Partial Dentures

Partial Dentures are one solution for patients who have one or more naturals missing.  There are 4 main treatment options for patients.  Partial Dentures are made using the Standard or Precision method.

No treatment

This is always an option but not recommended.  If the space is not filled, the teeth on each side will start to shift and move into that space, affecting your bite.  When teeth become misaligned, there is faster and un-natural wear on the remaining teeth. If the tooth loss is in opposition to a denture, it may also affect how the denture functions (more movement, food underneath, sore spots, poor fit).  It may also affect your appearance.

Acrylic (Temporary or Flipper)

Is made thicker and bulkier and is weaker than one with an actual framework.

Metal Framework

Is used to make the denture lighter and stronger, with metal or thermal clasps attached to the natural teeth.  This metal framework requires a few days to be made in a special lab.

Flexible Framework

Uses thermal plastics to create a weaved support for the denture, with thermal clasps attached.  This option can be used when metal sensitivities or esthetics are an issue.

PROS

  • Initially cheaper than Implant solutions.
  • Surgery not necessary.
  • Provides better stability attached to natural teeth than a complete lower.

CONS

  • Possible impaired speech.
  • The sense of taste can be diminished due to a partially covered palate.
  • Some foods may be restricted due to chewing ability.
  • Dentures move as they are not fixed in place.
  • Neighboring teeth are worn down and become compromised due to clasp movement.
  • A moving denture can lead to painful pressure or sore spots.
  • Possible food getting under the denture, and sticking to the clasps.
  • Lack of bone stimulation which can further reduce the lower ridge available for a denture.
  • Fear of dentures falling out and lack of self-confidence.
Many of these disadvantages will continue to get worse as the body ages.  As the fit of the denture changes and uneven pressure increases on the anchor teeth, the risk of losing these teeth becomes greater.  This in turn creates more bone loss.