Metal vs. flexible partial dentures
If you’ve already lost some but not all of your teeth but you’re not quite ready for dental implants, then you have the option of replacing your missing teeth with partial dentures. Partial denture is a set of false teeth which fills in missing gaps with material resembling your own teeth and gums. Partial dentures rely on clasps to anchor onto your remaining teeth. They can be removed to allow access to clean the partials along with your remaining teeth. The most common types of partial dentures include metal partial dentures and flexible partial dentures.
What are metal and flexible partial dentures?
Traditional metal-based partial dentures have a metal framework which sits on top of your gums. These type of dentures rely on metal clasps to anchor them onto your remaining teeth and hold them in place. Flexible partial dentures, such as valplast partials, are made from flexible plastic material. These type of dentures don’t contain any metal, instead they rely on flexible gum-colored plastic clasps to anchor them in place.
Benefits of flexible partial dentures
Not having metal in your partial dentures may sound like a good option for most denture wearers. The metal can hurt you and is definitely an eye sore as well. However, flexible partials are almost always the more expensive treatment option as well. So is the upgrade to flexible partial dentures really worth it? Lets discuss the benefits of flexible partial dentures first:
Flexible partials are more comfortable and natural feeling
When comparing a well made metal partial and flexible partial, the flexible one is almost always the more comfortable one to wear. Flexible partials are made from plastic, which is softer than metal. These partials don’t press on your gums as much. Additionally, since flexible partial dentures are somewhat expandable, the plastic clasps don’t apply as much pressure as metal clasps do. This means that wearing partial dentures is typically more comfortable than wearing metal partials.
Flexible dentures look nicer
Obviously not showing lots of metal when smiling makes a big difference in terms of looks and appearance. Flexible dentures have plastic clasps which blend in with your own gums. This makes it difficult to tell if you’re wearing false teeth or not.
Metal partials tend to show their metal when you open your mouth. This is more evident when dealing with partial dentures which replace missing front teeth. If your require clasps in the front region to stabilize your partial dentures, then you’ll show metal should you choose to go with a metal-based partial denture.
Flexible dentures are more resistant to fracture
If you’re the type that drops their stuff accidentally then a flexible partial denture is the better option for you. Flexible dentures are made from flexible plastic so they take force of impact quite well. Flexible partials rarely break in half when you drop them accidentally. On the other hand, metal partials tend to break easily whenever dropped forcibly. The bad news is that when this happens, you almost always require a new set of partials.
Flexible dentures do less damage to your remaining teeth
Flexible partial dentures don’t put too much pressure on your teeth. They have plastic clasps which are slightly expandable and more forgiving to your natural teeth. As a result, flexible partial dentures do less damage to your remaining few teeth.
Metal clasps on the other hand, hug your teeth very tightly and place lots of stress onto your teeth. You’re much more likely to lose your remaining teeth at an accelerated rate when wearing metal partial dentures as compared to flexible ones. Keep in mind that the sooner you lose your remaining teeth, the sooner you’ll require a new set. This typically makes the upgrade fees associated with flexible partial dentures well worth it.