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What are Partial Dentures?

2 minutes to read

Posted: Mar 14, 2021

Dentures work either as a removable replacement or a fixed bridge for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. So what is a partial removable denture? The clue is in the name for partial dentures: these dentures only occupy a part of your mouth. Unlike complete dentures which take up the entire mouth, partial dentures fill a gap created by missing teeth, so you can feel more confident about smiling, eating and speaking. Partial dentures are supported by remaining teeth, so they don’t change position. Still have questions about partial dentures? Read on to learn all about their advantages, their parts, and how to keep your natural teeth healthy.  

Advantages of Partial Removable Dentures

Partial dentures offer several benefits. They  

  • make it easier to talk and chew  

  • fill the gap created by missing teeth so you can smile confidently  

  • maintain the shape of your face.  

Parts of Partial Removable Dentures

So what makes up a removable partial denture? Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth that are attached to a metal or a gum-colored plastic base connected with a metal framework. Partials can be used to replace the front, back, upper, and lower teeth. An upper partial denture will go on the top part of your jaw and a lower partial denture on the bottom, but structurally they are similar, except designed to fit in different parts of your mouth. So let’s get to know the basic components of a partial denture in more detail.  

  • Major connector. This framework unites all the components of a partial denture and keeps it rigid. The design of the major connector will change depending on your mouth, like where the denture will go and how many natural teeth you have left.  

  • Minor connector. This connects all the components to the major connector.  

  • Rest. The rest is a component on a removable partial denture, which rests on a prepared tooth surface. The function of the rest is to distribute the force along the tooth so the denture stays fixed in place.  

  • Clasps. These metal components allow the denture to resist dislodging forces in your mouth in the vertical direction. Clasps come out of the denture and encircle the neighboring teeth.  

  • Denture base. The base covers the ridge of your mouth where there is a gap between the teeth. It functions as a base that supports denture teeth. For acrylic partial dentures, the base is usually made out of acrylic resin (which has a pink color), but some partials can be made out of metal (chrome cobalt).   

  • Denture teeth. These acrylic or porcelain teeth serve to replace the teeth that are missing in the mouth.  

An infographic showing the Parts of partial removable dentures: denture teeth, major connector, denture base, minor connector, rests, clasp.

Keep Partials Clean and Your Natural Teeth Healthy

Just like you’d look after your natural teeth, you should keep your partials clean. A lack of partial denture care can cause several problems, like gum problems of your natural teeth. Keep your remaining teeth healthy by looking after your partial with the following steps:  

  • Clean dentures over a bowl of water or a towel, in case you drop them (dentures can break if you drop them). 

  • Use a special brush designed for cleaning dentures to brush the partial. 

  • Soak your partial in denture cleanser after wearing them following the instructions and then in water. Please make sure to use denture cleansers designed for partial dentures. 

Caring for your remaining teeth and gums should also be a priority to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. Cleaning your partial dentures is just one part of the routine, but make sure you also:  

  • Brush your gums, tongue, natural teeth, and roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush in the morning and evening.  

  • See a dental hygienist to clean your gums and teeth regularly.  

For partial dentures that are removable, you may want to use a denture adhesive to help dentures stay more secure, stable, and to relieve any irritation they can have on the gums. Fixodent has got you covered, so there’s no excuse not to dive into life with partial dentures.  

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