Plastic Partial Denture Vs. Metal Partial Denture
Partial dentures are removable dental prosthetics used to replace multiple missing teeth in a dental arch. They are designed to fill the gaps left by the missing teeth and restore the appearance and functionality of the mouth. They are custom-made to fit the unique shape and structure of an individual’s mouth. Metal clasps or precise attachments that latch onto the remaining natural teeth next to the gaps hold them in place.
Removable partial dentures are dental prosthetic devices used to replace missing teeth remaining in the lower or upper jaw. And permanent partial dentures refers to dental prosthetics that are not removable by the patient.
There are a few distinct types of partial dentures that can be used to replace missing teeth, including plastic partial dentures and metal partial dentures. Here are the differences between them:
- Material: Plastic partial dentures, also known as acrylic or nylon dentures, are made of a flexible resin material. They are pink in color to mimic the gums and have artificial teeth attached to them. Metal partial dentures, on the other hand, have a metal framework, usually made of cobalt-chromium alloy or sometimes titanium, with artificial teeth attached to it.
- Appearance: Metal partial dentures have a more discreet appearance compared to plastic partial dentures. The metal framework is thin, and the metal clasps used to hold the denture in place are often less visible. Plastic partial dentures, due to their acrylic or nylon material, may appear bulkier and have more noticeable clasps.
- Fit and Comfort: Metal partial dentures tend to have a more precise fit due to the use of metal frameworks that can be more accurately fabricated. They provide better stability and retention, which can make them more comfortable to wear. Plastic partial dentures may be more flexible and can conform to the contours of the mouth, but they may not provide the same level of stability.
- Durability: Metal partial dentures are generally more durable and resistant to fracture compared to plastic partial dentures. The metal framework can withstand greater stress and strain during daily use. Plastic partial dentures, although more susceptible to breakage, can often be repaired more easily.
- Cost: Metal partial dentures are typically more expensive than plastic partial dentures. The cost difference is due to the materials used and the additional labor involved in fabricating the metal framework.
How do you choose the best type?
Choosing the best type of partial denture depends on various factors and should be done in consultation with a dental professional. Here are some considerations to help guide your decision:
- Oral Health: The condition of your remaining teeth and gums plays a significant role in determining the type of partial denture that is most suitable for you. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health, including the stability and health of the remaining teeth, the condition of the supporting bone, and the overall health of your gums. Based on this assessment, they can recommend the type of partial denture that will provide the best fit, function, and support.
- Aesthetic Preferences: Plastic partial dentures are generally more aesthetically pleasing due to their gum-colored base and tooth-colored artificial teeth. If having a natural-looking smile is a top priority for you, plastic dentures may be a better choice. However, metal dentures can also be customized to match the natural color of your teeth and provide a satisfactory appearance.
- Stability and Comfort: Stability and comfort are crucial factors when selecting a partial denture. Metal partial dentures are more stable due to their custom-fit metal framework and clasps that attach to the remaining teeth. They offer better retention and may feel more secure in your mouth. Plastic dentures rely on the natural suction between the denture and gums, which may be less stable but can still be comfortable for many individuals.
- Durability and Maintenance: If durability and longevity are important to you, metal partial dentures are more resistant to breakage or damage compared to plastic dentures. Metal frameworks are stronger and can withstand the forces of chewing better. Plastic dentures may require more frequent adjustments or repairs due to wear and tear. Additionally, consider the ease of maintenance and cleaning for each type of denture.
- Budget: Cost can be a deciding factor for many people. Metal partial dentures are usually more expensive than plastic dentures due to the materials and fabrication processes involved. Plastic dentures are often more affordable, making them a viable option for those on a tighter budget. However, it’s important to prioritize the quality and functionality of the denture over cost alone, as it is a long-term investment in your oral health.