Like a bridge, partial dentures rest on surrounding teeth to fill in the gaps where one or more teeth are missing. But unlike a bridge, partial dentures are fully removable by the wearer. Although a dental implant is the best replacement option, they are a little expensive and not everyone is a candidate for them. Partials are affordable alternatives to other types of dental prosthetics and are custom-made to blend in with each patient’s natural teeth. It takes a little time to adapt to new partials, but they adequately restore function and esthetics.
Options in Partial Dentures
Traditional Metal Framework
The traditional removable partial denture is made on a metal framework with metal clasps. The clasps are reasonably strong and generally secure. If the metal clasp is visible, it could make you feel uncomfortable smiling. Also, it will attract plaque. You’ll need to be especially diligent with your oral hygiene.
Valplast Partial Dentures
There are some newer materials that have a more natural appearance over the traditional metal partial. Valplast flexible partials have clasps that can either be made pink or clear so they are virtually invisible in the mouth.
Good oral health is still important. The metal or the pink/clear clasps will harbor food and plaque. In addition to caring for your new dental prosthetic, you will also need to brush your gums and tongue twice daily to stimulate circulation and remove bacteria that could cause gum disease. Continue seeing your dentist twice yearly for exams and cleanings, and be sure to bring your partial dentures along to each visit.