Removable partial dentures used to be the most common solution for people who lost one or more teeth, but didn’t lose an entire arch. Although they don’t work as well as fixed partial dentures (dental bridges), they can be used in more different situations–dental bridges are only good when the conditions are ideal for them.

Partial dentures remain a common option, but many of our patients in Columbia, SC are concerned they might not last long enough. This concern is justified, because data shows that partial dentures are unlikely to last as long as we might wish.

Dentist inspecting dentures with a tool

How Long Do Metal Dentures Last?

We can make partial dentures with a metal framework to provide strength. This type of denture is usually secured with hooks and clasps that go around your natural teeth. The replacement teeth are attractive, but the framework means that the overall effect is usually not cosmetic.

However, this type of removable denture has the longest lifespan. Studies show that about 75% of these dentures are still in use after five years and 50% are still being worn after 10 years. This long life is not without problems. Most people with this type of denture need to have supporting teeth repaired because of decay and/or wear. About 60% of people needed treatment of these teeth after five years, and 80% needed treatment after 10 years.

What about Acrylic Dentures?

Not all partial dentures are made out of metal. Some are made out of PMMA, the material most often used for full dentures. This can make more attractive dentures.

This material, which works very well for full dentures, doesn’t work as well for partial dentures. That’s because partial dentures have to withstand more force than full dentures. Full dentures only have to deal with the force they can provide, which is much less than your natural bite force. But partial dentures are in your mouth with natural teeth, and they can be subjected to almost the full force of natural chewing. As a result, acrylic partial dentures might last only six to twelve months according to some studies, but a more likely figure is that they will last less than five years.

Can Implant Dentures Last Longer?

For people looking for the longest-lasting replacement for lost teeth, implant dentures are the best choice. Not only can they function and look better than removable partial dentures, they can last longer, too.

The survival rate for this type of restoration is estimated at about 95% at five years, and 87% for ten years , much higher than any of the removable denture options. But this isn’t the whole story. Usually, the failure is caused by damaged denture, not a loss of the implant. This means that a new restoration can be easily fitted to the implant.

Are You Looking for Long-Lasting Partial Dentures in Columbia, SC?

The survival rate of dentures depends on many factors, including your dentist’s ability to properly fit your denture. If you are looking for quality dentures that are properly fitted, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC.