Are you missing one or more teeth? Have you considered wearing partial dentures? These dental devices are not only natural-looking but affordable as well. They improve the strength of patients’ teeth and their mouth functionality.
Nevertheless, patients are generally confused when opting for the best type of partial dentures. The three most prominent types include cast metal, acrylic, and flexible models. Each model features a range of unique benefits and disadvantages.
We hope the following guide introduces you to the essentials.
What are they?
Partial dentures are removable devices whose role is to replace several teeth in the upper and lower mouth portion. The function of these dental plates isn’t just cosmetic, as they can help the wearer improves his/her speaking and chewing. Their job is to also ensure the remaining teeth preserve their original location instead of shifting to another location over time.
Moreover, partial dentures aren’t designed for constant use. Wearers are supposed to remove them at night and clean them properly. Keeping these devices clean is vital for minimizing the risk of cavity development in the surrounding healthy teeth. Click here for some handy tips on cleaning partial dentures. These dental devices are a beneficial solution for individuals who have lost a couple of teeth, either in the top or bottom of their jaws.
Teeth loss might occur due to different factors, such as tooth decay, extraction, or injury. Regardless of the exact cause, the purpose of these dental devices is to preserve the health of the remaining teeth. Dentists are trained in constructing partial dentures by taking the remaining natural teeth into consideration.
The choice of partial dentures is determined by the individual circumstances of every patient. Dental prosthetists factor in numerous aspects to assess the suitability of patients for a particular type of device. These factors involve teeth structure, oral health, appearance, allergic reactions, oral sensitivity, stability, remaining teeth support, financials, etc.
For instance, the cast metal model provides high quality by offering replacement teeth placed on a rigid frame. These devices are made from thin cobalt chromium alloy to provide excellent stability and strength. Consequently, patients can use them for years by caring for them properly. Cast metal models are preferred by patients owing to the minimal discomfort and irritation they experience while wearing them.
Furthermore, patients feel more comfortable while eating meals, as the rigid frame doesn’t cover as much tissue like the other models. Individuals also enjoy more comfort thanks to the way in which these devices are contoured to their mouths. There are numerous dental implant centers, such as Nuvia Smiles, providing custom partial dentures. The contouring process is performed with incredible accuracy. Cast metal models are equipped with clasps to keep them secure.
On the negative side, patients struggling with fine motor skills required to insert these dental devices find the inserting task challenging because of the clasps. Their fabrication is costlier compared to the production of acrylic dentures. The production process takes much longer as well. Regarding aesthetics, the metal frame of these devices isn’t very satisfying, given the metal clasps might be visible whenever wearers open their mouths.
Acrylic partial dentures, on the other hand, are made from impact-resistant acrylic material supported by metal clasps. Many patients find acrylic plastic too uncomfortable to wear in the long term. Despite the technological advancements made in this field, partial acrylic dentures are still used as a temporary solution until permanent partial dentures are made.
In addition, acrylic models are more cost-effective thanks to the simpler fabrication process. The time of fabrication is much shorter as well. These are considered the ideal temporary solution to use on patients waiting for their cast metal dentures. On the negative side, acrylic plastic is a weak material that breaks easily. Therefore, manufacturers have to use thicker acrylic to prevent breakage.
Most patients usually need extra time to get accustomed to the thickness of acrylic models. They also cover a larger part of the roof of the mouth, which leads to a weaker sense of taste.
Last but not least, flexible partial dentures are often recommended for patients allergic to acrylic or cast metal. They are fabricated from hypoallergenic materials that provide both comfort and aesthetics. Flexible models are made from thin plastic, sensitive to heat but sufficiently durable to last for years if cleaned properly.
Furthermore, the advantages of flexible partial dentures are numerous. These are fabricated much faster than cast metal models and require no multiple try-ins. Most patients find them pleasing in an aesthetic sense, as their gums are visible through the clear material. These models provide excellent comfort without using any metal claps or dental adhesive to cling to the gums.
Patients allergic to acrylic and cast metal can only wear such partial dentures due to the hypoallergenic materials they are made of. They are also resistant to impact, odor, and stains. Just like the other models, these flexible devices have their own disadvantages. Their flexible base is more susceptible to bacteria buildup, which requires users to clean them more carefully.
Denture relines are trickier to perform, and usually, prosthetists need to redo these devices from scratch. The cost of flexible partial dentures is higher, while their availability is fairly limited.
These dental devices vary in cost, as the final price is based on several factors. The usual factors that influence the price are the number of teeth about to be replaced, the used materials, the fabrication method, etc. It’s common for patients to need dental care prior to getting such devices, along with some adjustments after receiving them.
In view of paying, patients can cover a portion of the cost by using their dental insurance. Some insurers cover up to fifty percent of such expenses. The exact percentage depends on your insurance plan.
To sum up
Have a consultation with a prosthetist to help you with the decision.
Opt for the right material to experience the comfort you so much deserve!