Flexible Dentures - All You Need to Know

Flexible Dentures – All You Need to Know

Losing your teeth doesn’t need to be a death sentence for an attractive smile. When you need to replace missing teeth, you can opt for various options, including flexible partial dentures. 

These specialized dentures promise to restore your beautiful smile and the functionality of your teeth with their softer thermoplastic materials like nylon. 

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about flexible partial dentures to see how they work, how much they cost, and if they are a better option than regular dentures.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Flexible dentures are manufactured from softer, thermoplastic materials like nylon.

  • They naturally adapt to the unique shape of your gums and teeth, settling into position when inserted.

  • They look realistic as the material used is transparent, enabling the natural color of your gum to show through.

  • Flexible dentures are much less likely to break if they’re dropped compared to the more rigid, traditional dentures.

  • Since they are more prone to plaque and bacterial buildup, they require regular cleaning.

  • People with gingival recession, titled teeth, or cleft palate are suitable for flexible dentures.

  • They are a good option for patients allergic to acrylic or metal.

  • If you are new to replacement teeth, flexible dentures are better as they have a more comfortable fit than regular dentures.

 

What are Flexible Dentures?

Flexible dentures are made from nylon or other thin thermoplastic, flexible material. They are softer than the thicker, rigid acrylic used in regular dentures. Since they are made from more delicate materials, they are bendable and flexible, hence the name flexible dentures. [1]

This type of false teeth are also more comfortable to wear because they don’t need a metal clasp to keep them in place. They naturally adapt to the shape of your teeth and gums. Flexible partial dentures replace a few missing teeth, and anyone can use them because of their comfort. You can remove them and put them back in place whenever you want.

Since they are made of a translucent material, they look much more realistic than other regular dentures, giving you a natural and pleasing smile.

 

Other Names for Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures go by several different names: 

  • Valplast partial denture
  • Thermoplastic partial denture
  • Duraflex partial denture

 

In addition to these, they are often referred to as their brand name. Popular brands include Snap-On Sunflex, Flexite, and Ultraflex.

Summary

Flexible dentures are made of a soft, thermoplastic material that can replace a few missing teeth by naturally adapting to your gum and tooth contours.

 

Who are Flexible Dentures For?

Flexible dentures are a suitable tooth replacement option for patients who are:

Types of people who need flexible dentures as a tooth replacement option

  • Prone to denture breakage
  • With gingival recession, titled teeth, irregular bony structures, or cleft palate
  • Allergic to acrylic or metal 
  • Looking for a less-invasive procedure 
  • With limited mouth opening
  • With aesthetics concerns
  • Looking for an affordable option
  • Looking for a comfortable solution 
  • New to replacement teeth

 

Flexible dentures can come in handy for those with a few teeth missing who want a comfortable solution instead of traditional, hard dentures. Patients who don’t like extensive dental implants and surgeries can also opt for flexible dentures as they offer a far less-invasive alternative.

Similarly, some may be allergic to acrylic or nickel, so choosing flexible nylon dentures is better. In addition, since flexible partial dentures are bendable and easier to insert, they can benefit patients with tilted teeth.

Those with a limited mouth opening in diseases, including microstomia, and scleroderma, can also benefit from such dentures. Moreover, flexible dentures can retain patients with irregular bone ridges better. [2]

Flexible dentures are a suitable alternative for people who are conscious of the aesthetics of using metal clasps on their front teeth. Lastly, flexible dentures are a cheaper dental treatment for patients who cannot afford expensive tooth replacement options such as bridges and implant-supported dentures. [3]

Summary

Flexible dentures are suitable for patients with a limited mouth opening, titled teeth, and irregular bony ridges and people looking for a cheaper, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and minimally invasive solution to missing teeth.

 

How Much Do Flexible Dentures Cost?

Flexible dentures cost varies based on the clinic and the different procedures involved. They will set you some $700-$1500 back if you get them without additional costs. However, if you also want teeth removal along with the dentures, the initial fee will go up by $75-$400 for simple single tooth extraction and $200-$600 for surgical extraction. 

So, getting the best partial dentures will come to around $1000 to $8000, depending upon your requirements. Medical insurance usually covers full or at least partial costs. 

In addition, loss or damage of a flexible denture also costs something, although not as much as a new denture. Similarly, a quality denture cleaner will set you back $30 to $60 a year.

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

 

Flexible Partial Dentures Before and After

Before and after pictures of flexible partial dentures

 

Flexible Dentures vs. Regular Dentures: Which Is Better?

