When it comes to replacing a couple of missing teeth, you can use one of several approaches, including a permanent bridge, dental implant, or removable partial dentures for a more affordable solution.
These removable dental prosthetics are designed to fill gaps between existing teeth and restore your smile’s functionality. However, not all partial dentures are the same, and your dentist or denturist can help you find the right fit for your specific needs.
Generally, you can choose your partial dentures depending on the type of material used, like cast metal, acrylic, or thermoplast (valplast), or based on the position of the missing tooth and design, as with Nesbit and Cu Sil partials.
Double nesbit partial denture (source: shinedentalgroup)
Nesbit dentures are a modification of conventional removable partial dentures used to replace one to three lost back teeth on the same side of the upper or lower arch. They provide a low cost option that employs newer technology to replace missing teeth, whereby metal clasps are fitted around supporting teeth on either side of the gap, to keep the denture from settling into your gum tissue. The result is a much smaller and more comfortable prosthetic compared to the standard partial denture.
Single dlexible nesbit partial
How are Nesbit partials installed?
It takes only two short visits to complete the installation of Nesbit dentures. The first visit usually involves getting dental impressions that are then sent to the laboratory. There is no teeth drilling or anaesthesia required, and the cost is considerably lower than that of a permanent bridge or dental implant.
In many cases today, the dentist uses nylon or acrylic-vinyl material on the entire denture, instead of metal clasps, to give the patient a more realistic experience. The material is light, has good retention capabilities, and makes it easier for the patient to get used to (takes about 1-2 weeks).
When should you get a Nesbit denture?
After a tooth extraction, patients may have to wait a little longer before getting an implant placement if a considerable amount of bone loss has occurred. They may also not necessarily be interested in getting an implant. In such cases, it is advisable to replace the tooth temporarily, or opt for a removable long-term solution, such as a Nesbit denture.
Since there is no connecting metal or plastic below the lower front teeth or across the roof of the mouth to connect to the other side of the jaw, Nesbit dentures are often used as a temporary replacement as patients wait for implant restoration. This means that there is no bilateral support from the other side of the mouth to stop damaging forces from impacting the teeth supporting the Nesbit. So, it should be short-term to avoid damaging adjacent teeth.
How are Cu Sil Dentures fitted?
Partial dentures are used by patients missing a few teeth on their upper or lower arch, whereby there are gaps for the remaining teeth to fit through. Basically, Cu-Sil Dentures come with holes through which the remaining teeth pass through. The holes are surrounded by gaskets of stable silicone rubber that hug your natural teeth and allow the rest of the partial denture to rest against the gums. As such, retention is provided by both suction on the gums and mechanical stability provided by the firmness of remaining natural teeth.
Source: Coronado Dental
Why don't people like Cu Sil Partial Dentures?
Despite the seemingly practical nature of Cu-Sil partial Dentures, they should not be your first solution for missing teeth, for several reasons:
First, the procedure is not recommended for patients with multiple, evenly distributed, and stable natural teeth, though it can be used for situations where the natural teeth are on the same side of the arch.
Second, the lower dentures are prone to fracture when ground against the upper, natural teeth. Cu-Sil Dentures are mainly fitted on the lower arch for patients with an already weak dental structure, and the remaining teeth are expected to eventually get lost, in the short-term. This means that you will keep returning to the dentist for more prosthetics, translating to higher costs.
Third, this denture takes much longer to get relined – several days compared to several hours for regular dentures – because they are fabricated in a specialty lab. The fact that the denture cannot be made in a regular lab means that any corrections may take longer than necessary, within which period your dental health and general wellbeing will be affected.
Cast Metal Partial Dentures
Also known as metal framework dentures, these partials are a popular choice due to their strength and durability. They consist of a metal base that supports the artificial teeth, which are precisely crafted to match the appearance of your natural teeth.
These dentures are securely attached to the remaining natural teeth using clasps or precision attachments, ensuring a stable fit.
- Excellent stability and retention.
- Thin and lightweight design for enhanced comfort.
