Dentures are designed to be comfortable, functional and aesthetically pleasing. They have the appearance of natural teeth and can greatly improve a person’s smile and facial appearance.

Complete and partial dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth. Complete dentures replace missing teeth for people with no remaining teeth and a partial denture replaces several teeth. Missing teeth may be a result of gum disease, tooth decay or traumatic injury. For a person’s health and well-being, missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible. Failure to replace missing teeth can cause remaining teeth to shift, difficulty biting into or chewing food and a sagging facial appearance.

Partial dentures, what are they?

Removable partial dentures are replacement teeth on a metal framework over top of pink coloured plastic made to resemble gums. They attach to your own teeth with metal clasps. They are a cost-effective alternative to bridges or implants, but they do not perform as naturally and can be mobile while in the mouth. If you need any other dental work (crown or fillings) it is best done before the partial is made as this will ensure a more precise fit than doing the other dental work afterwards. There is also a partial that does not contain a metal framework, commonly called a “flipper”.

When are metal framework (cast) partials indicated?

  • A lower cost alternative to an implant or bridge
  • When there is not enough bone or support from other teeth to do an alternative treatment.
  • to provide more chewing surface and keep other teeth in position.

When is a flipper indicated?

  • When a replacement tooth is needed very quickly – most often in the front as flippers push on the gum tissue they are usually only used for a short time (months).
  • As a temporary tooth while another option is being done for the long term.

How many appointments are necessary?

Usually at least five appointments are necessary. The first appointment consists of taking impressions of your teeth to make a “custom tray”. The custom tray is then used at the next appointment to take a very precise impression of your teeth. Teeth are prepared by making small “dips” in a few of them for the partial to sit on. The next appontment the metal part of the partial is tried in (sometimes this appointment can be combined with the next one). On the fourth appointment the acrylic teeth will be tried in and evaluated. On the fifth appointment your partial will be tried in and you can take it home. A flipper takes 2 appointments, one for the impression and one to ensure the flipper fits.

How do I care for my partial?

Try to keep it very clean to avoid decay on remaining teeth and irritated gums. Brushing it daily will also prevent the buildup of stains on it. You should brush it with an extra toothbrush using liquid dish soap, at least once a day. Liquid dish soap will not be as abrasive as toothpaste. After meals you may need to take it out and rinse it.

What happens in the long run?

Your bone under the denture will continue to shrink naturally over time. In the long term you may need to reline your denture or have a new one made. If you lose other natural teeth, you can usually have acrylic teeth added to your partial denture. This addition takes 2 appointments.

Please click below to read Living with your Complete Dentures.

Living with Your Complete Dentures

Please click below to read Living with your Removable Partial Denture.

Living with Your Removable Partial Denture

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