Partial Dentures

There are 4 main treatment options for patients who are only missing some of their natural teeth.  Partial Dentures are one option and are made using the Standard or Complex method.

No Treatment

This is always an option but not recommended

  • No financial cost.
  • Neighboring teeth shift and move into space, affecting your bite.
  • Misaligned teeth cause faster and unnatural wear on remaining teeth.
  • Missing teeth opposite a denture can affect denture function (excess movement, sore spots, poor fit, food underneath)
  • May also affect your appearance.

Acrylic (Temporary or Flipper) Partial

Denture acrylic is molded to fit around existing teeth

  • Less expensive solution.
  • Thicker, bulkier and weaker than a metal Partial framework

Thermal Plastic Framework (Valplast) Partial

A soft thermal plastic using thermal clasps on teeth

  • This option can be used when metal sensitivities or esthetics are an issue.
  • Flexible allowing easier fit and adjustments.
  • Thicker and bulkier than metal framework.
  • When partial breaks, cannot repair. Must remake partial.

Metal Framework Partial

Denture acrylic is molded around a metal framework which supports the denture

  • Denture is lighter and stronger, using metal or thermal clasps attached to the natural teeth.
  • More secure as it uses teeth adjacent to hold partial in place.
  • Wears natural teeth on each side due to moving denture clasps.
  • Metal framework requires a few days to be made in a special lab.

Partials vs Implant Retained Partials

  • Initially cheaper than Implant solutions.
  • Surgery not necessary.
  • Provides better stability attached to natural teeth than a complete lower denture.
  • Possible impaired speech.
  • Diminished sense of taste due to a partially covered palate.
  • Possible food restrictions due to chewing ability.
  • Moving dentures as they are not fixed in place.
  • Compromised and worn neighboring teeth due to clasp movement.
  • Painful pressure or sore spots due to moving denture.
  • Possible food under the denture and sticking to the clasps.
  • Lack of bone stimulation increasing risk of bone loss, especially affecting the lower ridge.
  • Decreased self-confidence due to fear of dentures falling out.

These disadvantages worsen 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.