By David Hudnall, DMD
Partial dentures are an economical tooth replacement option for individuals who have one or more broken, missing, or damaged teeth. If the majority of the remaining teeth are still strong and restorable, partials are definitely one option to consider. It’s never a good idea to remove healthy, natural teeth for the sake of getting dentures. Partial dentures can help restore your smile and eating capabilities while leaving your remaining teeth intact.
You must know, however, that not all partial dentures are the same. We will discuss six types of partial dentures that are commonly used.
Types of Partial Denture Replacement Options
Not all removable partial dentures types are created equally. Some options have benefits and distinct advantages for certain patients or tooth configurations that others can’t offer. Let’s discuss six different kinds of dentures commonly used today.
Flipper Partial Dentures
Flippers are a special type of partial dentures designed to be a quick and economical way to replace one or two missing teeth. They can be made from either acrylic resin or flexible Valplast material, depending on their specific use.
Best suited for: Situations where one or two visible teeth are missing and immediate replacement is desired for cosmetic reasons. They may also be used as a temporary tooth replacement solution while saving for a more permanent tooth replacement option, such as fixed bridgework or dental implants.
Considerations: It is important to know that acrylic resin flippers may require the use of denture adhesives to improve their stability while eating. Flippers made from more comfortable Valplast flexible material are not suitable for placement immediately after having teeth extracted.
Price: Front tooth acrylic flippers start at $310 at European Denture Center.
Acrylic Partial Dentures
Acrylic resin partial dentures are generally considered a temporary tooth replacement solution until a more permanent restoration can be made. Denture teeth are used to fill in the spaces left by missing teeth and are supported by a denture base made from pink acrylic resin secured to the natural teeth by metal clasps.
Best suited for: Replacing one to six teeth and are great for tooth replacement immediately after having dental extractions, allowing the patient to have a full complement of functional teeth while healing. They are also the one of the most economical types of partial dentures available.
Considerations: The pink acrylic base is somewhat thick to prevent the partial from breaking. Its thickness can cause problems with speech, which is why it is not preferred as a permanent solution.
Price: European Denture Center offers acrylic partials starting at $695 per arch which includes a 1-year limited warranty that covers breakage under normal use.
Metal Framework Partial Dentures
These are the most common type of partial dentures in use. They consist of high-quality resin teeth bonded with gum-colored resin to either a Wironium cast metal framework or a Titanium framework. The framework attaches to the existing natural teeth using metal clasps and/or precision metal attachments. If cared for properly, this removable partial denture type can last for 7 to 10 years or longer.
Best suited for: Patients who want improved stability and security while replacing as many as 12 of their missing teeth from a single arch. The rigid framework is especially beneficial for patients who are missing all of their back teeth because it prevents the partial from moving or bending while chewing.
Considerations: Partials with metal clasps are not the most aesthetic option because the clasps are often visible when smiling or talking. Some patients find this quality objectionable and will choose a less precisely-fitting removable partial denture type to improve their appearance.
Price: European Denture offers the Wironium cast metal partial starting at $1,295 per arch and the Titanium framework partial starting at $1,695 per arch. Both partials include a 7-year limited warranty that covers breakage during normal use.
Acetal Resin Partial Dentures
Acetyl resin partials offer security similar to metal framework partials while also offering improved aesthetics for patients. Because the framework and supporting clasps are fabricated from tooth colored resin, they blend seamlessly with the patient’s own natural teeth. The framework is slightly flexible, offering the patient the combined benefits of a traditional metal framework partial with the comfort of a flexible partial denture.
Best suited for: Patients who want a removable partial that totally avoids the look and feel of metal, allowing the partial to blend with the natural tooth color.
Considerations: Because resin is less durable than metal, the acetal resin partial doesn’t offer the longevity of metal framework partials. It may be necessary to replace resin partials almost twice as often as metal partials.
Price: Acetal resin partials start at $1,695 per arch and come with 3-year limited warranty against breakage under normal use.
Flexible Partial Dentures
Valplast flexible partial dentures are made from a thin nylon resin material that functions both as the base and as the support derived from the underlying tissue. Because they are lighter and thinner, flexible partials are considered by many patients to be a more comfortable option when compared to different kinds of dentures.
To minimize visibility, the tissue-colored clasps are attached to the natural teeth to blend with the gum tissue. Valplast flexible partials can be used as a temporary solution prior to implant-supported restorations. Some patients find that they are able to wear them for as many as 5 years without any problems.
Best suited for: Patients who desire both comfort and beautiful aesthetics. Since they are metal-free, there’s no metallic taste that many patients experience.
Considerations: Valplast flexible partials require special care for longevity. The lifespan for the Valplast materials is about 5 years and the material can easily be ruined by abuse or by using cleaning products not intended for the nylon-based material. Because they are flexible, they don’t work well for patients who do not have enough teeth to completely support the partial with clasps (e.g., patients with no back teeth).
Price: European Denture Center offers full-arch Valplast flexible partials with a 2-year limited warranty starting from $1,295.
Hybrid Partial Denture
This type of partial denture marries the best elements from two different types of partial dentures. It allows the patient to enjoy the comfort and aesthetics of a Valplast flexible appliance along with better stability and security while chewing from a metal framework partial. Combining both materials also allows tissue-colored clasps to be placed in visible areas, eliminating unsightly metal clasps from view.
Best suited for: Patients who want to have it all. It offers the most natural appearance along with comfort, stability, and a secure fit. This partial is custom-designed to balance the majority of functional and appearance considerations.
Considerations: This type of partial denture is one of the most expensive tooth replacement options short of implants or fixed bridgework. Should the partial require repair, it may be quite costly or require replacement entirely.
Price: Custom designed hybrid metal/flexible partial dentures start at $1,695 per arch. The price can be greater depending on the type of clasps used and the exact configuration of your teeth. This partial offers a 5-year limited warranty that covers breakage during normal use.
Non-Removable Tooth Replacement Solutions
Although this article was intended to help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type of partial denture offered by European Denture Center, we can’t overlook other tooth replacement solutions that may be available to you. These treatments offer higher-quality, more permanent tooth-replacement options. Best of all, they look and function exactly like your own natural teeth.
As the name suggests, these appliances are not removable. A fixed bridge is a great option for those patients who have one or a few teeth that require replacement and have natural healthy teeth on both sides of the space. A crown is made for each of the surrounding teeth and the replacement teeth are permanently affixed to the crowns. The replacement then functions as a unit and can be brushed and flossed like natural teeth.
Implant-Supported Crowns, Bridges, and Dentures
Fixed crown and bridgework supported by dental implants is a great treatment alternative for people who are missing one or more natural teeth and do not wish to be bothered by removing their dentures to clean them.
For this procedure, implants made from biocompatible titanium are surgically placed into the jawbone to function like the tooth roots. Then, a crown is created and attached to the implant. A similar procedure is also used to support a full denture with implants. A minimum of 4 to 6 evenly spaced implants are required to support a single complete denture.
Trust European Denture Center To Advise You
European Denture Center provides high-quality, affordable, personalized, and comfortable dentures, partial dentures, and implant-supported appliances. Our different kinds of dentures and implant-supported treatment solutions are customized to match your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
If you’re curious about whether dentures are right for you, we’re ready to help! Schedule a free consultation with us today by visiting our website or calling (425) 225-3411. We provide complete, partial, and full dentures services at very reasonable prices –– all with a satisfaction guarantee.