Partial dentures are removable prosthetic devices designed to replace one or more missing teeth in the mouth. These dental appliances can be used to replace teeth in both the upper and lower jaws, providing a solution for those who have lost teeth due to injury, decay, or other dental issues. Partial dentures can be an excellent choice for patients who have lost one or more teeth but still have some healthy teeth remaining.
Partial dentures come in different types, and the type of denture you need depends on the location of the missing teeth, the number of teeth missing, and other factors. Your dentist will be able to advise you on which type of partial denture is right for you.
Types of Partial Dentures
Partial dentures come in different types, including metal framework partial dentures that feature clasps to hold them in place, acrylic removable partial dentures with wire clasps, and flexible partial dentures that offer a close and comfortable fit without the need for clasps.
Metal Framework Partial Dentures
Metal framework partial dentures are made from a metal base that attaches to your remaining natural teeth. They usually have wire clasps that attach to the teeth, helping to keep the denture in place. Metal framework partial dentures are often used for the front teeth, as they are strong and lightweight.
However, one downside to metal framework partial dentures is that they can be visible when you smile, as the metal clasps may show through the gums. Additionally, these partial dentures may require some adjustment over time as the gums and bone tissue change, so you should see your dentist regularly to ensure the denture remains properly fitted.
Acrylic Removable Partial Dentures
Acrylic removable partial dentures are often referred to as plastic dentures. They are usually less expensive than metal-based partial dentures and may be used for transitional dentures, especially when the patient expects to undergo additional prosthetic treatments such as implants in the future.
These partial dentures usually have wire clasps that attach to remaining natural teeth to keep the denture in place. However, the wire clasps may be visible when you smile, so some people prefer to use a different type of partial denture. Acrylic removable partial dentures can be adjusted easily and are a great option for those who need a temporary solution while waiting for dental implants or other more permanent options.
Flexible Partial Dentures
Flexible partial dentures are made from a flexible material that molds to the shape of your mouth and remaining teeth. They are a great option for those who find metal or acrylic partial dentures uncomfortable or irritating. They do not require clasps, making them more discreet and comfortable.
Flexible partial dentures are usually made from a thermoplastic material called nylon. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to adjust if needed. The flexibility of these dentures also means they can fit snugly against the gums, reducing the likelihood of food getting trapped underneath the denture.
What do Partial Dentures Cost?
The cost of partial dentures depends on many factors, including the type of denture, the number of teeth being replaced, and whether you are receiving treatment through the National Health Service (NHS) or a private dentist.
If you are receiving treatment through the NHS, partial dentures fall under the Band 3 dental treatment category, which currently costs £282.80 in England, £203 in Wales, and up to £384 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, some NHS policies may have restrictions on the types of dentures that are covered, so it is important to check with your dentist and insurance provider.
Private partial dentures can be more expensive but may offer more options in terms of materials and aesthetics. A partial denture made and fitted privately can cost anywhere from £250 to £2,000, depending on the number of teeth being replaced, the materials used
Materials Used in Partial Dentures
Partial dentures can be made from various materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common materials used to make partial dentures include:
Acrylic resin is a type of plastic that is easy to mold and shape. It is often used to create temporary partial dentures because it is affordable and easy to repair if it breaks or chips. However, acrylic resin is not as strong as other materials, so it is not recommended for long-term use.
Metal partial dentures are typically made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium or from titanium. These materials are strong and durable, so they can last for many years. Metal partial dentures are also thinner and more lightweight than other materials, which makes them more comfortable to wear. However, they can be more expensive than other options.
Flexible resin partial dentures are made from a type of plastic that is softer and more pliable than acrylic resin. This material is a good option for people who are allergic to metal or who have sensitive gums. Flexible resin is also more comfortable to wear than other materials because it conforms to the shape of the gums and teeth.
Cost of Partial Dentures
The cost of partial dentures can vary depending on several factors, including the materials used, the complexity of the design, and the location of the dental practice. In the United States, partial dentures can cost anywhere from $300 to $5,000 or more.
If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover some or all of the cost of partial dentures. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered under your plan. Some insurance plans may only cover a portion of the cost, while others may require you to pay a deductible or copay.
If you do not have dental insurance, there are other options for financing the cost of partial dentures. Some dental practices offer payment plans or financing options, such as CareCredit, which allows you to pay for your dental treatment over time.
How to Care for Partial Dentures
Caring for your partial dentures is important to ensure they last as long as possible and remain comfortable to wear. Here are some tips for caring for your partial dentures:
Clean Your Dentures Daily
It is important to clean your partial dentures daily to remove any food particles, plaque, or bacteria that may have accumulated on them. You can use a soft-bristled brush and a mild soap or denture cleaner to clean your dentures. Avoid using regular toothpaste, as it can be too abrasive and damage the denture material.
Soak Your Dentures Overnight
To keep your partial dentures moist and prevent them from drying out, you should soak them in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight. This can help prevent the denture material from becoming brittle and breaking.
Handle Your Dentures Carefully
Partial dentures can be fragile, so it is important to handle them carefully to avoid damaging them. Always clean your dentures over a soft surface, such as a towel or basin of water, to prevent them from breaking if they are dropped.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health and ensuring that your partial dentures are fitting properly. Your dentist can also check your dentures for any signs of wear or damage and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
Partial dentures are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. Whether you need a partial denture for your front teeth or other areas of your mouth, there are several different types and materials available to choose from. It is important to work with your dentist to determine the best option for your individual needs and budget
Dr. Tom Bell has a PhD in Medical Anthropology. He has a keen interest in oral health topics and is the founder of dentalrave. He has been an oral health researcher and electric toothbrush enthusiast for over 10 years. Tom works with Awin and others in his research. When not talking about dental hygiene and gadgets, Tom likes spending time outdoors hiking.
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