The Power of Removable Partial Dentures
Removable Partial Dentures are removable custom appliances worn to replace missing teeth. Missing teeth make chewing and speaking challenging, affect your appearance, and therefore affect your confidence. Dentures help patients to chew and smile again, and at the same time prevent the remaining teeth from moving or shifting. Here’s a list of types, to help you choose your denture.
Types of Removable Partial Dentures:
The quickest and least expensive way to replace missing teeth. An acrylic denture is made of a pink or gum-colored acrylic base to which the pontics (or artificial teeth) are attached. Since acrylic is not as strong as metal, this has to be made bulky for it to be durable. This denture is recommended only as an immediate denture or a temporary denture while waiting for the gums to heal.
- Restores function and aesthetics
- Easy to fabricate
- Easy to reline
- Can add more teeth
- Less comfortable – due to the thickness of its acrylic base, it may be uncomfortable to use and it might take a while for the patient to adapt to the dentures.
- Easily breaks – since acrylic is basically plastic, it breaks easily, meaning this type of denture is not long-lasting
- Poor stability – acrylic dentures shrink or change in shape, therefore relining is often needed
- Poor support – this denture is a gum-supported denture, which is the worst type of support a denture could have. All forces go down through your denture to your gums. Gums cannot withstand these forces as well as your teeth can. These forces can cause damage to the gums surrounding the remaining teeth.
Cast Metal Dentures
The most popular type of removable denture. In cast metal dentures, the base is made of chromium cobalt alloy, to which the pink acrylic base and pontics are attached. This type of denture usually has metal clasps to help keep it in place. The clasps may be unaesthetic as they may show when you smile. If you are conscious of this, you have the option to choose less noticeable devices to attach the dentures to your natural teeth. These are called precision attachments. These are more expensive than the usual cast metal dentures with metal clasps, but they will look more natural.
- Restores function and aesthetics
- Patient comfort – as metal is stronger than acrylic, the cast metal dentures can be made thinner and less bulky, making it more comfortable and easier to adapt for the patient
- Durable – these dentures are very durable to force and do not deteriorate chemically when in contact with liquids and bacteria.
- Better support – a cast metal denture has rest seats on natural teeth where the denture lies, making it a tooth-supported denture, the best kind of denture support. Tooth-supported dentures protect the gums from masticatory forces
- Long lasting – due to its excellent strength and durability, this type of denture can last long
- Retention – adheres to teeth and gums better due to the presence of clasps
- More expensive than acrylic dentures
- May be difficult to reline
- The metal clasp can be unaesthetically pleasing
- Difficult to fabricate
Considered to be the most comfortable denture to be worn, flexible dentures are made of thin thermoplastic material such as nylon. There are no attachments or metal clasps in flexible dentures, instead, the dentures are secured with “invisible” clasps surrounding the teeth. These clasps are transparent or tissue-colored making them unnoticeable. This denture is recommended especially to those who have irregularities in their mouth which make it harder for the rigid dentures to fit naturally. Flexible dentures are able to adapt to these irregularities much better than regular dentures are able to.
- Aesthetically pleasing – most natural looking and allows natural gum color to show due to its transparency
- Thin and lightweight – these qualities make this type of denture the most comfortable and easiest to adapt
- Durable – due to their soft material, they are less likely to break when dropped
- Does not absorb stains and smell
- Retention – strongly adheres to your gums and teeth without the use of clasps and adhesives
- BPA Free – less likely to cause allergic reactions
- Expensive – the most expensive among all the other types
- Difficult to repair – when they do break, you will most likely need a new one fabricated
- Difficult to adjust
- Prone to bacterial build-up
- Brush dentures at least once a day with a soft brush and mild hand soap. Avoid toothpaste as this is too abrasive for your dentures.
- Wash dentures after eating to remove food debris.
- Handle dentures with care. Avoid dropping your dentures and properly insert and remove them.
- Keep dentures moist by soaking them overnight in denture cleansers or water.
- Rinse your dentures thoroughly before wearing them.