A fixed partial denture is a prosthetic dental restoration, or filling, that is binded permanently to tooth roots, dental implants, or natural teeth. It is used to fill in spans, or gaps, caused by one or more missing teeth. The lay term for a fixed partial denture is “bridge,” because its function is to “bridge” the space between teeth.
Cemented to the teeth on either side of the span, or the abutment teeth, fixed dental bridges are not removable by patients. There are a variety of materials used to create the filling, such as porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or gold. Porcelain used alone is considered the safest material for use.
Different types of fixed partial dentures are available, depending on variants in anchoring to the abutment teeth, as well as methods of fabrication. Fabrication can occur directly in a patient”s mouth, through use of composite resin; however, a fixed partial denture is normally made through an indirect method of restoration. Typically, fabrication involves reducing the size of the abutment teeth in order to create room for the restoration material, as well as to maintain the natural alignment, and correct contact with the other surrounding teeth.
Fixed or Removable Dentures – Which is better?
Dentures are used in place of missing teeth for the purpose of proper chewing, protection of the gums, improvement in speech, and for aesthetic reasons. There are many types of dentures depending on their structure and design. Two of the common types include removable and fixed dentures. Although many people prefer removable dentures because they are easy to maintain and also comfortable to wear, but the choice of dentures must be made according to the condition of your mouth and some other factors. Fixed and removable dentures are types of partial dentures that are worn by patients who are missing only some of their teeth.
Other than crown and bridgework, dental implants (or artificial teeth) are also placed as permanent fixtures in the mouth. Although they are enduring and in most cases appear just like natural teeth, these artificial teeth are harder to clean than removable dentures. Since they cannot be removed, they may become susceptible to inflammation and other oral problems. Furthermore, fixed dentures or implants are quite costly as compared to partial removable dentures. Bridges and dental implants are recommended only if you have one or two missing teeth. For those who have more injured, diseased, or lost teeth, removable dentures might prove to be the best option.
You might be thinking how can partial dentures be removable? Well, these types of dentures are designed like complete dentures and are meant for edentulous dental patients. An RPD or removable partial denture consists of six parts: major connector, minor connector, direct retainer, indirect retainer, the base, and the teeth. Different types of removable dentures are produced depending on the position of missing teeth. These can be divided into four classes: bilateral free ended, unilateral free ended, unilateral bounded, and bilateral bounded. The base is made up of gum-colored plastic and the teeth are connected by a metal framework.
At first it is difficult to get used to wearing removable partial dentures and you may require some practice to place the dentures properly in the mouth. However, they are easier to clean than implants and crowns which are fixed. While patients who wear complete removable dentures find it comfortable to use them only while eating or going out, those who wear removable partial dentures may choose to keep them on for as long as they want. However, if you feel swelling or pain, you may want to let your dentist know.
Partial dentures are delicate devices and therefore should be handled with care. Your dentist will give you complete guidelines on how to clean and care for them. It is not recommended to use toothpastes for brushing these artificial teeth and you should always remove them before brushing or flossing. Partial dentures are designed to protect the remaining teeth in your mouth, but you should also take extra steps to ensure proper oral hygiene in order to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Removable dentures may prove to be quite useful and easy to use as compared to other treatments such as permanent implants or bridges.