Losing teeth is just a natural part of the human experience as a child. But when you’re an adult, it can be embarrassing, painful, and frustrating. We don’t want your teeth to be a source of stress, and we want to do our best to help you feel great about your smile.
There are many custom-made tooth replacements for missing teeth and gums available to you, but how do you choose? As your local dentist, we can give you our expert advice and opinions, but the decision is ultimately in your hands.
We have put together an essential list of partial denture options available and their descriptions to avoid overwhelming you. Our goal is to educate you on the best modern treatments in the dental world so you can have a great smile.
What are Partial Dentures?
Full dentures replace missing teeth when you no longer have any or enough healthy existing teeth. However, partial dentures are your solution when you only need to replace a couple of missing teeth. Medical professionals designed them to work with your natural teeth, forming a complete and relaxed smile. Partial dentures can be a temporary solution, removable for the long term, or permanently fixed.
Removable Partial Dentures
Acrylic Partial Dentures
A pink acrylic base mimics the appearance of natural gums and is what makes up partial dentures. They can be fitted with one or more teeth and connect your existing smile with metal clasps for a secure fit. Patients who find this personalized fitting comfortable may wear acrylic partial dentures for years. They can adequately speak and eat as though they never had dental treatment in the first place.
The major downside to the acrylic base is that it is often bulky to eliminate the risk of breakage. Some may find its large surface to be more noticeable and less comfortable. The metal clasps are visible when talking for many and do not create the most natural look patients can achieve. Many patients use acrylic partial dentures as a cost-effective temporary option before settling on a permanent choice.
Cast Metal Partial Dentures
These are known as the most commonly used partial denture type. Unlike partials with a bulky acrylic base, this surface has an ultra-thin metal framework that holds the acrylic teeth in place. They require a metal clasp to attach in place, but patients can opt for precision attachments that are less visible and more aesthetically pleasing. Patients can wear cast metal partial dentures for many years without the need for replacement with proper care and hygiene.
Flexible Partial Dentures
For patients who are allergic to acrylic or are unhappy with the comfort or visibility of acrylic and cast metal dentures, flexible partial dentures are a perfect choice. This partial denture is a hypoallergenic, lightweight thermoplastic that molds uniquely over gum tissues. They are firmly secure with gum-colored clasps that blend in well and are less visible than typical metal clasps.
These seem like the obvious solution for missing teeth, but due to their design, they are unrepairable. Unfortunately, any break or crack cannot simply be fixed, often meaning a dentist much create a new set entirely.
Fixed Partial Dentures
Fixed bridges are an excellent solution for replacing one or two teeth that sit next to healthy teeth. To create a bridge, dentists place crowns on the teeth sitting directly next to the open space and attach an acrylic or replacement tooth to the crowns on either end.
Fixed bridge solutions are considered permanent. They are cared for in the same way as existing teeth, though patients must pay special attention to the spaces under and around the bridge to avoid decay and build-up.
Dental Implant Bridge
An implant bridge may be the best solution if enough teeth are not present or if it has an ill-position for a fixed bridge. This solution is similar to the bridge mentioned above, but titanium implants support the bridge in the jaw rather than a mental clasp attaching to the surrounding teeth. In some cases, these implants may support a bridge that creates an entire arch.
Though an expensive solution upfront, a bridge implanted into healthy bone and gums can last a lifetime.
Making Your Partial Denture Selection
Knowing your partial denture options is only one step towards finding a solution. Many factors may affect the type of partial denture that will work best for you and your oral health. Therefore we highly recommend scheduling a consultation with a trusted dentist.
At East Valley Dental Professionals, we are passionate about prioritizing your dental care and helping you create a smile you are proud to wear. We offer consultations and free second opinions to ensure that you receive the best oral care for you. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your partial denture needs with local dentists.