When most people think of dentures they picture a full plastic plate of teeth. However, there are many different types of dentures that can be used to replace missing teeth and help patients achieve their desired smile. One type of denture is a Partial Denture which consists of an acrylic gum base with pink material to replicate the look of natural gums and plastic teeth that fill in the gap. These are held in place by clasps that anchor onto the remaining natural teeth.
Partial Dentures have their pros and cons but they are an excellent restorative option for those who have one or more missing teeth but still have several healthy natural teeth in place. They can reduce the amount of stress placed on natural teeth, which can cause them to wear down or become crooked over time, and they can make it easier to eat, speak, and smile.
Like any dental appliance, there is a learning curve when it comes to wearing and eating with Partial Dentures. However, once a patient gets comfortable with this restorative solution they can enjoy their full benefits.
In addition to reducing the stress on remaining natural teeth, Partial Dentures can also help keep the jaw bone and oral tissues stimulated which can prevent them from shrinking or becoming swollen over time. In addition, they can boost a person’s confidence by providing them with a natural-looking smile that can improve their self-esteem and overall quality of life.
Those considering Partial Dentures should first have a comprehensive exam to determine the state of their mouth and any active dental disease present. This will allow a dentist to ensure the partial denture fits well and does not cause any additional stress on natural teeth or create sore spots in the gums.
The three main types of Partial Dentures are Cast Framework, Flexible, and Implant-Attached. Cast metal framework partials are considered the “gold standard” and provide the best fit, longest-lasting partial. They have a thin metal base that holds the acrylic gums and plastic teeth and are held in place by clasps that attach to existing natural teeth. Many patients say that they are the most comfortable partials to wear as well.
Another common choice is Flexible Partials which are made from thin, lightweight thermoplastics and do not have visible metal clips. However, these dentures can break easily and are more bulky than their metal counterparts. They are also prone to fracturing and have been known to irritate the gums in some cases.
In addition to soaking your partial dentures in water or denture solution at night, it is important to brush them daily with a toothbrush and toothpaste that is designed for use on artificial teeth. Regular cleaning and care can help to prevent bacteria buildup that could lead to plaque and tartar, which may require a trip to the dentist for a professional clean.