Partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth, and cutting-edge removable partial denture technology makes it possible to replace as many or as few teeth as required with a comfortable and natural-looking dental device. Because pulling healthy teeth to allow for full dentures is never advisable, and individual implants are often cost-prohibitive, removable partial dentures are ideal for many people looking to fill gaps in their smile.
Types of Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures are available in three main varieties. Acrylic partial dentures, also known as “flippers,” are usually a temporary solution as this option tends to be less comfortable and bulkier than other removable partial denture types. Often, patients in need of partial dentures utilize this choice while their dentist fits a more permanent device. However, acrylic partial dentures provide the least expensive alternative for those looking to fill in missing teeth, and many people do use this option as a long-term solution.
Cast-metal partial dentures and flexible plastic partials offer more permanent partial denture solutions. Cast-metal partial dentures are the most common type and consist of a framework of cast metal that supports quality replacement teeth. The precision attachments of cast-metal partial dentures help improve their aesthetic appearance, and these devices tend to last for many years with proper care.
Flexible partial dentures offer patients a third option. Made from thin, heat-sensitive plastic, flexible partial dentures are a good option for those who have an allergic reaction to acrylic or who find cast metal or acrylic partials uncomfortable. Flexible partials attach into the existing spaces surrounding your teeth using thin clasps designed to be almost invisible against your gums. This type of partial dentures is generally comfortable and appear realistic, but these devices are more expensive than acrylic partial dentures and are usually not as long-lasting as the cast metal alternative.
Ultimately, all three types of removable partial dentures have their own unique set of advantages and drawbacks, and no single option will best fit the needs, goals and budget of all patients. Your dentist can help you choose the option that is right for you.
Benefits of Partial Dentures
Besides being unsightly, missing teeth can cause a number of problems that can affect your physical and mental well-being. Removable partial dentures can assist in alleviating these issues as they help to restore your comfort and confidence. Among the benefits of removable partial dentures are an improvement in the ability to chew and speak, reduced jaw tension and stress, a lowered risk of developing gum disease, decreased facial sagging that can lead to premature aging of your face, protection against the shifting of your remaining teeth and a more natural-looking and beautiful smile.