There are two main types of dentures, full dentures and partial dentures.
Partial dentures are used when only a few teeth are missing.
It is crucial to get replacement teeth for missing teeth.
This is because the remaining teeth will usually shift position to fill the gaps.
This will not only affect your bite but may also damage gum tissue. Dentures help by distributing the force of a bite thereby preventing damage to the bone.
Partial dentures are informally called flippers and are usually of 3 types
The three types are semi-precision, precision and conventional dentures.
Conventional dentures are a type of partial dentures that use a clasp to hold the dentures in place.
The clasps, which are usually made of a flexible metal alloy or plastic, are placed on the remaining teeth for stability and strength.
Some people are not very fond of conventional dentures because the clasps can sometimes be seen depending on the position of the dentures in the mouth.
Another disadvantage is that some types of dentures do not do so well with clasps but would do better with other retention methods.
Conventional dentures may not be appropriate when the remaining teeth are not adequate to hold the clasps.
The alternative to conventional partial dentures is either semi-precision or precision partial dentures
Both these types of partial dentures do not use clasps.
Instead they both use mechanical components that are interlocked which keep the dentures in place.
The precision and semi-precision dentures are preferred by many over conventional dentures as they are more aesthetically pleasing as no clasps can be seen.
They are made in a way ensure that bite force is more evenly distributed among the remaining natural teeth reducing the risk of injury to the jaw bone.
These types of dentures however also have their drawbacks.
The precision and semi-precision partial dentures are more difficult to make and adjust.
This makes them more expensive than conventional partial dentures.
The mechanical components will need replacement every so often and in most cases, some of the natural teeth need to be crowned before the dentures are fitted.
Partial dentures are for people with still a number of natural teeth.
The type of denture that will best suit an individual can only be determined by the dentist as people have different needs and requirements.
The dentist will carry out an evaluation and advice you on the best course of action for your potential partial dentures.