Like full dentures, removable partial dentures are orthodontic prosthetics that help fill the space left by missing teeth. They are also comprised of false teeth attached to a gum-coloured base but unlike full dentures that replace your entire teeth, removable partial dentures only replace a few missing teeth and are held in place with metal claps that are attached to surrounding natural teeth.
As with complete and full dentures, removable partial dentures are made with quite durable materials if you’re buying them from a good denture shop, for example, The Denture Shop. Proper maintenance can give them a lifespan of up to 10 years. However, things like accidental dropping, denture fracture, loose tooth, damaged base, broken clasps and changes to the mouth tissue (because they rest on your gums) may cause the need for either repairs, adjustments or additions to be carried out on removable partial dentures.
To put things simply, repairs and adjustments can be carried out on removable partial dentures. Some of those repairs and adjustments include;
Partial Denture Reline
This is usually needed when the base of a partial denture no longer fits properly. This improper fit could be as a result of changes to mouth tissues due to age or healing after extraction and it can lead to issues like denture stomatitis, trauma, pain, rocking and looseness. The reline is done to help the partial denture fit better and be more comfortable for the wearer. Typically, a partial denture reline is carried out using the same process as a complete/full denture reline.
Midline Fracture Repair
Since a partial denture can be easily removed from the mouth during activities like brushing and flossing, it is entirely possible for the wearer to accidentally drop and break the appliance. A midline fracture is what happens when the partial denture cracks into two pieces upon impact with a hard surface. Thankfully, with the right denture repair service, these pieces can be put back together. The technician will use materials like plaster to put the pieces back together. Any excess space will be filled with some cast before the denture is refitted.
Broken Tooth Repair
Just like with complete dentures, when a tooth of a partial denture gets chipped or broken, a repair can be carried out by a dental professional. The chipped tooth can either be filled and filed into the size or completely removed and replaced in cases of severe damage.
Broken Clasps Repair
A broken clasp can cause your partial denture to lose some of its grip and stability. Thankfully they can be easily replaced. The denture technician will assess the nature of the damage and, in most cases, add new clasps to the partial denture. However, if the broken clasp has no effect whatsoever on your denture-wearing experience (either because of support from other teeth or the nature of the design of your partial denture) then no repair is necessary. The broken clasp can just be filed to smoothen its edges.
Adding a Tooth
It is possible to add an additional tooth to your removable partial denture. However, the design of the denture and the location of the new tooth will determine how simple the process will be. For example, tooth addition will be easy if the base of the partial denture extends near the location where the new tooth will be. Adding a tooth is also quite easy with simple acrylic partial dentures. However, it is very difficult with Flexi-dentures. This is why a full dental exam is important for choosing the type of denture that is most suitable for an individual. The dental exam will make you aware of what changes (like losing more teeth) are likely to occur in your mouth in the nearest future and what type of partial dentures will best accommodate those changes.
Other Minor Adjustments
These include things like; adjusting the bite of your dentures, tightening your denture clasps and adjusting the areas of your dentures that are rubbing against your cheeks and tongue. These types of adjustments are usually needed right after you get new partial dentures fitted or after a denture repair.
Removable partial dentures may not be the same as full or complete dentures, but they are similar in that they will eventually require repairs during the time of their use. These repairs should always be carried out by a qualified denture technician and should never be attempted at home.