REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES
Removable Partial Dentures (RPD’s) are one of the most versatile methods for replacement of teeth in an arch. As the name implies, this is a removable replacement that is stabilized by the remaining teeth. A properly designed removable partial denture will replace single or multiple teeth and act as a stabilizing influence on the remaining teeth.
The teeth retaining the partial should be prepared to properly support the partial denture and the partial denture must also be well adapted to the soft tissues to support the teeth. There are fitting steps that allow very accurate adaptation to the gums that result in very few if any sore spots.
Partial dentures may have porcelain teeth or plastic/acrylic teeth. The porcelain teeth should only chew against other porcelain partial denture or complete denture teeth. The porcelain teeth are so hard that they will wear natural teeth and normal crowns. Plastic teeth are subject to wear unless the chewing surfaces are protected by gold or metal chewing surfaces.
Removable Partial Dentures are often a very good alternative to dental implants when costs or a lack of bone make the use of implants difficult.
COMPLETE DENTURES & LOWER CROWNS
A lower denture can be one of the most difficult adjustments that a dental patient will ever face. The longer a denture is worn, the more bone is lost, and the more unstable a denture becomes. Ill-fitting dentures can accelerate bone loss and result in difficulty wearing even an upper denture
Much of the early research in dental implants was directed toward helping patients who could not eat properly with “false teeth”. A dental implant is a special titanium screw that is placed into the bone of the jaw. The bone grows to and adheres to the implant. This is a process called osseointegration. The links below have good consumer sections:
Once the implants have healed, a denture may be fabricated that will snap onto or screwed down to the dental implants and hold the denture very still.
In recent years, techniques have been developed that can allow a complete denture to be screwed down to the implants on the day of implant placement.
Once screwed to place, the denture cannot be removed for 3-6 months depending on the quality of the patient’s bone. Once healing is completed, the surgical denture becomes an emergency appliance and a new screw retained denture is fabricated with a metal frame for strength.