Partial Dentures

A missing tooth or missing teeth can be replaced by a removable partial denture. There are two types- depending on their framework. The plastic partial denture and the metal partial denture.

Plastic Partial Denture

A plastic partial denture consists of false teeth, normally plastic, which are attached to a plastic plate. In most instances these plates are held in place by clasps which go around remaining teeth. Sometimes when the plate is temporary and replaces only one tooth (as in a temporary plate during implant treatment) the plate can be held in by utilising natural undercuts round the teeth.

Advantages

  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Can be a good short term replacement for a lost tooth.
  • Easy to repair or make additions to.
  • Gum coloured plastic can be used to fill out an area where there has been gum shrinkage.
  • Can be made from biocompatible materials such as dental "D”.

Disadvantages

  • Removable.
  • Bulky.
  • Can cause damage to remaining teeth and gums.

What is involved?

Impressions are made of the upper and lower teeth, then the bite, shape and shade of the missing teeth are recorded. They are then sent to the dental technician who makes the denture.

Depending on the type of partial denture the turnaround can be as little as a day - or as much as a week. Once the partial denture is back we fit it into the mouth and make any adjustments required. Occasionally sore areas or ulcers can arise under a partial plate. Should this occur please contact us so that further adjustments can be made.

Metal partial denture

A metal partial denture can be made to fit more accurately than a plastic one. The false teeth and pink plastic representing the gum is attached to a thin strong metal frame normally made from a chrome cobalt alloy. The framework can also be made of titanium or be gold plated.

Advantages

  • Better fit and longer life span than a plastic partial denture.
  • Again, gum coloured plastic can be used to fill out areas where there has been gum shrinkage.
  • False tooth can easily be repaired.

Disadvantages

  • Removable.
  • Some bulk in mouth.
  • More costly than a plastic partial denture.
  • Less chance of damage to teeth and gums than a plastic partial- but still carries a risk of increasing the deterioration of remaining teeth if a patient does not practice good oral hygiene.
  • Not easy to make additions to though often still possible.

What is involved?

As the life span of the metal partial denture is dependent on the life span of the teeth on which the claps will rest, we ensure that there is no decay or gum disease before we start. Ideally teeth which are heavily filled should be crowned, and restorations which are as permanent as possible- such as Cerec restorations, placed.

Some minor tooth adjustments are normally required to optimize clasping the teeth. Impressions are then recorded. Once the metal framework has been made we try this in to check the fit. Then the plastic teeth are added to the metal framework set in wax. We check the teeth for colour, shape and check that the bite is correct. The plate is then sent back to the lab and is processed. The completed denture is fitted into the mouth and any adjustments required are made. As with the plastic partial, sore areas or ulcers can occasionally arise. Should this occur please contact us so that further adjustments can be made.

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