Flexible dentures: Everything you need to know.
Flexible partial dentures are designed to replace some of your natural teeth. Flexible dentures are made from thermoplastic materials that are softer and more flexible than traditional dentures made out of porcelain, resin, and chrome. These dentures are natural-looking, pliable pink dentures which fit over the gums, holding replacement teeth in place as they don’t require metal clasps or fasteners. The pros of flexibles are that they fit naturally to the contours of your mouth therefore they don’t require attachments, clasps, or adhesives.
How are flexible dentures made?
Flexible dentures are fabricated by interjecting nylon resin into a carefully crafted mold. Once it is dried, the mold is then removed, and the flexibles are fitted to the patient’s mouth. The mold has to be an accurate reflection of the patient’s mouth in order to make a partial that will fit perfectly.
The first step is to take a bite impression which includes impression wax, that will record the exact shape of the patient’s gums and teeth. Flexible dentures involve very little tooth crafting preparation unlike traditional dentures. A shade selection procedure will then be carried out so that it matches the shade of the dentures to the patients’ natural gum and tooth color.
The second step is to make a mold that reflects the contours of the patient’s bite impression. In this step various specialized dental waxes are used such as lingual bar wax and palate wax. These waxes are especially formulated for this procedure as they have the right melting points, malleability and adhesiveness to create precise wax molds. At this time, adjustments can be created to make sure that the wax mold accurately reflects the patient’s teeth and gum. This stage is sometimes referred to as the wax setup or try-in stage which enables the clinician to double-check the accuracy of shade and the tooth and jaw setup arrangement including midline, vertical dimension, and centric occlusion. After the mold is created, the nylon is then injected into it. This involves creating a route for the liquid nylon to travel through known as a sprue.
At last, the mold is removed, and the partial is then fitted to the patient’s mouth. Final adjustments are made if required.
Pros and cons of flexible dentures.
Flexible dentures can be more expensive compared to standard dentures depending on how many teeth need replaced, and types of flexible dentures. However, they are considered to be more comfortable and appealing. Even the cheapest flexible dentures depend on the size of the denture including the laboratory cost for the denture, all the appointments needed for measurements and adjustments that have to be carried out.
Pros of flexible dentures
Here are some advantages of flexible dentures:
- They are quicker to make and fix when compared to conventional dentures.
- They’re less likely to cause any irritation.
- More comfortable to wear and for the wearer, due to their soft and flexible thermoplastic resin material.
- They don’t absorb stains and smell.
- They strongly adhere to your gums and do not require hooks or adhesives.
- Thermoplastic nylon resin materials are biocompatible materials that do not contain any BPAs.
- They have no unsightly metal parts since they don’t need metal clasps.
- The base can be thinner compared to traditional dentures, because the thermoplastic materials are more durable.
Cons of flexible dentures
There are also some disadvantages of flexible dentures:
- They are more likely to have bacterial buildup.
- Even though they are less likely to break in comparison to regular dentures, a new set will need to be purchased as flexible dentures may prove to be beyond repair once damaged.
- They cannot replace all natural teeth.