Azusa dental patients ask: How do I wear a Removable Partial Denture?
A removable partial denture is one of the oldest dental prosthetics, formed of a metal framework that holds replacement teeth. Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth and fit around the existing teeth for a firm hold in the mouth and can be easily removed by the patient.
While technology has improved the types of materials used to fabricate partial bridge frames and restorations, the basic principle of how a removable partial denture functions stays true to its origins dating back to the 18th century when Paul Revere, whose primary occupation was as a silversmith and occasional dentist, hammered out partial dentures for his neighbors.
Advances in the fit of dentures and the ability to create restoration teeth that are amazingly real in appearance make a removable partial denture very attractive to Azusa dental patients with minimal tooth loss.
Today there are several types of removable partial dentures available. They are differentiated by the materials used to support the replacement teeth, the way they attach to the adjacent permanent teeth, and the way the partial denture rests on the gums.
Dr. Brianne Luu of Gentle Care Dentistry of San Gabriel Valley offers her patients metal or plastic/resin removable partial dentures. The benefits of removable partial dentures over dental implants are in the reduced cost and a faster process.
Unlike bridges, removable partial dentures hold the plastic teeth that are embedded in a pink plastic base that covers the gum. A retainer-like device clasps onto teeth on both sides of the missing span.
Metal removable partial dentures are extremely stable. The metal refers to the framework that holds the replacement teeth, comprised of a durable alloy called chrome cobalt which is cast extremely thin to give it much greater strength against breakage or warping than a plastic partial denture plate.
The framework is molded to your existing teeth using impressions and the denture piece rests on the teeth as well as being attached to them. The adjacent teeth are altered by slightly etching the enamel so the clasps or precision attachments can easily affix to them. Metal dentures are known for their comfort and for virtually eliminating sore spots since the framework does not have direct contact with the gums. This makes it a better option for patients with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) or those prone to grinding their teeth, a condition known as bruxism.
Plastic/resin composite removable partial dentures are not as rigid as metal partial dentures. The pink material used is the same composite that is used to fabricate complete dentures. The key benefit of a plastic removable partial denture is in their cost, which is less than a metal framed partial denture. These types of dentures can also usually be placed immediately following a tooth extraction and are attached with wire clasps.
Keep in mind that as you age and your mouth shape changes, your removable partial denture may need to be relined, or refitted. Additionally, a removable partial denture should be removed daily for cleaning and sleeping. It should be stored in a moist container when not in use to prevent drying and warping.