Partial dentures are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and consist of a denture base, which closely resembles the color of your gums and denture teeth, which are attached to a supporting framework. The partial denture then attaches to the existing teeth via a clasp or some other retentive device.
Partial dentures are made using a model of your mouth.
Making a partial denture requires about 6-8 weeks, however this can vary from one patient to another. It also could depend on the type of denture and the technique your dentist or the laboratory technician uses.
The first step in making a partial denture is the preparation of the teeth. During this phase your dentist may prepare the teeth that the partial denture will use for support. Next, your dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and records your bite. The impressions are then sent to the dental laboratory.
At the subsequent visits your dentist will evaluate your bite, test your speech and check the appearance and function of the partial denture teeth and gums.
After the final satisfactory fit and appearance are achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory for final fabrication.
While every effort is made to make a good and functional partial denture, it may require a few adjustment visits and a little time for you and your partial denture to adapt to each other. The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your partial denture is a process; in some cases, it takes weeks to get used to a partial denture.
A new partial denture can also alter your eating and speaking habits and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable.
There are newly developed techniques in making partial dentures. One such advance is an implant-supporting partial denture that helps give additional support to the partial denture. While it offers additional support it also requires the placement of implants in your mouth before making the denture.
There is also a partial denture that uses a special material called Valplast which is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This kind of partial does not use metal as its base and has hooks that are made with a flexible plastic material.