dentist showing partial denture
Published On: October 12th, 2022Categories: Partial Dentures7 min readViews: 770

Partial Dentures: The Pros and Cons

When you are missing teeth, your teeth don’t interlock properly. This makes it difficult to completely chew your food and obtain all the nutritional benefits healthy foods offer. In addition, missing teeth impact your self-confidence and make it more challenging to enjoy interactions with others in business or social situations. 

There’s really no reason to put up with having one or a few missing teeth. There is a simple and cost-effective way to address the issue – partial dentures. 

What Are Partial Dentures?

Partial dentures are artificial teeth that replace the missing natural teeth in a single dental arch. They serve more than a cosmetic purpose as they substitute for natural teeth, helping you to chew more effectively and speak more clearly. Additionally, partial denture teeth help to preserve the spacing of your remaining natural teeth and prevent them from shifting or becoming maligned.

There are several different styles of partial dentures made from various materials, including those with rigid metal frameworks, partials made entirely from acrylic, and partials made from flexible and semi-flexible materials. The best choice is often patient-dependent since every partial denture is designed to address the individual patient’s unique needs and tooth configuration. 

The Pros and Cons of Partial Dentures

Any course of treatment has both pluses and minuses, and replacing one or a few missing teeth with a dental appliance is no exception. The key is choosing the treatment type where the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Let’s discuss some of the most common partial denture pros and cons. 

The Pros of Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are more affordable when compared to other types of tooth replacement options, such as bridgework or crowns supported by dental implants. They also offer other benefits, including: 

Provides Comfort 

Usually, a partial denture is a better option than removing all natural teeth and replacing them with a complete denture. Since partials are held in place by clasps that attach to the remaining teeth, they don’t move around while talking or chewing, and they remain much more secure than complete dentures. This is a particularly important consideration when you replace lost teeth in the lower arch, where a full denture floats and is often challenging to wear.

A Non-Invasive Treatment

Partials are suitable for patients with dental health issues making invasive dental therapies impossible. Since removable partial dentures don’t require surgery or aggressive tooth modification, anyone with missing teeth can benefit from wearing partial dentures. There are generally four steps involved in getting a partial denture:

1. Restoration 

In this step, the dentist checks the patient’s natural teeth and restores them to a healthy state. If any tooth is in such bad condition that restoration isn’t possible or advised, that tooth is removed, and a partial is designed to replace it.

2. Impressions 

After the restorative process, the dental professional takes an impression of the patient’s teeth and gums for the partial denture to be fabricated to exact specifications by the dental laboratory.

3. Delivery 

Once the partial has been completed, the dentist seats the partial denture and adjusts it to fit comfortably in the mouth.

4. Adjustments

After the partial has been worn for a few days, the patient may have developed sore spots. The dentist can then modify the partial and refine the bite to improve comfort. 

Non-Permanent

Partial dentures are more adaptable than other forms of tooth replacement. Depending upon the material type and other factors, teeth can sometimes be added to the partial in the event that additional teeth are lost. Having a reversible procedure also means that if a patient changes their mind and would like a more permanent tooth replacement solution in the future, they do have other treatment options available to them.

The Cons of Partial Dentures

While the teeth on partial dentures look similar to natural teeth, it takes time to become accustomed to wearing and using them effectively. Here are a few other cons that you should consider: 

Non-Permanent

Depending on the patient’s situation and end goal, this point can be both a pro and a con. Partial dentures do not function as well as other tooth replacement options such as dental bridges or dental implants. The mouth continues to undergo small changes that affect how the partial fits and functions over time. Most partials are designed to last between five and ten years before they require replacement. Bridgework and dental implants can last much longer.

Partial dentures can also contribute to an increase in plaque build-up around the natural abutment teeth, which may lead to gum disease or tooth decay if regular hygiene is not maintained. Excessive pressure and forces placed on the partial denture can also cause trauma to the abutment teeth and gums.

Tough to Repair

New partial dentures may be required if you lose an abutment tooth. With age, the jawbone and gums begin to shrink. This process is called bone resorption, which, in turn, can make the partial denture looser over time. Depending on the condition of your partial, the dentist may suggest relining the partial to improve the fit or replacing the partial entirely. Partial dentures should also be handled with great care. Depending on how the partial is broken, you may be faced with getting a new one.

Require Regular Cleaning

The patient should remove the partial dentures at night and soak them in a mild denture cleaning solution suitable for their partial type. Alternatively, the patient may soak the partial in cool water overnight. Keeping the partial denture moist helps to retain the shape of the denture. After eating, partial dentures require proper cleaning using cool water so that the food particles are rinsed away. They should also be cleaned with a denture brush twice daily using mild soap or denture toothpaste.

Different Types of Partial Dentures

There are a variety of different styles of partial dentures available. These include:

Cast Metal Partial Dentures 

This removable denture consists of high-quality resin teeth bonded with gum-colored acrylic to a precisely-fitted Titanium or Wironium cast metal framework. A metal framework partial offers rigid stability that makes it possible to replace multiple missing teeth even when no back teeth are present to support the partial.

Flexible Partial Dentures

Denture teeth attached to a Valplast flexible partial denture provide comfort from the nylon-based resin material. The material is lightweight and quite thin, allowing it to adapt precisely to the underlying tissue.

Flipper Partial Dentures

Usually consists of a base made from either acrylic resin or flexible Valplast material. This type of partial (also sometimes referred to as traditional partial dentures) is often advised if the patient has only one or two teeth missing, generally in the front part of the mouth.

Acrylic Partial Dentures

Made from acrylic and generally used immediately after dental extractions, the patient maintains a full set of functional teeth while healing. Acrylic partial dentures are usually considered a temporary replacement option before a more permanent restoration is made. 

Acetal Resin Partial Dentures

Dental professionals can use acetal resin partial dentures for patients who want to avoid the look and feel of metal entirely. The framework and teeth blend seamlessly with the patient’s teeth. This type of partial is more prone to wear, and its longevity is usually less than most cast metal partial dentures.

Hybrid Partial Dentures

A hybrid partial combines the comfort and aesthetics of a Valplast partial denture with the greater stability and security obtained from a metal framework partial denture. It offers the most natural appearance, maximum functionality, and a secure fit. 

Partial Denture with European Denture Center

Whether you are looking for a partial for the first time or as a replacement for an existing partial, European Denture Center has a number of high-quality and affordable partial denture options. Our caring denturists and staff will help you choose the best partial denture solution to address your needs while keeping your budget a top priority. Haven’t you dealt with missing teeth long enough? 

Schedule an appointment and make today the first day on your quest for the beautiful, complete smile you deserve!

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