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September 12, 2023

How Many Teeth Do You Need For a Partial Denture?

If you have gaps in your smile due to missing teeth, but still retain several natural teeth, a removable partial denture may be the best solution for your needs. Partials fill gaps, preserve nearby teeth and help prevent the shifting of your jaw which can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. They are also a good option for patients with limited budgets because they are generally less expensive than full dentures.

A dental prosthodontist can help you decide whether a removable or permanent partial denture is right for your unique needs. They will consider the number of remaining natural teeth, how much space is left in the gap, the stability of existing natural teeth and your cosmetic goals. They can also advise on the cost of your options, including whether dental insurance covers your care.

Generally, to create a removable partial denture your dentist will need two healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap. These anchor teeth act as clasps for the replacement denture and offer stability. Our dentists will often protect and strengthen these anchor teeth with dental crowns to improve their stability. In some cases, a precision partial denture that uses internal attachments instead of metal clasps is more comfortable and looks more natural.

Removable partial dentures are made from a base material which can be acrylic or a cast metal cobalt-chromium alloy. Acrylic partials are typically less costly than metallic ones. Some people prefer a cast metal removable partial because it feels lighter and more comfortable than acrylic. A cast metal partial can also be more durable than an acrylic one, but it is important to keep in mind that the metal clips on a cast metal denture can be visible.