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.