What’s the difference between a Partial Denture and a Full Denture?
If you are missing all of your teeth, they can be replaced with a Full Denture. If you have at least one remaining tooth in the upper or lower jaw, your missing teeth can be replaced with a Partial Denture. Partial Dentures fill the spaces left by missing teeth and also keep any remaining natural teeth from moving into the open spaces where a tooth has been lost. To learn more, check out our information about Why it is Important to Replace Missing Teeth.
What are the different parts of a Partial Denture?
A removable partial denture, usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink, gum-colored plastic base called a “Saddle”, which is usually connected to a metal framework that gives the Partial Denture stability/strength and metal “Clasps” that hook onto your teeth and hold the partial denture in place.
How does a Partial Denture stay in place? Will it fall out?
A conventional Partial Denture is held in place by metal clasps, which hook onto your existing teeth. When a partial gets old, the metal in the clasps can fatigue. If this happens, the tightness with which a clasp “grabs” onto a tooth may decrease. This can cause the Partial Denture to become loose. If this happens, Dr. Tamura has a specialized instrument that is designed specifically to tighten a loose clasp on a Partial Denture. Once the clasps on a Partial Denture are tightened, it should stay in while you eat, talk and smile.
Will the Metal Clasps of a Partial Denture show when I smile?
The design of a Removable Partial Denture and the placement of the clasps within that Partial Denture are dependent on the position of the teeth that are missing. If a tooth that shows when you smile, has a Partial Denture Clasp on it, the metal clasp may be visible when you smile.
Are there any more esthetic alternatives to a Metal Clasp?
There are two main alternatives to the Metal Clasps on Partial Dentures when the esthetics of your smile is a concern.
- The first is a PINK CLASP. The brand that is most often used is called Valplast. The good thing about Valpast Clasps is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture. The bad thing about Valplast Clasps is that they are not very strong and can break fairly easily.
- The second option, when you don’t want a metal clasp to show when you smile, is called a CUSTOM ATTACHMENT. The good thing about a Custom Attachment is that it is much stronger than a Pink Clasp and rarely breaks. The only thing that may be a drawback for some people is that they are more expensive than Valplast Clasps.
What is a Claspless Partial Denture?
Partial Dentures are made CLASPLESS through the use of Custom Attachments. A Porcelain Crown is fabricated that has a MALE Attachment connected to it. The Partial Denture is fabricated with a FEMALE Attachment on the underneath side of the saddle. When the Porcelain Crown with the Male Attachment is cemented into the mouth and the Partial Denture is placed in the mouth, the Female Attachment will “Snap Into” the Male Attachment and together, the two Custom Attachments will hold the Partial Denture in place.
How long do Partial Dentures last?
The Saddle portion of a Partial Denture usually needs to be relined or rebased at some point. This is because your gum tissue and jawbone change over time. Dr. Tamura can Reline the Saddle portion of the Partial Denture to ensure a custom fit of the underneath portion of the saddle with the shape of your gums as they change over time.
How do I care for my Partial Dentures?
Partial Dentures are not meant to be worn 24-hours- a-day. Removing your Partials at night while you sleep allows for oxygenation of your gum tissues and removal of stress and pressure in the areas where the saddle rests against the gums. Your Partial Dentures need to be brushed and rinsed just like you do with you brush your natural teeth to remove stains and any food or plaque build-up. When you come to see Dr. Tamura’s hygienist to get your teeth cleaned, bring your Partial Dentures with you. We will professionally, ultrasonically clean your dentures while you are getting your teeth cleaned. When you pay for your cleaning with Dr. Tamura’s hygienist, the professional cleaning of your Partial Dentures is included for no additional charge.