If you are missing one or more teeth your dentist may recommend dentures. Partial dentures are designed specifically for people that are missing one or more teeth on the upper or lower jaw but do not need a whole set of teeth replaced. Partial dentures consist of artificial teeth that are attached to a gum colored base and can be removed and inserted as needed. There is often a metal framework that attaches to your existing teeth or adjacent crowns to hold the dentures in places.
Partial dentures have many benefits including improving your confidence in your smile. Because of the coloring of the replacement teeth and gum colored base, most people won’t have any idea you are wearing dentures. Partial dentures can also improve your day to day life making activities such as chewing easier and preventing undue stress on the natural remaining teeth.
When considering partial dentures you have several types to choose from.
Cast metal removable
These are the most common types of partial dentures. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a metal framework with connectors that attach to your teeth and a gum colored plastic base. This type of denture is typically sturdy and long lasting when properly cared for. Caring for removable dentures includes regularly cleaning them to remove food and debris as well as preventing them from drying out. In addition, they must be handled with care so that pieces of the appliance are not damaged or broken.
Flipper (acrylic removable)
Flippers are usually a temporary solution. They are made up of a retainer with prosthetic teeth and are typically utilized to replace missing front teeth. Because flippers are held in place by a retainer you can easily dislodge or move the replacement teeth with your tongue. Flippers are an affordable solution compared to some other options but may also be less durable. Flippers can slip out of place easily and can be subject to staining making them a less than ideal long term solution.
Flexible partial dentures
True to the name, these dentures are flexible and less rigid than more traditional types. Because they are flexible they are much less susceptible to breaking if dropped. They can also be much more comfortable and less challenging to adjust to compared to their cast metal counterparts. They cling to the gums to maintain their position and don’t require clasps or adhesive to hold them in place. Flexible partial dentures are also a fantastic option for people that may have allergies to materials used in traditional dentures such as nickel or resin. (https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/dentures/what-are-flexible-dentures-1216)
Once you choose your partial denture you must work to maintain it, just as you would your natural teeth. Sticky foods such as gum and taffy are not good for dentures so it is best to avoid these if possible. Put a towel down or fill your sink with warm water before removing your dentures so that if you do drop them they aren’t damaged. When removing your dentures do so gently and as instructed by your dentist. Depending on the type of appliance you will need to clean it. Use warm water to rinse your dentures and use a soft brush to remove food particles. Soak your dentures in a denture specific solution and then rinse with warm water daily. Taking care of your dentures is the best way to ensure they last and fit correctly.
The best partial denture for you will depend on your needs. Your dental professional will carefully examine your mouth and current oral hygiene and listen to your goals to help find the best solution. If you need assistance in achieving your perfect smile, call our office. Our team is here to help.