Partial dentures are a relatively affordable way to replace multiple missing teeth. The fee for a partial denture is approximately one a half times the fee for a singe crown. This makes this an extremely economical and practical way to replace multiple missing teeth as long as sufficient teeth remain in an arch to support the partial denture.
Most partial dentures are made with a chromium cobalt (metal) portion which holds the plastic denture teeth that will be used to restore edentulous areas. The denture teeth are set in pink acrylic which is meant to simulate missing gingival.
Although these replacements are relatively simple to make, they do require multiple visits to fabricate a properly fitted appliance. In my office I take study impressions of both the upper and lower teeth when fabricating a partial denture. These impressions are poured up in dental stone and the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth are surveyed to see if they are suitable for placing clasps and to plan any needed modifications of their contours to insure that the clasps for the new partial will fit properly.
After surveying the models I am able to make minor modifications to the patients tooth surfaces that will insure a better fitting partial. These alterations to patients teeth will insure that the denture will fit optimally. The final denture impression is made of the patient’s mouth incorporating these changes and a bite registration is made as well to index the patients bite. These records and models are sent to a dental lab with a prescription (instructions for making the partial framework).
When the framework is finished, it is tried in the patient’s mouth to check its fit and retention. Assuming it is acceptable it is sent back to a dental lab for the setting of teeth in a wax base. These are often returned and tried into the mouth to insure that the teeth set up is acceptable to both the dentist and to the patient. Once the set up is approved, the case is sent back to the lab for processing of the denture base- the final step prior to insertion of a denture. At this point the wax is removed and replaced with acrylic.
The processed partial denture is tried in once more and given to the patient to wear. This appliance is meant to be worn every day but should be taken out after eating to cleaned and should not be worn while sleeping. At night the partial denture is usually kept in a container with some water in it so the plastic will not dry out.
Partial dentures can require a period of adjustment when first worn, but if properly made they can be satisfactory teeth replacements. that are made in less than two months and are quite affordable. Patients often wear these dentures for many years before requesting a new set be made or opting for implant restorations.