They say a smile is worth a thousand words, but what if your smile is less than perfect?

Patients that have problems with their teeth can feel insecure and embarrassed in public.

However, there have been many scientific and technological advances in the world of dentistry that give these patients more choices than ever before to bring their smiles back to their former glory.

These include, but are not limited to, dentures, with both full and partial sets available. For those patients with a few problems or missing teeth, partial dentures can serve as replacements for those sections of teeth while leaving the remaining natural teeth intact.

If partial dentures are something that you are interested in or have questions about, let’s dive into the different types of partial dentures available.

What’s the Difference Between Complete and Partial Dentures?

Complete and partial dentures are both excellent services available for those patients with broken, decayed, and/or missing teeth.

The main difference between the two is the scope of the implants. Complete dentures replace all teeth in the patient’s mouth, while partial dentures replace sections of problem teeth.

If a patient has some remaining healthy teeth, partial dentures will be the best option for them, as the partials can be made to mimic the exact look and shape of the surrounding teeth.

Types of Partial Dentures

Partial dentures have two main types: removable and permanent. As their name suggests, permanent or fixed partial dentures are installed directly into the patient’s jawbone.

They cannot be removed without surgical intervention. Alternatively, removable partial dentures can be taken out at night or at the patient’s discretion. Additionally, there are different options for both fixed and removable partial dentures.

Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed partial dentures, also called fixed bridges, are implanted directly into the jawbone of the patient. They replace sections of missing, broken, or decayed teeth, but they cannot be removed.

They come in a variety of installation options as well as made with a variety of materials based on the patients’ needs.

The following are common variations of fixed bridges:

  • Traditional: These partial dentures are held in place by dental crowns on either side of the inserted bridge. They can be made of several different materials, such as ceramic, porcelain, and others.
  • Cantilever: This partial denture is only held in place by a crown on one side of the bridge, not both. They come in a variety of materials, similar to traditional dentures.
  • Maryland Bridge: This specific type of bridge is commonly used for the front teeth because it is held in place by “wings” on both sides of the denture for stability.
  • Implant-Supported: This partial denture is for patients with three or more problem teeth in one area near the back of their mouth. They are held in place by dental implants.

Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures replace teeth with a natural, removable option that is molded to look and feel as natural as possible.

Sometimes, these partial dentures are held in place by mechanical hinges or other structures holding them onto other natural teeth for stability.

The most common types of removable partial dentures are as follows:

  • Cast Metal Partial: For patients looking for a long-term solution with their partial dentures, cast metal dentures are the best and most requested option by dentists. Made of a mixture of substances, these partial dentures are designed for stability and resistance to plaque buildup. Held in place by several clasps, they consist of a pink or gum-colored base with artificial teeth.
  • Flexible Partial: This type of partial denture is a more flexible option, but less of a long-term option for patients. Because of their flexibility, they can break or crack and need to be replaced, so they are not optimum for patients needing a permanent solution. However, they are a great option for patients who are allergic to acrylic because these contain none.
  • Acrylic Partial: Also known as a “flipper,” the least expensive option for partial dentures is made of an acrylic base, plastic teeth, and temporary clasps to hold them in place. They are not a long-term option, however.

Partial dentures can be an ideal option for dental patients with a single or a few broken, decayed, or missing teeth.

There are several types, materials, and placements available, so be sure to discuss all options with a dental professional before seeking treatment.

If you are looking for a great provider of dental care and partial dentures in Lafayette or Broussard, look no further than Guillot Dentistry. Our experienced and well-trained staff are ready to answer any of your questions and treat you like family!