Single tooth partial denture

Removable Partial Dentures - Yahoo Voices  March 27, 2013 – 12:38 pm
Australian Denture Care Centre - Partial Dental Appliance

People lose teeth for many reasons including accident, tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists offer a variety of techniques for replacing the missing teeth. Dentists help patients base their choice on comfort, cost, convenience and health. For cost and convenience, it is hard to beat removable partial dentures. The disadvantage of partial dentures is that they feel foreign and unnatural. They are a replacement body part that people learn to use much like a prosthetic arm or leg. Most people adapt well to a removable partial denture; some people do not.

Before replacing missing teeth, it is very important to ensure that the remaining teeth are healthy. Expect the dentist to carefully examine the teeth and gingiva (gums) visually and by x-ray. Teeth should not be replaced until the remaining teeth and gingiva are healthy.

Implant retained crowns are the state of the art for replacing missing teeth. Implant retained crowns will feel the most like natural teeth. Fixed bridgework utilizes crowns on remaining natural teeth to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Implant retained crowns and fixed bridges look and feel similar to natural teeth, but the cost may be out of the reach of many. It may cost about the same to replace a single tooth with an implant retained crown as it costs to replace several missing teeth with a removable partial denture.

Time is a consideration when replacing missing teeth. Although it may be possible to replace teeth with dental implants in a very short time, usually it takes months, even over a year. Partial denture treatment is normally complete in days to a few weeks.

It is possible to fabricate a partial denture to replace teeth that are not yet missing. Some dental offices are set up to provide this service over night or even in hours. For example, if teeth are loose due to periodontal disease, the dentist and the dental lab may fabricate a partial denture before removing the loose teeth. This is an immediate or interim partial denture. Interim partial dentures are usually made of a hard plastic material, acrylic. The partial may have wire clasps that hold onto two or more remaining teeth. As this type of partial is so quick and inexpensive, this is the partial denture of choice for many. A flipper is a acrylic partial denture that replaces a single tooth.

The most common partial denture is a highly technical piece of hardware that includes a cast metal framework, metal clasps that are carefully designed for individual teeth, pink acrylic to rebuild areas of gum tissue, and factory manufactured acrylic or porcelain teeth. Dentists carefully design these partials to stay in place, but dislodge with planned force in a particular path. The dentist must make adjustments to the natural teeth to accommodate their design of this kind of partial. Parts of the clasps fit into recesses in natural teeth or crowns.

Sometimes, the dentist instructs the lab to use special attachments. Complementary parts of precision attachments are formed into dental crowns or onto dental implants and the partial. Compare precision attachments to a metal coat snap. Advantages of precision attachments include the ability to make a partial denture that attaches without visible metal retainers, and the ability to adjust the force of retention easily. Building precision attachments as part of crowns reduces wear and force on the natural teeth. The only disadvantage of precision attachments is their cost. Depending on the brand or style of attachment, the cost for each attachment may be half that of the crown it is a part of.


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Partial denture or implant?

So I came back from the dentist and he told I needed to have my lower back tooth removed. So he gave me the option of replacing the tooth with a partial denture for that single tooth or an implant (which would cost $3K out of pocket). Insurance would cover the partial denture.
My question is those who have gone through either procedure. For those who have a partial denture, do you have any issues like sores in the gums, pressure on the other teeth and irritation in the mouth? In other words, has a single tooth partial denture caused you problems?

Removable partial denture design
Book (British Dental Association)

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