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removable partial denture in a gloved hand

Types of Removable Partial Dentures

Losing some of your teeth can knock your confidence and might make you less likely to smile. The good news is, there are lots of options for replacing missing teeth, including removable partial dentures.

A removable partial denture offers replacement teeth that can be put in and taken out of your mouth whenever you need. Removable partial dentures can help your smile, help with your chewing and help you speak normally again by filling out the gaps in your mouth, so that you can feel more confident. Get more acquainted with the types and benefits of removable partial dentures when you explore the information below.

What Is a Removable Partial Denture?

As the name suggests, it’s removable and helps to restore your smile and the function of your jaw by filling out the gaps caused by missing teeth. Removable partial dentures are created with artificial teeth and can be on a metal and plastic framework. They generally attach to your remaining natural teeth using metal clasps or “precision attachments.”

Why Would I Need a Removable Partial Denture?

Missing teeth can affect how you look, sometimes causing the skin around your mouth to sag. For many people, this can cause a loss of confidence and self-esteem, and may make them less likely to smile. Missing teeth can also change the way you speak and eat. Your bite may be affected as the remaining teeth move into the space left by missing teeth. A removable partial denture can help to keep the structure of your jaw intact by filling in those gaps – and help to restore your smile and confidence. 

Types of Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures come in a variety of forms, and all of them are custom-made to suit your mouth. Speak to your dentist to find out which one is right for you.

  • Light alloy dentures are made from a blend of light metal alloy and plastic, colored to match your gums. They are more durable but light, which can help minimize irritation and discomfort when they are fitted by your dentist. They cover less gum and soft tissue in the mouth, which helps to promote good oral health and can also help you to speak more naturally.
  • Plastic dentures are a popular option, since they are less expensive than light allow dentures. They are constructed from injection molded and impact-resistant plastic that can give you increased comfort in your partials. They also create a very natural and healthy-looking set of teeth.
  • Flexible dentures are an option for some people who may find a light alloy or plastic removable partial denture difficult to use. Mouths are not uniform in shape. Flexible partial dentures solve this problem by adapting to the shape of your remaining teeth and gum tissue, and often don’t even require clasps to hold them in place. They are made from transparent materials that blend in easily with the natural color of your mouth and gums – and they’re often faster to make than plastic and light alloy dentures.


Removable Partial Denture Costs and Timeframe

Depending on the type of removable partial denture required, it can take time to make and fit a partial denture. The timeframe will be unique to each person. On your initial visit, your dentist will take molds and measurements of your mouth so that your partial denture can be custom fit to you. Once the partial denture has been modelled and made, it may require more visits to adjust it, as bones and gums can shrink over time and may affect the partial denture fit.

Costs can vary widely based on the type of partial, the location in your mouth and your provider. Average costs can be anywhere from $300 to around $1,800. Your dentist will be able to advise on pricing and the level of follow-up care. 

Will My Dental Insurance Cover the Cost?

This will depend on your insurance policy. For more information about denture insurance coverage, contact your insurance provider before starting the process. 

How Do I Keep a Removable Partial Denture in Place?

A removable partial denture is designed to sit alongside your existing teeth and your gums, and is held in place using clasps and fittings that attach to the remaining healthy teeth.

Can I Sleep With Removable Partial Dentures in My Mouth?

Removable partials are designed to be removed, and it’s generally recommended that you take them out overnight (unless your dentist says otherwise) and place them in a glass of water or denture cleanser solution.

Maintaining Removable Partial Dentures

The American Dental Association, along with the American College of Prosthodontists, recommends removing and cleansing your dentures and brushing them with a soft toothbrush at least once a day. Your natural teeth should be cared for as directed by your dental professional. Avoid using an abrasive toothpaste for both partials and instead use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser, such as Polident for your partials. Make sure you use this as directed.

Cleaning your partials daily with a denture cleanser such as Polident ProPartial Foam Cleanser will help lift stains and kill odor-causing bacteria. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry your partial denture before putting it back in your mouth. 

In many instances, removable partial dentures are a straightforward and good value solution to the problem of missing teeth. With care and maintenance – and regular visits to the dentist – they can last for several years. While they can take some getting used to, partial dentures help keep gums, teeth, jawbone and facial muscle working as they should to give you the confidence of a natural smile. 

Learn more about maintaining a healthy mouth with our oral health care tips.