Partial dentures can give us some of our most complex treatment plans and often involve multiple dental visits with different dental providers. These days it isn't always easy to figure out who does what in which dental office! One of our best ways to explain what Kathryn does as a denturist is to remind people that a denturist works only with the dentistry you take out and hold in your hand. If it is a real tooth in need of a filling or other procedure, it's usually a general dentist. If it is surgery for tooth extractions or reshaping bone, that is usually a dental surgeon. The cleaning and care of natural teeth is always most efficient if a dental hygienist is involved. There are so many different types of dental providers it's hard to know where to start. At our initial consultation we will talk about what you hope to accomplish and work to sort out some first steps. Sometimes we decide the best course of action is to take some impressions to build what we call study models. This gives us the ability to better discuss your care with you and with your dentist. The way to get started is to call up and say you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss the possibility of having partials made.
Cast Metal Partial Dentures
These are the strongest and most stable type of partial, they are comprised of a Vitallium metal which holds onto natural teeth and denture acrylic attaches a denture tooth onto the metal in the spaces you have missing teeth. It is always important to work with a dentist to take x-
Acrylic Partial Dentures
This type of partial is called a "tissue borne partial" which means the forces of chewing will push into the tissue instead of being braced by the teeth. These type of partials are generally less stable than metal and Kathryn believes they should generally be utilized as a short term option for somebody transitioning slowly into a full denture. They are not as strong as a partial with a metal frame and have the tendency to last the least number of years.
This is not an acrylic but a formed plastic, this type of partial has its place for certain people depending on their arrangement of teeth. This type of partial is one Kathryn sends to an outside lab for processing as she makes very few of them. There are difficulties with these partials when it comes to repairing and relining them due to the type of material utilized. This technology is changing and improving every year so stay tuned, she may start to like them more for certain situations.
A "flipper" is a quick fix to a cosmetic problem. This type of partial has one or two teeth on it and can often be made in a day depending on schedules. Kathryn has a special Dentsply Entera unit which helps fabricate them quickly depending on her schedule. These emergency flippers are something she will often stay late in the evening to fabricate or has been known to come in very early in the morning so people don't have to be missing that important front tooth in a busy day. These are fully acrylic partials and are cosmetic in nature, eating with them can be challenging depending on the size, shape and position of your partial.