When multiple teeth are missing a removable dental prosthesis or RDP may be needed to replace form and function. There are two main types of RDP’s: acrylic based and metal based.
Acrylic partials are typically used in the interim if only a few teeth are missing. The may or may not have clasps that secure them to the remaining teeth. Some clasps are acrylic, some are metal. These partials, although very esthetically pleasing, do not full support the entire complement of teeth. Newer flexible partials are very popular because of their ease of fabrication and appearance. In patients with gum disease, these partials are seldom used because of the support issues.
Metal based partials have a cast metal base that affords them additional support and strength. The metal base will be designed to fit into conservative preparations on your natural teeth. This ensures an ideal fit. An acrylic base made of “gum-colored” plastic will be added to the metal base. The acrylic or porcelain teeth will then be set into this acrylic.
The first step in determining how to ideally replace multiple missing teeth with a removable partial denture is to complete all dental work in order to have a healthy foundation. Impressions of the teeth and bite records will be made. Diagnostic casts will be made from these impressions. Your future partial will then be designed between appointments. This planning phase is critical to the fit and function of your partial. Tooth preparations and/or crowns may be needed to “lock” the metal base in. Once those changes have been made, an impression of the mouth will be made. The metal base will be casted and you will return for try-in. Adjustments may be made at this time. Wax will be added to the metal to determine your bite and finalize the positions of the teeth. Shades and sizes of the teeth will be selected. Between appointments our laboratory technician will place your desired teeth into wax. You will be brought back for a try-in of the teeth. Adjustments will be made again. At the next appointment your final partial will be inserted and adjusted. Over time, wear of the teeth and jaws may necessitate relines. Your partial will be checked at each cleaning appointment to ensure it is providing good service for you.