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Removable Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are a cost-effective way to restore your smile when you've lost a tooth or teeth.

Your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist can help you decide if a Removable Partial Denture is a good solution for you. 

If you have multiple missing teeth but still have several healthy strong teeth remaining in your mouth, a removable partial denture (RPD) may be a good option for you. Similar to complete dentures, RPDs are an appliance that can be removed from the mouth. The main difference between a complete denture and a removable partial denture is that the RPD attaches to remaining teeth to help keep the denture in place. There are two main types of RPDs, the treatment RPD and the metal base RPD.

Removable Partial Dentures
icon of dental crown

Types of Partial Dentures

Both the treatment and metal base RPDs are less than perfect replacements for natural teeth. However, they have proven to be effective for many people. RPDs can be functional and comfortable to wear over time. Your DHA dentist can help you decide if a RPD is the best solution for you.

Treatment RPD (Flipper)

The treatment RPD is a quick and inexpensive way to replace missing teeth. Treatment RPDs are commonly used when a tooth is lost unexpectedly or needs to be extracted and a replacement is needed immediately. Flippers can also be used in cases where it is uncertain if the remaining teeth are able to support a more permanent metal based RPD, or during the healing time after initial placement of an implant. The treatment partial is made of pink acrylic and white plastic teeth.

Treatment RPD (ESSIX)

Essix retainers are made of clear transparent plastic, similar to teeth straightening retainers.  They hold a plastic tooth in place of the missing tooth/teeth. This is the most common for short term, front teeth, or during implant treatment.

Metal Based RPD

Metal based RPDs have numerous advantages over the treatment RPD. The metal base is cast with clasps that hold on to the remaining teeth. This gives the partial more retention and strength. The remaining teeth are altered slightly so the cast metal base fits into the teeth and does not interfere with the bite. Pink acrylic and white plastic teeth are added to the metal base for a life-like appearance. 

Removable Partial Dentures FAQs

Some common problems with RPD dentures are:

  • difficulty speaking
  • full feeling
  • sore spots and irritations
  • difficulty with eating and retention
  • food getting stuck around/under the partial

It is very important to see your dentist every six months to clean and evaluate your remaining teeth, as well as assess your gum tissue and bone health. Your DHA dentist will want to check and evaluate the fit and function of your RPD at each dental visit. Problems with your remaining teeth can adversely affect the fit of your partial denture. Routine oral hygiene is also important to maintain the fit and function of your partial. Talk to your DHA hygienist at your next cleaning about your oral hygiene routine if you have partial dentures.

Your partial denture can quickly become stained over time, so it is important to brush your partial denture thoroughly after each meal. A soft brush designed for cleaning dentures is recommended and a sample can be provided at our office. Just ask us at your next visit!

When you are not wearing your partial denture, it should be placed in a denture case. You may soak the appliance in denture cleaner if desired. Partial dentures may break or bend if dropped, so take care while handling your RPD during cleaning, insertion and removal.

Insurance coverage varies greatly for each individual policy. To find out what percentage may be covered by your insurance plan, refer to the information provided to you when you enrolled, or call the 1-800 number on the back of your card to ask a representative. If you need help obtaining this information, a Dental Health Associates front desk staff member would be happy to help you. If you are a DHA patient, our financial coordinators will help you obtain an estimate of coverage if requested.

Patient Information

We encourage new patients to fill out a new patient form online prior to your first appointment. Be sure to select the appropriate location for your new patient forms, as once you complete them, they are sent electronically to the office you’ve chosen. 


Medical and dental insurance can be confusing. Our staff has experience with your questions and can help you get the most from your insurance.

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