Partial Dentures


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What are acrylic partial dentures?
Acrylic dentures are arguably the oldest dentures in the market. They can be used to replace missing teeth and prevent creation of spaces between the remaining teeth due to drifting or moving. Acrylic partial dentures also improve speech and make chewing more comfortable. They are low in cost and requires a shorter time to fabricate. Acrylic partial dentures are made up of pink sets of replacement teeth or gum-colored acrylic resin. Metal rests are sometimes used to prevent the acrylic partial denture from exerting excess pressure on the gums while chewing. The disadvantage of acrylic dentures is that they may be thick and bulky as acrylic is relatively weak, and therefore requires more material to make it stronger.


What are metal frame partial dentures?
This is a removable partial denture that is made when a patient's lower or upper jaw has more than two natural teeth, which can be used as anchors for the partial dentures. They are used to replace missing teeth and restore smiles. Metal frame partial dentures also prevent the creation of spaces between teeth due to drifting. They also ease chewing and improve speech. The replacement teeth are either gum-colored or pink plastic bases that have metal frame connections. Metal frame partial dentures are more durable than their acrylic counterpart, and therefore are more expensive. They also require a longer time to fabricate.


How do they attach to my other teeth?
In acrylic partial dentures, wire clamps built around natural teeth are used to attach the dentures to other teeth. However, these clamps may be visible, thus lacking in aesthetic value. Metal frame dentures are made up of clasps, rest tops, and connectors that are placed around natural teeth for proper attachment.


What are precision attachments and how are other dentures attached?
Precision attachments are the mechanical parts of a removable partial denture that contains either metal or plastic, or a combination of both. They are made up of two parts; male and female. The male part is soldered to a patient's crown, while the female part is used to hold or support the partial denture. The male part is manufactured to accurately fit into the female part and they are positioned parallel to each other. The accurate fitting provides ease and comfort to a patient while inserting, wearing, or removing the precision attachments.

What are flexible partials?
These are metal-free removable partial dentures. As the name implies, these dentures are flexible, as they are made from thermoplastic materials. Since they do not contain metal clamps they are invisible, as the material used to make them blend with the mouth tissues. As such, they cost more and are difficult to repair.


What is a flipper?

A flipper is the cheapest way to replace teeth. A flipper is made from acrylic, and it is most often temporarily used as a tooth replacement while awaiting permanent partial dentures.


After tooth extractions, what needs to happen before the permanent removable partials can be fitted?
Before a permanent removable partial can be fitted, immediate or "healing dentures" are the type of denture that can be placed. They are lighter than permanent dentures to allow for healing of the gums.  The immediate dentures can be worn long-term; some patients wear them for several years.  The better quality permanent dentures can be fitted when the gums are fully healed after several months.  Also, please note that as your gums recede in the months following extractions, the dentures will need to be relined or adjusted so as to fit snugly.  This can be done by any denture lab.



Do partial dentures have crowns?
Posterior crowns can be integrated with partial dentures by fusing porcelain with metal for aesthetic reasons.

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Rossarin Phinyowan

My passion is travel and researching my next destination. I am a medical/travel writer and currently write content for Dental and Medical Departures.
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This article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to be dental advice or instructions for dental diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your dentist or a qualified dental professional before starting or changing dental treatment