I've lost only a few teeth, what are my denture options?


I've lost only a few teeth, what are my denture options?

But Then

A tooth fell out

And left a space,

So big my tongue

Can touch my face,


And everytime

I smile, I show

A space where

A denture could go.


I miss my tooth

As you may guess,

But then - I have

Barry Lewis for this mess!

Partials dentures have evolved a great deal in the thirty years Barry Lewis has been in practice. A properly constructed partial denture provides you a number of benefits beyond aesthetics; it fills the space where natural teeth are missing and completes the chewing surfaces. Effective chewing is the first part of your digestion process. Often we do not consider just how negatively missing even few teeth can affect how well we break down our foods before swallowing. Partial dentures also act as a kind of orthodontic retianer that keeps your exisiting natural dentition from drifting which alone can negatively affect your appearance and function of the teeth that do remain.

The good news is partial dentures are now more accurate than ever with materials such as flex frames, Valoplasts, acrylics, titanium and many species of chrome alloys. 

Cast frame chrome alloy partial dentures. Chrome Cobalt alloy is the most common casted material. They have a rigid nature which resists movement under load. Solid rests allow for greater adjustability in retention. The chrome cobalt castframes are stronger and when designed properly, spread chewing evenly over teeth and tissue.

Titanium partial dentures. This material has many of the same attributes as the cast frame chrome cobalt partial dentures in that they are rigid and stable, adjsutable in retention and precise in design. Titanium partial dentures tend to be lighter weight and conduct less temerpature change. Titanium is a good option for those who may have an allergy to other metals as it tends to be the most biocompatible metal. Unfortunately with these benefits, titanium partial dentures come with a higher price tag.

Flexible partial dentures. There are number of different manufacturers of flexible partial denture materials: Natural Flex, Dental D, Thermal Fled are a few. As with anything, all have their pros and cons. On the positive side, clasps can be coloured similar to those of natural teeth. Flexible partial dentures allow a gentle fit in places where undercuts (the area on the bottom of the tooth where your denture rests) are deep or awkward to access. The non-metal design is also appealing to those with allergy concerns. The downside is these are less rigid in nature which allows for increased twisting and compression of oral tissues when under load (chewing). The resins are designed with a tendency to have a shorter lifespan and clasps can become loose after just a few years. Unlike metal or titanium, it is difficult to adjust the clasps back to any degree of retention once lost.

Acrylic partials with hand bent clasps. These partial dentures have an advantage of being less expensive.  The hand bent clasps have a flexible nature which allows for the more passive engagement in deep undercuts. However, these same wires can cause damage to the natural dentition if they are poorly designed and allowed to come loose in the mouth. Insufficient rest compoents are unforutantely common, allowing more chance to scrape the natural enamel.

Acrylic partial dentures with no clasps. In there simplest form these may be referred to as flippers; the inference being the tendency towards this type of partial denture to dislodge of flip out more easily when chewing certain foods. This design often comes with the smallest price tag and replace fewer teeth than the partial dentures with clasps. Flippers are small, light in design, and held in place by passively engaging the natural undercuts of your teeth. Often these appliance are used as transitional or temporary treatment and are most effective to replace anterior teeth. They tend to have a shorter life span because any movment or drifting of natural teeth will cause them to become looser over time. 

All these materials are resulting in lighter weight frameworks and designs with more biocompatibility and healthier oral environments. Your desired aesthetics are more achievable with less visible clasping techniquies and a broader range of clasping color options. This abundance of choices in design concepts and in material available has improved the fit, function and appearance of partial dentures. Even  more good news, with all these options, partial dentures are becomig more and more economical giving you the value you're looking for as well as the smile you'll be proud to share.

Please do keep in mind that no two mouths or patients are identical and that your best partial denture fit may not be another's best choice. It is important to discuss your options with your dental professional to ensure you get the best fit for your needs and your budget. Call the clinic today, 250-756-1616, to book your courtesy annual check up with Barry Lewis.

I thank you for visiting our blogg today and look forward seeing you in the clinic soon.