Missing teeth is a common problem for many people who have had teeth removed because of extensive cavities, gum disease, injuries, and those who may not have developed some of their teeth due to an inherited trait. The three most common ways a dentist can replace one or more missing teeth are a bridge (a series of joined caps), an implant(s), or a removable partial denture. Although a bridge or dental implant(s) has certain advantages when compared to a removable partial denture, in some cases, the removable partial denture may be the best or only choice available.
There are three basic types of partial dentures. The first is a cast removable partial denture, or “cast partial”, and consists of a metal base that has acrylic teeth attached to it. Metal clasps are the hook-like structures that help hold the removable partial denture in place. Although the cast partial can be a bit cumbersome, it has been used successfully for decades in the dental profession. The second type of removable partial denture is the all-acrylic variety, sometimes referred to as an interim (temporary) removable partial denture or a “flipper”. The third type is the Valplast partial denture, which is a nylon thermoplastic material that has several advantages over the other two types of partial dentures.
Valplast partial dentures have no metal clasps and are very light weight. The material is translucent, so the patients own gums show through, giving a very natural appearance. Valplast partial dentures can be used to replace many or few missing teeth, and can even be modified to replace a missing tooth on only one side of the mouth, greatly enhancing its comfort. Valplast is an option for people who are allergic to the acrylic found in other types of partial dentures. Another great advantage is its resistance to breakage, as it is surprisingly strong relative its size and weight.
Valplast partial dentures are an excellent option for the replacement of missing teeth. The cost of treatment is usually much less than either a permanent bridge or dental implants and can be completed in just two or three short visits. Durable, lightweight, and esthetic, partials should be considered for anyone who needs replacement of missing teeth.