What Are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are removable appliances designed to replace one or multiple missing teeth. They offer a natural look with tooth replacement and restore chewing function allowing for patients to eat more efficiently. Partial dentures are usually retained or held in place with some type of clasp that surrounds adjacent teeth. They can be designed in some cases with hidden or precision attachments when esthetics is an obvious concern.
What Are Partial Dentures Made Of?
Partial dentures traditionally have been fabricated out of an acrylic and metal base. A patient’s specific needs and anatomy of the mouth determine what design and type of partial is best. There are all acrylic options with metal clasps and all flexible acrylic options when desired. Partial dentures are fabricated by a dental laboratory and involve a series of impression/bite registration appointments as with complete dentures. Sometimes preparation or restoration of abutment and supporting teeth of the partial may be required prior to fabrication.
Who Benefits from Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures can be of a “transitional or interim” nature and serve as temporary tooth replacement appliances. These are frequently used when waiting on healing from implant placement. Other partials are of a more permanent nature and serve to replace missing teeth when implants or fixed bridgework aren’t an option for the patient.