Partial dentures are an ideal solution for you if you have lost only a few teeth with the other healthy teeth remaining on your jaw. A partial denture is traditionally removable and is made of chrome-cobalt alloy, a mixture of metals, and acrylic polymers.
The metal in traditional partial dentures creates a stable base for the removable denture, which clasps onto the abutment teeth and holds the denture in place. In addition to its advantages, there are also a few problems with metal clasps which make people look for non-metal alternatives.
Problems with Metal Clasps
Many people are allergic to the metals used or simply do not like how the metals feel in their mouths. During eating, you might also feel the metal rubbing on your gums.
Sometimes, the metal clasps are very shiny and reflect any light when your mouth opens to smile or eat. It might make you conscious about opening your mouth naturally as you might be aware of people looking at you.
Often, it takes some effort and a lot of maintenance for partial dentures to stay in place with metal clasps. Dentists need to use creams and powders to make it less uncomfortable.
It has also been observed in studies that metal clasps are not the most mechanically efficient to keep your dentures in place.
Hence, it is only natural for you to want to find better alternatives to metal clasps, as not only do you want our dentures to stay in place but also for them to make you look aesthetically pleasing.
Alternatives to Metal Clasps
There are a few alternatives to dentures with metal clasps for you to look at and choose from.
No Wire Partials
These dentures offer a more natural appearance to your teeth compared to traditional removable partial dentures. Like the traditional ones, these are also removable although they are made of different materials.
These are made with durable and flexible materials that are hard to break. The usual metal and pink acrylic that are used in dentures are replaced by nylon.
The nylon can be used for both the base and the clasps and resemble the pink color of the gums. It is durable even if a thin portion is used.
They appear invisible as they curl comfortably to the base of the teeth and the structure fit does not change over time, unlike the dentures with metal clasps. These are also very stable and comfortable as they do not use your natural teeth to latch on to.
Precision-Fit Removable Partial Dentures
These dentures use appliances apart from clasps to attach to your gums. These are more natural in appearance compared to dentures with metal clasps.
These are also less likely to slip off your gums when you eat and hence be comfortable for most users.
To place a precision-fit removable partial denture, your dentist can place an attachment or a crown on your abutment teeth. The dentures then snap onto those attachments or crowns.
One type of precision-fit removable partial denture uses flexible thermoplastic materials that are thin and durable. They contain clasps that fit around your mouth snugly and are not rigid like resins.
These are also great aesthetic and cosmetic solutions for receding gums and partially exposed tooth roots. These are semi-permanent and can be great alternatives to bridges or implants.
Flexible Partial Denture
If you find cast metal and acrylic partial dentures uncomfortable or are allergic to the material, a flexible partial denture is a great alternative too. These also offer better aesthetic results compared to traditional metal clasps in partial dentures.
They use gum-colored clasps and thin, lightweight, thermoplastic material that is shaped with injections to fit perfectly over the gum tissues. These are strong as they are attached using the tissues.
The disadvantage of this type of denture is that it is harder to repair these dentures due to the production process. Any damage incurred usually means getting a new flexible partial denture.
In many cases, you might just need a crown or a bridge. Traditionally, these are made of materials that include metal. But for people who do not want metal in their mouths, there is good news.
A crown and a bridge are also often made with all-porcelain and all-ceramic materials. These make for more natural-looking teeth compared to the other dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry currently.
All-ceramic fixed bridges are sturdy and have been observed to get damaged very rarely.
These are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. On the flip side, they are weaker than and not as durable as materials containing metals.