You have choices when replacing missing or damaged teeth. What is the best option? The answer really depends on a variety of factors:
- Location of the missing tooth
- Condition of the adjacent teeth
- Medical and Dental History of the Patient
- Cost Consideration
In this three part blog we will be comparing and contrasting:
Fixed Bridge vs. Dental Implant vs. Removable Partial Denture
Option 2: Removable Partial Denture
A removable partial denture can be a decent replacement for a missing tooth. A Removable Partial Denture (RPD) is typically made of metal and gum colored plastic and is worn in the mouth similar to an orthodontic retainer. It is held in place by closely adapting to the contours of the mouth and wire clasp that wrap around certain teeth. An RPD should be removed daily for cleaning and sleeping.
The advantages are that it is low cost (relatively) compared to the other to and implant crown or a bridge. It is the most non-invasive of the options which makes it a good option for someone that is medically compromised or cannot handle a more invasive dental procedure. While an RPD does rely on adjacent teeth for support and retention it does not heavily depend on the condition of the adjacent teeth for success.
The disadvantages of a Removable Partial Denture are that they are large, regardless of the number of teeth they are replacing. This is particularly true when considering replacing a single missing tooth. Because they depend on multiple teeth for retention and much of the entire arch for adequate support they are bulky and have some compromised esthetics (meaning you likely will be able to see plastic or metal in your smile). Additionally a RPD is the least comfortable and functional prostheses. RPD’s often need adjustments for sore areas and have a compromised ability to chew and speak as well as other tooth replacement options.
In summary a Removable Partial Denture can be a good tooth replacement option. However because of the compromises inherent in a removable prosthesis discussed in this blog it is important for there to are multiple positives that apply for it to chosen before other restorative options?