John W. Schulz, D.D.S. - San FranciscoPartial Dentures
Partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Partials have metal hooks that grab onto the neighboring teeth for support. Unfortunately, the hooks have a tendency to loosen up the teeth. Partial dentures have the tendency to get loose and require multiple adjustments throughout the years. On the upper, there is a large piece of metal that goes across the roof of the mouth which can interfere with taste sensation and/or have food collected under it. Additionally, the partial plate can press into the gum tissue and cause sores. The partial dental plate must be taken in and out each day for cleaning. It is certainly not an ideal alternative.
An over denture fits on top of natural teeth or dental implants. Many patients suffer with ill fitting and loose dentures that move or even fall out when speaking or eating. One way of solving this problem is to construct a dental plate that goes over and attaches to something underneath it. Keeping a few natural teeth or placing dental implants in the bone under the denture also helps keep the jaw bone healthy. This avoids much of the natural jaw bone loss often seen after teeth are removed. Traditional over dentures go over natural teeth. A denture can be made that goes over and attaches to one or both cuspids.
Implants supported over dentures fit on top of dental implants. A retainer bar or retention balls are placed on the implants and special attachments are inserted into the denture to grab onto these retention devices. A new method using mini implant dentures is becoming increasingly popular. Mini implants are very thin, long titanium implants that screw into the jaw bone. They can be placed and old dentures can often be retrofitted to the implant.
Soft dentures are a flexible alternative to more common hard dentures crafted out of acrylic. These dentures don't require adhesives and adjust to the shape of the gums for greater comfort. Soft dentures are only called that because the inner lining is soft. They're otherwise similar to ordinary dentures, which can be altered to have flexible linings.
A rather comfortable tooth replacement option is a flexible partial denture. These dentures are made from a composite plastic resin and can include a bio-compatible metal for superior strength in some cases.
Precision partial dentures are retained in the mouth by interlocking components. A specially shaped extension of the partial fits snugly into or onto a receiving area or projection of a natural tooth that has been crowned. This makes for anti-slip dentures that won't move or come out when you speak or chew.
Temporary or interim appliances serve many useful purposes and are often an integral part of a prosthetic treatment plan. These appliances can be designed to be either fixed or removable. This simple appliance is excellent for temporary replacement of front teeth while the patient is waiting for a permanent bridge, a partial, or implants. This removable interim bridge is made of a clear vacuum-formed material. The appliance simply snaps into place.