Whether lost to trauma, tooth decay, or periodontal disease, missing teeth can alter not only your appearance, but also your abilities to speak clearly and to properly chew your food. “Removable partial dentures are a really great restoration option for people looking to replace those missing teeth,” says Dr. Mary Shields of Triple Crown Dentistry. Used to fill in the gaps in the upper and/or lower teeth, “partials” are created to match your existing teeth and surrounding tissues. Partials also keep your other teeth in their proper position.
Solution 1: Conventional Partial Dentures
The most common type of partial consists of a cast metal framework that supports the denture teeth. It is held in place by metal clasps that anchor onto your existing teeth. Some people don’t like the look of the metal partial, though, because the metal clasps can become visible when they talk or smile. Newer types of partials made out of acrylic or resin polymers are more flexible, and some people think they look better, Shields says.
Solution 2: Precision Attachment Partial Dentures
Sometimes partials move or come loose when talking or eating. For maximum retention and stability, partials can be fitted with precision attachments that snap onto corresponding attachments on the existing teeth or onto implants in the jaw for a “lock-and-key fit,” Shields says. This is a more expensive option, so you may want to start with a conventional partial and invest in attachments or implants later on.
– Yelena Sapin