Fixed Partial Dentures – Dental Treatment

Introduction –Fixed Partial Dentures

A denture is a detachable replacement designed for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are mainly two types of dentures available. These are complete and partial dentures.

A partial denture is used when there are one or more natural teeth remaining in the jaw. A partial denture consists of an assembly of replacement teeth anchored on a pink or gum-colored plastic base. It is connected by metal framework which holds the denture snugly in the mouth. This denture fills the spaces created by missing teeth, and also prevents the adjacent teeth from changing position.

The fixed partial dentures are cemented to the teeth on either side of a gap, or the abutment teeth as well as fixed dental bridges.
A fixed partial denture is a prosthetic dental restoration, or filling. This is permanently bound to tooth roots, dental implants, or natural teeth depending on the situation. It is used to fill in gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. The common term for a fixed partial denture is “bridge,” because its function is to “bridge” the gaps between the teeth.


  1. The fixed partial dentures are cemented to the teeth on either side of a gap, or the abutment teeth as well as fixed dental bridges. Therefore, they are not removable by patients.
  2. There are a variety of materials used to create the filling, which can be porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or gold. Porcelain used alone is considered as the safest material for use to patients.
  3. Different types of fixed partial dentures are available, depending on the various anchoring methods to the abutment teeth, as well as on procedure of construction in mouth.
  4. Usually, the fixed partial denture is normally made through an indirect method of restoration. This involves reducing the size of the abutment or supporting teeth to create space for the restoration material, to maintain the natural alignment of teeth, and to correct contact with the other surrounding teeth.
  5. A fixed partial denture which is supported only on one side or by a single tooth is known as Cantilever fixed partial denture.
  6. Resin-bonded, or Maryland bridges, are another better option for this. They are cost-effective bridges and are usually used when gaps occur in the front teeth where biting stress is less.

Process of making – Fixed Partial Dentures:

For the process of making a denture, several visits to the dentist are required. Also, it takes about three to six weeks of time for making. After the decision by the dentist or prosthodontist (restoration and replacement specialist of teeth) regarding the type of appliance that has to be used is taken, there are several steps involved:

  1. The dentist examines the jaw and takes various measurements related to distance between the jaws, their dimensions and apposition.
  2. From these measurements, a model, plastic or wax pattern of exact dimensions is made depending on protocol. This model serves as a precursor of the final denture. Several adjustments are done regarding size, shape, color and position by trial and error.
  3. Casting of final denture
  4. Final adjustments are done if necessary.

Purpose of partial dentures:

  1. It replaces the missing teeth and is fully functional when biting and chewing.
  2. It also helps to improve speaking affected by missing teeth.
  3. The crowns supporting the partial dentures help in repair of the adjacent teeth which may be previously damaged by cavities.
  4. Due to missing teeth, sagging of cheeks and face can occur as their support is lost. Age lines and wrinkles also appear earlier because of loss of facial structures. This can make the patient look older than actual age. All this can be prevented by partial dentures.
  5. The dentures prevent the contiguous teeth from shifting in a place created by missing teeth. Change of bite, sore jaws and problems in the temporomandibular joint as a result of this shifting can be prevented.
  6. Missing teeth also compromise dental and oral hygiene causing tooth decay and various gum diseases. This is prevented by dentures.

Home care of partial dentures:

  1. Daily brushing and washing with a mouth rinse should be done to prevent food and plaque build-up.
  2. Special soft picks are available to clean the teeth.
  3. Ice, hard candy and sticky foods such as chewing gum should be eaten with caution or avoided completely.
  4. Proper flossing should be done routinely with special floss threaders in order to remove bacteria around the bridge and gums more accurately.
  5. Visit a dentist at least twice a year.

- Link of interest: Twitter Fixed Partial Dentures – Dental Treatment.


This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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