There are many reasons why you may prefer flexible dentures over regular dentures. Let us compare the two tooth replacement options to see which one is on top. 

 

Build

For starters, regular dentures are acrylic and held in place by a metal wire. On the other hand, flexible dentures are made from durable materials such as nylon.

While traditional dentures are hefty, flexible dentures are lightweight and fit your mouth easily. No metal is involved in their build. You can hardly even notice that you are wearing flexible dentures.

 

Durability

Since regular dentures are made from stiffer materials such as acrylic resin, they are easily prone to cracking and other problems. If you drop your acrylic dentures, they have a greater chance of damage. And this means higher repair costs. 

Comparatively, flexible partial dentures have better durability and can withstand shocks as they are manufactured with thin thermoplastic materials. 

 

Looks 

Unlike regular dentures, flexible partial dentures give you a more natural appearance. The thermoplastic material is translucent, making your gums easily visible, resulting in excellent aesthetics. 

Moreover, in flexible dentures, there are no metal clasps at all. The clasps used in flexible dentures are manufactured out of thermoplastic nylons. You can wear them on the front teeth without compromising aesthetics.

While largely stain-resistant, they may yellow over time. So, It’s useful to learn how to whiten dentures to keep a fresh appearance.

 

Comfort

Dentures differ in levels of comfort as well. Flexible dentures are undoubtedly more comfortable than traditional dentures as they are softer. You can wear them all day without feeling any discomfort. 

On the flip side, regular dentures are super rigid and can constantly rub against your gums, causing irritation and pain.

Similarly, traditional dentures contain a metal clasp that can irritate the soft tissues of your mouth. Conversely, flexible dentures have no such metal materials, so there is no chance of irritation.

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

 

Preparation/Production Time

The process for custom designing flexible dentures requires less preparation time than regular dentures. 

Moreover, no invasive procedure is involved like in dental implants, and you do not have to visit the doctor as often. At the same time, regular dentures require at least four visits to the dentist and nearly 4-6 weeks of preparation. 

In addition to that, if you need to go through tooth extraction and other related procedures, the calendar can reach up to ten weeks. 

 

Hygiene

Soft and flexible partial dentures can lead to bacterial growth in your mouth, causing gingivitis and other gum diseases. [4]

So, you need to take your oral hygiene seriously and learn how to clean dentures regularly to avoid any issues. Conversely, normal dentures face fewer hygiene issues, so you can be more relaxed while using them.

 

Repairability

Flexible dentures are much more durable than their normal alternatives. However, if you somehow break them, repairing them becomes a headache. Partial solutions may not work properly as you sometimes have to replace the whole set.

Summary

Flexible dentures are more comfortable, natural-looking, and cost-effective than normal dentures. Also, they have a shorter preparation process to manufacture a perfect fit and don’t break easily. However, they need more regular maintenance and are harder to repair if they break.

 

Types of Flexible Dentures

The type of flexible denture depends on the number and distribution of the remaining teeth on the dental arches or their total absence, and are named based on their make i.e. TCS, Polyon, Biodentaplast, etc. [8]

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

 

Flexible Dentures Reviews: What Do People Think?

Customers have given mostly positive reviews about flexible partial dentures on the internet. Let us discuss common themes found in those reviews and see what people think.

 

Comfortability

Flexible partial dentures are comfortable and easy to use for people new to dentures. There is nothing complex about their fit as they are a grab-and-go product. 

Since they are custom-made for your mouth, lightweight, and flexible, the adjustment period is more straightforward. Some say they are so comfortable they have even slept with them in their mouth.

 

Brings Back Confidence

Flexible partial dentures seem to restore people’s smiles and make them confident. Nobody wants to smile when some of their teeth are missing, so having a complete set of teeth back helps you feel better.

 

Affordability

Many patients have also praised the affordability of flexible partial dentures because they fit their budget well. When you compare flexible dentures vs implants, flexible dentures are much more affordable.

In addition, the costs of regular visits to the dentist are also cut down significantly.

 

Improved Aesthetics

Since the material for flexible dentures is pink and translucent, the underlying tissue appears more natural than regular dentures. Also, there’s no metal clasp to worry about being visible. It also means people with metal allergies can use flexible dentures safely. [5]

Summary

Customers love partial dentures, bringing back their confidence while being affordable and more natural-looking. [6]

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

What Are the Advantages of Flexible Dentures?

