Partial Dentures Explained

Partial Dentures are a solution for missing teeth. They improve chewing and help preserve the placement of remaining teeth, stopping unwanted tooth movement.

A gap in the mouth due to missing teeth can cause more than just a cosmetic issue; it puts strain on remaining natural teeth, causing them to wear faster and break down more quickly. It can also affect the way that the upper and lower teeth bite together, causing discomfort and a greater likelihood of problems with the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

Removable partial dentures (the most popular type) rest on the gums or oral soft tissues. They are held in place by clasps that wrap around remaining natural teeth or a dental bridge. There are several different types of removable Partial Dentures available, including acrylic flippers and cast metal framework partials.

Depending on your preferences, you can have a fixed partial denture that is bonded, cemented or mechanically fixed in place. This option may be more expensive but can offer a more permanent and stable solution to missing teeth. If you want a more natural look, you can have your partial dentures attached to other real teeth with crowns, giving them a natural feel and appearance.

There are other types of dental bridges that can be used to replace missing teeth, such as the traditional porcelain fused to metal bridge or an implant-supported fixed bridge. However, these options can be more invasive and require a longer healing period.

Another consideration is whether or not your dental insurance company will cover the cost of a partial denture. Many dental insurance plans operate by placing a yearly limit on the amount that they will cover for each patient, so it’s important to contact your insurance company prior to getting a partial denture if you are unsure about what your coverage will be.

If you do end up deciding that a removable or fixed partial denture is the best choice for you, it’s important to understand that they will need to be taken out daily to be cleaned and to minimize the risk of plaque build-up and subsequent damage to your other teeth. Brushing your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste and rinsing them with warm water will remove any plaque and reduce the likelihood of it accumulating in the small gaps that are likely to occur.

It’s also recommended that you avoid biting down on your partial dentures as this can cause them to bend or break, requiring costly repairs. Additionally, you should not sleep in your removable partial dentures if you are prone to grinding your teeth (bruxism). This can cause the partial to shift out of position and lead to irritation in the mouth and other dental issues. For the best results, follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance of your partial dentures.