Removable partial denture is a prosthesis that is fabricated to replace any missing teeth in a dental arch. A partial denture can be made from metal/acrylic combination or strictly acrylic. Chromium-cobalt framework is the metal of choice for the prosthesis. In recent years titanium frameworks have also become popular. The partial denture can be retained by several methods. Metal clasps that encircle the teeth are usually used.
Advantages of Partial Dentures
- Able to fill in all the missing teeth in an arch with one prosthesis
- Cost stays constant and is not dependent on number of teeth replaced
- Esthetic result is obtained (visible metal can compromise the natural appearance)
- Usually can be fabricated in a relatively short amount of time
- Provides increased chewing area to improve dietary intake
- Least expensive way to replace multiple missing teeth
- Good stability and retention (depends on number of teeth remaining)
- Avoid that sunken-in appearance caused by missing teeth usually present in the older population
- Stabilizes that area of the dental arch to give you a more youthful appearance
- Esthetic appearance for the all acrylic partial denture
Disadvantages Of A Partial Denture
- They can feel broad and bulky and it takes time to get used to them
- It is a removable prosthesis (needs to be taken out at night)
- Visible metal clamps can be unesthetic (depending upon the smile line)
- Partial denture relies on support from surrounding healthy teeth. If the existing teeth are compromised the partial denture might hava a short life
- All acrylic partial denture is not ideal for chewing hard things
Hybrid Partial Dentures
In certain situations patients may have increased esthetic or functional demands which will not be satisfied by a conventional partial denture. Depending on where the metal clasps are located or where the rest seats are, esthetic appearance may be compromised. The fit of a conventional partial denture is dependent greatly on the reinforcement that the existing teeth provide. If not enough teeth are present to provide good support for the partial denture during function, or the location of the teeth is undesirable, the partial denture will not be comfortable. There are two options that can greatly improve esthetics and function of a partial denture.
The first option is reenforcing the denture with dental implants. The number of implants needed Implant supported partial denture extension to improve stability is different in every case. When implants are used the partial denture will snap into place and there might not be a need for metal clasps. This can improve esthetics greatly. The other advantage is that the implants will provide most of the functional support with little support provided by surrounding teeth. The two main disadvantages of this technique are the cost and the need for surgical placement of the implants.
The second option is called an ERA attachment. In this method a crown with a special ring Picture of ERA attachmentis placed on a tooth that is next to the gap where teeth are missing. The partial denture will snap into the ring with the help of a plastic attachment. This option is usually less expensive than implatplacement option. Also, there is no need for implant placement. The disadvantage is that the denture is supported by the teeth with the rings. If the teeth fail in the future the partial denture might need to be redone.