Partials and dentures are a type of tooth replacement that replace one or more missing teeth. These removable devices are typically made to look and function like natural teeth and can improve the appearance of the smile.
They can also help people eat more comfortably and speak clearly, according to research. These prosthetics are less invasive than other options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants, and can provide a more affordable option for patients who need to replace a single missing tooth or several teeth.
There are many different types of partials, depending on the materials and attachments used to hold them in place. Some are made of plastic, while others are metal-based. Some even use a special kind of acrylic material that’s more aesthetically pleasing and durable than traditional partials.
Getting a partial is typically a fairly straightforward procedure, says Dr. Asaro, and usually involves several appointments that take place over weeks or months to get a custom fit. At each appointment, a highly accurate impression is taken and measurements are made to produce a partial that will be placed in the mouth.
Conventional partials have metal clasps that wrap around healthy abutment teeth to keep them securely in place. The base of a conventional partial is made from a pink, gum-colored acrylic resin that’s durable to minimize the risk of breakage and offers a secure feel for patients.
Other partials, such as flexible partials, are molded out of thin, lightweight thermoplastic material that has no visible metal clips. They’re also more comfortable than conventional partials, but are harder to replace if they break or become damaged.
Some dentists have recently started using a new type of partial, called implant-supporting partials, that uses implants to help support the denture. These types of partials are also more expensive than traditional partials, but they can be a better solution for some patients who want more support than what a conventional partial provides.
Another type of partial is a flipper, which is often used for people who need to replace a missing tooth immediately after extraction. It’s primarily an esthetic solution, but it may not be able to withstand the biting forces of a full replacement, so it is usually used for the short term.
When it comes to partials and dentures, the most important factor is to make sure they are a good fit for the patient. In addition to a proper fit, it’s also important that the dentures don’t cause irritation to the gums or interfere with the way patients chew or speak.
They must also be removed when you sleep, to give your gums a chance to breathe and keep them clean. Removing them at night can also help reduce your risk of developing cavities in the surrounding healthy teeth.
Unlike implants, however, partials aren’t as durable and they can be more difficult to clean properly. They need to be kept in good condition by brushing and flossing regularly.