bulkier than metal partial dentures, they are normally easier to adjust and less expensive.

Cast Metal Removable

This may be the most commonly used type of partial denture, consisting of a chromium and cobalt frame with either metal attachments or precision attachments. Since they are less noticeable, precision attachments are preferable; however, they are also more expensive.

Flexible Partial

This makes a solid treatment choice for those who are allergic to acrylic or may be uncomfortable with other types of dentures. They are made from a flexible plastic that is very thin. Flexible partials are fitted using gum-colored clasps. 

Benefits of Partial Dentures

  • Custom fit
  • Cost effective
  • Improved chewing and speaking

What To Expect

Some of your teeth may need to be extracted before the insertion of partial dentures. In that case, your gums will need to heal for up to six months before you can receive partial dentures. While waiting, you may wear temporary dentures.

When you return for a subsequent appointment, your dentist will fit you with your new partial dentures.

Most patients find that there is an adjustment phase while they get used to their partial dentures. You may experience a degree of soreness, which can be alleviated with adjustments. Your ability to eat and speak should improve over time.

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