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Partial Dentures

If you have missing teeth, there are several ways to replace them.

  • A fixed dental bridge can replace one to three missing teeth. It is anchored permanently onto the teeth adjacent to the space where your teeth are missing.
  • Another option is dental implants. The implants are anchored in the bone, taking the place of the roots of the missing teeth, and then crowns or bridges are attached to the implants.
  • A removable partial denture that clips onto your existing teeth is another option.


The main advantage of the removable partial denture is that many teeth can be replaced with one simple appliance. This makes it the most economical way to replace multiple missing teeth. Here is a picture of a removable partial with a plastic framework. It can also be made with a metal framework. A metal framework makes the appliance more durable, but it requires having metal clasps on your existing teeth which could show when you smile. A plastic framework can be made more esthetic. There are many variations of removable partials, from the very inexpensive dental flipper, to more sophisticated precision attachment partials with metal clasps that are hidden behind the teeth.

Disadvantages of Removable Partials

  • While a removable partial denture is quick and inexpensive to make, it isn’t as stable as dental implants or bridgework.
  • If there are a number of missing teeth, the clasps will put extra stress on your remaining natural teeth, possibly shortening their life.
  • The presence of clasps complicates oral hygiene. Since they will trap food particles which can cause decay where the clasps attach, it is especially important to remove the partial after every time you eat anything and clean the teeth.
  • There can also be some discomfort with wearing hardware in your mouth.

If you are interested in this service, Dr. Callan will be happy to explain the options you have for your circumstances. Give us a call to schedule an exam, or you can use our appointment request form and we will call you to set up a convenient time for you.