- Long-lasting and resistant to fracture.
- Less impact on the surrounding teeth.
If you plan on getting metal partials, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
First, the metal framework may be visible when smiling or talking. Second, it may take some time to get accustomed to the feeling of the metal framework. And third, you will need to take them to your dentist for professional adjustment if there are changes in the remaining teeth.
Acrylic Partial Dentures
Also known as flipper dentures, these dentures are a more affordable option compared to cast metal dentures. They are made of a pink acrylic base that mimics the appearance of the gums and supports the artificial teeth.
Acrylic partial dentures usually have clasps or hooks that anchor onto the adjacent natural teeth, providing stability.
You may choose acrylic partials because they are:
- Cost-effective option.
- Lightweight and less bulky compared to metal dentures.
- Easily adjustable and repairable.
- Quick fabrication process.
That said, acrylic partials are generally less durable compared to cast metal dentures. They may also feel bulkier in your mouth, causing you to take longer to get used to. Moreover, the clasps or hooks may be visible when smiling or speaking. And you will also need to visit your dentist regularly for adjustments due to changes in your mouth’s structure.
Flexible Partial Dentures
These dentures are typically made from a flexible thermoplastic material, offer a more aesthetic and comfortable alternative to traditional acrylic dentures. They adapt to the shape of your mouth and have gum-colored clasps that blend seamlessly with your natural gums, making them less noticeable.
This offers various benefits, including:
- Enhanced aesthetics and natural-looking appearance.
- Flexible and comfortable fit.
- No metal clasps, resulting in improved aesthetics.
- Less likely to cause irritation or sore spots.
That said, you should be aware that flexible dentures have less a rigid structure that may affect stability compared to metal or acrylic dentures. As such, they are generally not recommended for patients with complex dental conditions or extensive tooth loss. Another problem is that these partials require frequent replacement due to wear and tear.
Cost of different types of partial dentures
The cost of different types of partial dentures can vary depending on several factors, including the material used, the complexity of the case, the geographical location, and the dental provider’s fees.
Here is a general overview of the approximate cost range for each type:
- Thermoplastic (Flexible) Partial Dentures:
The cost of thermoplastic or flexible partial dentures typically ranges from $700 to $2,500 per arch (upper or lower jaw).
- Cast Metal Partial Dentures:
Cast metal partial dentures are usually more expensive than other types due to the precision engineering and durable materials involved. The cost can range from $1,200 to $5,000 per arch.
- Acrylic Partial Dentures:
Acrylic partial dentures are generally more affordable compared to other options. The cost typically falls between $300 and $1,500 per arch.
- Cu-Sil Dentures:
Cu-Sil dentures, also known as combination dentures, are designed for patients who still have some natural teeth remaining. These dentures utilize a combination of acrylic and metal components. The cost can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the specific case requirements and customization.
- Nesbit Dentures:
Nesbit dentures are partial dentures used to replace one or two missing teeth. They are typically a temporary solution and are not as complex or costly as other types of partial dentures. The cost of Nesbit dentures can range from $300 to $800 per arch, depending on the materials and design.
Keep in mind that the exact price may vary depending on the number of teeth being replaced, the design complexity, the specific brand or material used, level of customization, and additional procedures like implants, clasps, or attachments.
Additionally, dental insurance coverage and denture financing options may be available to help offset the cost of partial dentures.
Choosing the right type of partial denture depends on various factors, including your oral health, budget, aesthetic preferences, and the recommendations of your dentist. Each type of partial denture has its unique benefits and considerations, and it’s essential to discuss your options with a dental professional who can evaluate your specific needs.
Whether you opt for cast metal dentures for their strength, acrylic and nesbit dentures for affordability, flexible dentures for improved aesthetics, or Cu-Sil dentures for their uniqueness, partials can significantly improve your smile’s appearance and functionality.
With proper care and regular dental check-ups, your partial dentures can provide a comfortable and reliable solution for your missing teeth, allowing you to enjoy a confident and complete smile once again.