Removable Partial Dentures

When multiple missing teeth need to be replaced, there are several options available for patients. For some patients, dental implants or fixed bridgework is not an option due to cost. Partial dentures offer patients a very cost-effective way to replace multiple missing teeth with a single prosthetic device. A partial denture can replace one or more teeth, unlike a full denture, which replaces all of the teeth in an arch. Partial dentures are a removable prosthetic device which is retained by clasping onto supporting teeth in the arch. In the areas where teeth are missing, the gum and bone ridge support an acrylic material.

Partial dentures can give patients some function and improve the aesthetics of their smiles at a much lower cost than implants or bridgework, making them a good choice for some patients.

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It is important to note that when teeth are removed, a natural resorption of the bone in the sites where the teeth were extracted occurs over time. The only way to prevent this resorption is by placing dental implants. It is important to consider the types of partial dentures that are available and how many teeth are missing and the location of the missing teeth to determine which option is most ideal for you. Partials must be designed with certain factors in mind, for example, taking note of the number and distribution of existing natural teeth in the arch to help equalize the distribution of forces and minimize any rocking to occur when chewing. This type of pressure on the bony ridge can accelerate the natural bone resorption process. Partials should also be designed in a way that minimizes the pressure inflicted on the supporting teeth to help maintain them longer.

There are a few different types of partial dentures available. Your dentist will help you design a partial that will best serve your needs.

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Removable Partial Dentures Option #1
Flipper

For a patient who is only missing one tooth, a flipper is an option. It is made of an acrylic material. Flippers can be a permanent or temporary solution to a single missing tooth. These can be made in one day at our dental lab in Lincoln. Often patients who are in the healing phase of implant treatment use a flipper until the implant can be restored.

removable partial dentures

Removable Partial Dentures Option #2
Removable Partial Denture with Metal Framework

This type of partial is created using a metal framework with strong metal clasps. If the supporting teeth are healthy and have adequate bone support, this type of partial can provide very stable chewing function. Sometimes the metal clasps are visible on this type of partial, depending on which teeth are missing in the jaw. If patients have an unequal distribution of remaining teeth, it is possible that this type of partial can increase the forces placed on the supporting teeth, which can reduce the longevity of those teeth.

flexible partial partial dentures

Removable Partial Dentures Option #3
Removable Partial With Flexible Nylon Framework


This is a newer option for partial dentures. Instead of metal framework, it is made of a nylon material which is more flexible. This material is quite strong, and the framework is thicker than that of those with metal framework. Patients who have had a metal-framework partial in the past and then switch to a partial with nylon framework often tell us that the partial is more comfortable. There are no metal clasps, making these less noticeable than the metal framework partials.

Removable Partial Dentures Option #4
All Plastic Without Internal Framework

This type of partial is completely made up of plastic. It has a few clips to help stabilize it, but the rest of the partial is acrylic. If this prosthetic is used for chewing against natural teeth, it will eventually break. The areas where the partial fits between teeth are very narrow, which makes this type of partial quite fragile. If patients are using this type of partial and chewing against an acrylic denture, it will last longer. This type of denture is typically much less expensive, so if it is mostly intended for aesthetic and not chewing function, it may be a good option for you.

If you are missing several teeth and would like to discuss which option is best for you, call our office and schedule a consultation. Our dentists will go through each option with you and help design a partial to fit your needs.

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