Partial Denture Options
A partial denture is a removable appliance constructed by a dentist to replace missing teeth. Partial dentures are used in an area of the mouth where fixed, non-removable appliances are neither practical nor feasible. Constructing partial dentures takes approximately one to four visits depending on the type of appliance chosen. The dentist recommends the partial denture options best suited to his patient's aesthetic, functional and financial needs.
Conventional Partial Denture
A conventional removable partial denture has a metal framework with thin metal clasps, which fit around the abutments - the natural or crowned teeth next to the missing teeth. The clasps hold the partial denture securely in place while allowing easy removal for cleaning. The metal framework is covered with gum-colored plastic that contains the replacement teeth. Barring accidents, a partial denture can last five years or longer. Dental insurance policies typically place a five-year limitation on replacement of prosthetic appliances, such as dentures.
Semi-Precision Partial Denture
For personal or professional reasons, some people do not want visible clasps on their partial dentures. Clasps are not needed to maintain stability with a semi-precision denture. Interlocking male/female attachments placed on the denture and abutment teeth, which are usually crowned, hold the denture securely in place and provide stability.
Flexite Partial Denture
Made of semi-translucent flexible nylon thermo-plastic with no metal wire or clasps, these dentures allow the color of the patient's gum to show through. Flexite partials are virtually indestructible, rarely require adjusting, and have clasps (made of the same material as the denture) that rest on the gum tissue instead of the teeth.
Overdentures are placed over the healthy roots of natural teeth, which often require root canal treatment. Bone provides support and stabilization for dentures. Dentists prefer not to extract healthy roots because retained roots prevent bone from breaking down or being resorbed. The dentist removes the crowns of the teeth then covers the remaining part with filling material to prevent decay or shortens and contours the teeth to form stumps. Metal castings - coverings similar to crowns - are fabricated to cover the stumps. A laboratory technician contours the inner surface of the denture for a secure and stable fit over the castings.
This procedure provides stabilization for an overdenture with an implant used in place of the patient's natural roots covered by castings. The dental specialist surgically inserts the implant into the jawbone. When healing is complete, an extension is screwed into the implant. An attachment on the overdenture fits over the implant extension to maintain denture support and stability.
Dentures vs. Implants
Dentures and implants serve the same purpose; both procedures replace...