The difference in Metal vs Valplast Partial Dentures
Many people ask about Metal Dentures (Cast Partial) vs Plastic Dentures (Flexible Thermoplastic Partials), so we thought we would write an article to explain the main differences.
For people who have a missing tooth or several missing teeth, you’re probably looking for a suitable way of replacing them. One of the most popular ways of replacing them is with removable partial dentures, which are inexpensive and effective. They are ideal for patients who need dentures quickly and who have limited budgets. There partial dentures tend to either have a metal framework that is covered with acrylic. A cast metal partial denture involves a metal framework that attaches by way of clasps connected to crowns or natural teeth. The metal frame is obviously not visible (the gum-colored acrylic plastic covers it), but when you smile, the clasps may be visible.
Advantages of Metal-Based Dentures
- Very bio-compatible and hypoallergenic with healthy-appearing supporting tissues
- Have rest seats placed in them for better support.
- May include a soft liner
- Can be relined easily
- Provides added strength for easily broken narrow dentures
- Facilitates fabrication of stable narrow-based dentures that are designed to avoid contact with disrupting muscle forces
- Sometimes facilitates the avoidance of surgical procedures to reposition frenum
- Patients perceive a more natural feeling from the added weight
- Weight may contribute to additional denture stability
- Dimensionally very stable when compared to all-plastic-based dentures during fabrication and over time
Disadvantages of Metal-Based Dentures
- While more stable, the weight of the metal frame adds more pressure on existing teeth
- More costly to fabricate
Flexible Partial Dentures aren’t exactly new, but their acceptance has been increasing recently because they are very comfortable. Unlike rigid dentures, flexible dentures are very gentle on your gums. Flexible dentures are also less likely to be dislodged by chewing. That’s because they can’t get levered out of place. When one side of the denture experiences more force than the other, the dentures just flex in the middle. This can also make flexible dentures less likely to get broken. Flexible dentures provide a solution for patients who can’t or don’t want to use regular dentures. The most obvious advantage is that they aren’t brittle, so they’re less likely to shatter if they’re dropped.
Comfort is a major benefit, and patients often find chewing easier than when wearing regular dentures. Some patients are allergic to acrylic resin, nickel or other materials in traditional dentures, and some have difficulty opening their mouths wide. For these patients, the flexible variety may be the only type they can wear. Dentists may also recommend them to patients who have had missing teeth for a long time.
Advantages of Flexible Dentures
- Natural appearance. Flexible partial dentures are always made with with color, shape, and fit in mind, working to achieve a remarkably natural-looking result. In addition, the lack of metal clasps allows the restoration to blend seamlessly with a patient’s natural teeth and gums.
- Comfortable. As one of today’s most comfortable restoration solutions, flexible partials are custom-fabricated to fit each patient’s unique anatomy. They’re also lightweight, helping patient become accustomed to their dentures often very quickly.
- Completely Metal-Free. Flexible partial dentures represent a metal-free alternative to traditional partial dentures. This is important for those with a metal allergy, or those who simply feel that metal isn’t the healthiest option.
- Minimal preparation. Compared to other dental restoration options, flexible partial dentures require minimal preparation. They reduce the need for invasive drilling procedures, and reduce the time you’ll spend in the dentist’s chair.
- Durable. Flexible partial dentures are usually strong and durable, as they’re built to withstand stress and pressure in the mouth. Additionally, flexible partials are typically resistant to chemical deterioration.
- They cling to the gums and don’t require denture adhesive or metal clasps to hold them in place.
Disadvantages of Flexible Dentures
- On the other hand, there are many disadvantages of flexible partial dentures. Among the most important is that they don’t give you as strong of a bite. With your bite already compromised by the loss of teeth, it’s important to consider whether flexible dentures might diminish your bite too much.
- Although they’re less likely to break, once flexible dentures do break, they generally can’t be repaired. They have to be disposed of and replaced. And that’s a little bit of a problem because flexible dentures are often more expensive than conventional partial dentures. Broken dentures can add up fast.
- Finally, flexible dentures may not be able to support a healthy bite. These dentures may just not be strong enough to support your bite in a good position. This can contribute not only to TMJ, but may also lead to accelerated facial aging.
Temporary or Permanent?
Because of their benefits, flexible dentures make an ideal temporary. They can foster healing following the extraction of your teeth, and help you adapt to wearing your partial dentures. They are sometimes used to hold a place for dental implants.
Because of their disadvantages, flexible partials are not as good as permanent restorations and are only used as permanent dentures in certain situations.
Their disadvantages also explain why we don’t make flexible full dentures. You need to be able to chew and have some support for your bite — and flexible full dentures just wouldn’t supply that.
Are They Right for You?
Are Metal Dentures (Cast Partial) or Plastic Dentures (Flexible Thermoplastic Partials) right for you? The only way to know for sure is to schedule your FREE consultation with a J.A. Denture Clinic LLC .
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