A partial denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces the missing teeth in the mouth. You may need a partial denture for aesthetic reasons, or for eating, talking or to protect remaining teeth from drifting or over-erupting.
These types of dentures are removable, meaning they are not fixed and can be inserted and removed at your convenience. This works by using the remaining teeth for retention, thus retaining and stabilising the denture so that it doesn’t move or fall.
Before a partial is made, usually it is standard practice to have your remaining dentition checked, to ensure that it will be in a stable condition to withstand the loads a partial denture omits. Once all restorations have been completed, you are ready for impressions.
A few different materials are available; the most common materials being either Acrylic or Chrome.
Acrylic dentures are usually the most cost effective and can be made within a short period of time. Other advantages are that they can be relined, added to (in case you lose any more natural teeth) and can be used as a temporary denture before dental implants, or whilst waiting for chrome dentures.
Some of the disadvantages are that the acrylic denture base is slightly weaker due to its irregular shape and tend to break frequently, especially those made for the lower arch. In order to counteract this, the acrylic is usually built quite thickly, which can take a little extra time to get used to.
Chrome dentures, however, are more a long term material for a partial denture, as the frame and required components are all cast in one piece. This is just one of the many advantages chrome dentures have over acrylic .
The components of a chrome partial denture rest on soft tissue and natural teeth, making the denture both tooth and tissue borne, thus distributing the load evenly during mastication, helping to protect the underlying bone.
Due to the strength of the chrome it can be made in a smaller, more efficient design, making it more comfortable to wear and live with, whilst giving you the security of knowing it has less chance of breakage.