Missing teeth can cause difficulty in chewing and speech. For some individuals, it could also lead to a lack of confidence due to aesthetic reasons. Fortunately, there are tooth replacement options that you can explore to help restore the functionality and beauty of your teeth. One of them is a partial denture.
Partial dentures are recommended for people who have a few missing teeth on their lower or upper jaw. They are made up of artificial teeth attached to a metal or gum-colored plastic base. They are secured in place using connectors like a clasp or precision attachment.
Different Types of Partial Dentures
A partial denture comes in two types—removable and fixed. The kind that you choose will depend on a variety of factors like your preference and oral health. Read on to learn more about the two major types of partial dentures:
- Removable Partial Dentures
This type of denture can be taken out anytime. They come in three subtypes, namely:
- Cast Metal Partial Denture—this is made up of prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored acrylic base. The dentures are secured in place by clasps or precision attachments (costlier but are aesthetically-pleasing).
- Acrylic Clasp Removable Partial Denture—also known as flippers, this type of partial denture is made up of plastic artificial teeth, an acrylic base, and optional metal clasps. It is the cheapest type of removable partial denture, and it offers a temporary solution to missing teeth.
- Flexible Partial Denture—this is recommended for people allergic to acrylic. It is made from a thin type of plastic and held in place by gum-colored clasps. These materials allow it to blend in with your natural teeth and gums, making them aesthetically-pleasing. However, this option is more expensive than other types of removable partial dentures.
- Fixed Partial Dentures
They are also known as fixed bridges. They are non-removable and surgically attached to your jawbone. They come in two subtypes, namely:
- Traditional Fixed Bridge—this type can be made from ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-metal like gold. It is best for people with natural teeth on either side of the missing teeth, as they will serve as support for the bridges.
- Implant-Supported Bridge—this is a great option for people who have several missing teeth. Dental implants will be used to support the bridge in place instead of natural teeth. This type is costlier but often lasts a lifetime with proper care.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Taking care of your partial denture helps ensure that it will last for a long time. Here are some steps you can take to keep your dentures in optimal condition:
Clean Them Often
Cleaning your dentures frequently is essential to remove stains and avoid the formation of plaque. Avoid using toothpaste and brushes with hard bristles as they can be too abrasive for your prosthetic teeth. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild cleaning products like hand soap and denture paste.
Soak Them Overnight
Most types of dentures need to stay moist to retain their shape, which is why it’s important to soak them in a special solution overnight. You should also ask your dentist how to properly store your partial denture at night.
Schedule Frequent Checkups
Going to your dentist for follow-up checkups helps ensure that your dental appliance is in top condition. The specialist would be able to assess whether your dentures fit properly or if they need adjusting. Poorly-fitted dentures can cause different issues like sores and infections. Additionally, if they are uncomfortable to wear, visit your dentist as they may need to be repaired or replaced.
The cost of a partial denture ranges from $700-$1800. However, this may vary depending on a variety of factors like the number of teeth that need replacement and the materials used. Be sure to ask your dentist about the different financing options you can explore, like insurance coverage and discount plans.
If you’re not sure what type of partial denture to get, it’s always best to consult a specialist. Your dentist will assess your oral health and take your preferences into consideration. They’ll also guide you throughout the process to ensure you have a smooth experience. With the right kind of partial denture and help from a competent dentist, you’ll be able to regain the function and beauty of your teeth.