Advantages of flexible dentures

  • Aesthetically pleasing because no metal clasps and the thermoplastic nylons are translucent, allowing the underlying tissue to be seen.
  • No drilling or surgical procedure is required, hence no pain or discomfort.
  • No denture adhesives are needed to hold the false teeth in place.[7]
  • An affordable option for tooth loss as opposed to dental implants or bridges.
  • It can be custom-designed to fit your remaining teeth perfectly.
  • No metal, so people with metal allergies can easily wear them.
  • Such false teeth are durable and don’t crack easily like regular, rigid dentures.
  • Keep your remaining teeth in place, preventing facial sagging.
  • The material is also stain-resistant and prevents odor.

Summary

Flexible dentures are comfortable, affordable, durable, and don’t require surgical procedures or denture adhesives. Additionally, they look more like your natural teeth.

 

What Are the Disadvantages of Flexible Dentures?

  • Unsuitable for people with a history of oral diseases since they are more prone to bacterial buildup around the flexible parts.
  • It can only replace a few missing teeth and not all of them.
  • Has issues staying in place as some users have reported shifting issues while doing intense tasks.
  • A new set is required in case of damage as repairing the older one is almost impossible.
  • Need to be replaced after regular intervals for several reasons, so not a permanent solution.
  • It may not be suitable for everyone if their existing teeth are too scattered.

Summary

Flexible dentures need to be frequently replaced, are only suitable for a few missing teeth, and aren’t a viable option for patients with oral diseases.

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

 

Flexible Dentures Near Me

Check with your current dentist if they offer flexible partial dentures. And if they don’t, ask them to suggest some quality dentists in your locality. Similarly, your friends & family may also know a dentist offering flexible partial dentures near you.

If you are still out of luck, search the internet for a quality dentist offering flexible partial dentures. You will find multiple clinics with hundreds of reviews, which you can use to make an informed decision.

Summary

Ask your dentist or search the internet for quality flexible dentures. Alternatively, you can ask your friends or family for a dentist that offers flexible dentures near you.

 

FAQs

What are the most important things to know about flexible dentures?

 

Are Flexible Dentures Any Good?

Can You Get Full Flexible Dentures?

How Do Flexible Dentures Stay In Place?

 

Conclusion

Flexible dentures are an affordable alternative to traditional options. They are not only natural-looking, but also more durable for day-to-day usage. Some concerns, such as regular cleaning, are not a big deal if you maintain a hygienic routine.

Always choose a reputable dental team who can do a thorough checkup, especially if you have a medical condition. Ask your dentist to recommend you a reputable brand. Weigh everything carefully and decide whether flexible dentures are worth it for you.

 

>>Check the best prices for flexible dentures

 

References:

  1. Singh, J P, et al. “Flexible Denture Base Material: A Viable Alternative to Conventional Acrylic Denture Base Material.” Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276859/.
  2. Dental Research. Medical Search, https://lookformedical.com/en/search/dental-research.
  3. Rostom, Doaa, and Manar Waniss Abdul Aziz. “The Impact of the Flexible Partial Denture Base on the Alveolar Mucosa in Comparison to Metallic Denture: RCT and Histological Study.” Advanced Dental Journal, Cairo University, Faculty of Dentistry, 1 July 2020, https://adjc.journals.ekb.eg/article_92867.html.
  4. Olms, Constanze, et al. “Bacterial Colonization and Tissue Compatibility of Denture Base Resins.” Dentistry Journal, MDPI, 15 June 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6023505/.
  5. Syed, Meena, et al. “Allergic Reactions to Dental Materials-a Systematic Review.” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, JCDR Research and Publications (P) Limited, Oct. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625353/.
  6. Polyzois, Gregory, et al. “Flexible Removable Partial Denture Prosthesis: A Survey of Dentists' Attitudes and Knowledge in Greece and Croatia.” Acta Stomatologica Croatica, University of Zagreb School of Dental Medicine, and Croatian Dental Society - Croatian Medical Association, Dec. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4945339/.
  7. Kumar, P Ranjith, et al. “Denture Adhesives in Prosthodontics: An Overview.” Journal of International Oral Health : JIOH, Dentmedpub Research and Printing Co, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516076/.
  8. Malița, Mădălina & Ionescu, Camelia & Perieanu, Viorel & Burlibașa, Mihai & Magdalena Natalia, Dina & Costea, Radu & Perieanu, Mădălina & Costea, Raluca & Babiuc, Iuliana & Beuran, Irina & Tanase, George & Chirila, Mihaela & David, Mihai & Voinescu, Ioana & Moraru, Liliana. (2021). The Technology of Obtaining Flexible Dentures in Dental Practice, Theoretical and Practical Aspects. Acta Medica Transilvanica. 26. 67-69. 10.2478/amtsb-2021-0018.

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