Removable Partial Dentures
Removable Partial Dentures are a viable alternative to fixed bridgework as a means of restoring function and aesthetics of a patient suffering from teeth loss.
RPD’s (Removable Partial Dentures) replace one or more teeth and can be removed from the mouth by the patient as opposed to fixed bridgework. A removable partial denture is often supported with a metal fame that holds the dentures in place when placed inside your mouth. The RPD’s can be placed for the front, back, upper and lower teeth if you have enough natural teeth remaining to support the RPD’s. The process of development of the RPD’s takes a few weeks and several appointments to your dentist. A dentist determines the type of appliance best for you and then takes a series of impressions of your jaw to analyse your jaw structure. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab where a series of models for your teeth are created which are assessed according to your requirements before the final denture is prepared. RPD’s are less invasive and low cost tooth replacement options as compared to Dental Implants or Permanent Dental Bridges and also allow you to save your natural teeth. On the other hand, a patient requires a break-in time to get used to having partial dentures in their mouth. RPDs can also increase the build-up of plaque around the abutment teeth and therefore, taking extra care becomes necessary and a little cumbersome.
Depending on your need there are a few types ofpartial denture that your dentist will ask you to choose from:
The Flipper is a type of RND made up of acrylic plastic resin and is mainly used as a temporary denture for the time your dentist works on a more long term replacement. Flippers cling around the necks of the existing teeth with the help of a metal wire clasp to aid retention and stability of the partial denture. They are cost effective and are also low quality being less comfortable, loose fitting and prone to wear and staining.
Flexible Partial Dentures:
Flexible RPD’s are lightweight and comfortable dentures made up of a form of nylon known as flexible polyamide. The material is thermoplastic which is injected into a flexible denture base to which replacement teeth are subsequently attached. The dentures look more realistic, stay more securely in place and hardly need any alterations to the natural teeth. Patients also become accustomed to their replacement very quickly due to the thinness and comfort of the flexible denture. However, they can sometimes have stability problems, especially if they are designed on the lower jaw. They are also difficult to reline, rebase and repair.
Cast Metal Partial Dentures:
Cast metal partial dentures are precision made and are usually constructed of a lightweight and strong metal alloy making it thin and unobtrusive. The metal frame is attached to natural teeth with devices called precision attachments which are more aesthetic than clasps and provide better stability. Theartificial teeth are anchored in pink resins that mimic gingival tissue and are attached to the metal structure making the metal partially invisible.
Cast metal RPD’s are considered the gold standard of partial dentures as they are strong, sturdy and long lasting.
If you are considering removable partial dentures, ask your dentist for a comprehensive examination. Ensure you explore all the options for tooth replacement. At the same time ask for tips for keeping your existing teeth as healthy as possible.