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Partial Dentures: Information on Types of Partials

  • Synopsis: Published: 2012-07-29 - Information on types of partial dentures to choose from including plastic, light alloy, and hypoallergenic dentures -
Partial Dentures
Partial Dentures - A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This "bridge" is then cemented into place.

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Missing teeth can lead to a variety of oral health issues if they are not replaced. Your remaining teeth can shift to fill in the gaps, creating alignment issues with your bite and increasing wear on teeth and potential TMJ problems.

Missing teeth can also accelerate bone loss and jeopardize the health of your gums and remaining teeth. In order to prevent these issues from occurring, it is important to replace missing teeth in a timely manner.

Partial dentures are an excellent and cost effective solution if you need to replace multiple missing teeth. At your initial consultation, your dentist will let you know whether partial dentures can be an effective tooth replacement option for you.

Removable Partial Dentures:

Removable partial dentures fill in the space left by missing teeth and restore a beautiful smile.

They provide a variety of important benefits, including:

  • Provides support for lips and cheeks
  • Prevents facial sagging
  • Helps you chew food properly
  • Improves speech
  • Protects and supports your bite and the TMJ

Your removable partial denture consists of a prosthetic tooth connected to a pink-colored plastic base. A metal framework may be used to hold the denture in place in your mouth. Metal or tooth-colored clasps attach the partial denture to your remaining natural teeth. For more natural-looking results, you can use precision attachments that are connected to dental crowns. Partial dentures are an excellent alternative to dental implants if you have one or more remaining natural teeth.

Types of Partial Dentures:

There are several types of partial dentures to choose from:

  • Light alloy dentures
  • Plastic dentures
  • Flexible dentures
  • Hypoallergenic dentures

Light alloy dentures are made from a blend of light metal alloy and gum-colored plastic.

This option offers several benefits, including:

  • Light framework which minimizes irritation and discomfort when they are fit to your mouth
  • Cover less gum and teeth than other denture options
  • Cover less soft tissue in the mouth, improving oral health
  • More durable than other denture options
  • Custom-made to fit the contours of your mouth

Plastic dentures are constructed out of injection-molded, impact-resistant plastic materials. They are very comfortable, look natural, and provide you with highly functional prosthetic teeth.

Benefits of plastic dentures include:

  • Custom-made for an excellent fit
  • Restores a beautiful smile
  • Less expensive than light alloy dentures

Flexible dentures are an excellent option for patients who have difficulty accommodating a light alloy or plastic denture due to irregularities in the shape of their mouth. The device adapts to the shape of your gum tissue and remaining teeth, and often does not require clasping mechanisms to remain in place.

Benefits of flexible dentures include:

  • Designed to fit your gums perfectly, eliminating the need unsightly metal or uncomfortable clasps or adhesive material
  • Blends in seamlessly with your natural gum tissue
  • Can be constructed more quickly than other partial denture options, enabling you to have your new set of replacement teeth in a shorter time period

Hypoallergenic dentures are made of new materials extensively tested for their inability to produce allergic responses that some very sensitive patients develop. Special labs are used to create these dentures and sometimes sensitivity testing is needed.

For more information on partial dentures, please visit the website of Dr. Scott LeSueur and Dr. Charles Dodaro at, serving patients in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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