Flexible partial dentures aren’t exactly new, but their acceptance has been increasing recently. Now they have become a common alternative to traditional partial dentures, so many of our Blue Bell denture patients consider them to replace lost teeth. There are some good reasons to consider them, but also some limitations to be aware of.
Advantages of Flexible Dentures
Flexible dentures have become more popular recently because they are very comfortable. Unlike rigid dentures, flexible dentures are very gentle on your gums. They don’t transfer as much force to your gums, so they won’t cause as much gum soreness. They’re also gentler on your gums because they don’t have metal hooks and clasps, and they don’t have any sharp, rigid edges.
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.
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 flexible partial dentures right for you? The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with a Blue Bell denture dentist. Please call (610) 272-0828 for an appointment at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.